As a city girl who now owns her own sheep (she’s the pet I’ve always wanted – it was that or a pony!), this country fest in the middle of the city sounds pretty exciting! I hope you all check it out!

Sheep to Shawl, Llama to Pajama 2010

Free Family Festival Features Fiber Animals and Fun
Worcester’s Green Hill Park Farm Hosts Event October 23rd

The City of Worcester and VSA Massachusetts are pleased to present “Sheep to Shawl, Llama to Pajama 2010”, a free educational family event celebrating the animal – fiber – clothing connection. Located at Green Hill Park Farm, 125 Green Hill Parkway in Worcester MA, the rain-or-shine festival of all things fiber is scheduled for Saturday, October 23, 2010, 12 noon to 4PM. The facility and program are wheelchair accessible.

“The Department of Public Works & Parks is proud to present Sheep to Shawl, Llama to Pajama at Green Hill Park Farm to the families of Worcester,” exclaimed Robert L. Moylan, JR., P.E., Commissioner of Public Works & Parks. “In a society that is growing increasingly citified and divorced from nature – 80% of Americans now live in urban areas – Green Hill Park Farm provides one of the few chances to connect with animals that residents seldom have an opportunity to see and touch. The event, which is free and open to the public, enables families to learn in a fun and exciting way about the animals and how they provide products we use daily.”

The FREE event seeks to give both children and adults of all ages hands-on experience with the elemental activities that transform the hair/ wool of animals into clothing or household items. These activities include carding, spinning, dyeing, knitting, rug hooking, and weaving. Holding the event at Green Hill Farm in Green Hill Park, Worcester, allows people, especially children, to see and interact with live sheep and llamas as they try their hands at the various fiber activities. Children can then make the connections in their imaginations between the animals, the fiber, and their own clothing.

“This is a great opportunity for anyone to discover the Green Hill Farm, one of Worcester’s gems, and explore our agrarian roots and connect what we wear to the animals we care for,” stated Charles J. Washburn, Executive Director, VSA Massachusetts.

Additionally, songs, scavenger hunt, activity challenges, and fiber-related games are on the agenda. Most of the activities occur on an ongoing basis, without scheduled time slots, and some include prizes and other giveaways. The event also features a 2PM demonstration of a llama being shorn, courtesy of Orchid Patch/Andes alive of Southborough MA. Free hot beverages will be provided.

“So many more Worcester area folks need to know about Green Hill Farm and its wonderful Zookeeper, Harry Carr,” confirmed Nat Needle, Sheep to Shawl, Llama to Pajama Event Coordinator and Co-Director, SAORI Worcester Freestyle Weaving Studio. “By bringing Art, Craft, Science, and History together, Sheep to Shawl, Llama to Pajama aims to highlight this marvelous public place where education and recreation meet, at no admission charge, right in the middle of our City!”

Local fiber animal farms and fiber business participating at the event include:
·Orchid Patch/Andes Alive (Southbridge): supervised leading of friendly llamas & alpacas, carding of animal hair, spinning with dowels (Artist/Educators: Ellen & Mike Zepp)

· Wachusett Spinners’ Guild: wheel & other spinning demonstrations, hands-on drop spindle spinning (Artist/Educators: Betsy Alspach, Lori Schafer & others)

· SAORI Worcester Freestyle Weaving Studio: weaving, wheel spinning, hand-dyeing, learning games, activities, & songs (Artist/Educators: Mihoko Wakabayashi & Nat Needle)

· The Sheep Shack (Holden): knitting (Artist/Educator: Christina Lentz Larsen)

·Thread Gardens (Sterling): knitting, crochet, display of multi-colored dyed and hand-painted yarns (Artist/Educator: Jean Theurkauf)

· Moondance Color Company (Oakham): rug hooking (Artist/Educator: Christine Oliver)

· City Of Worcester Parks Dept.’s Green Hill Farm: Viewing, petting (where allowed), learning about animals (Educator: Zookeeper Harry Carr)/

Plus Worcester Center For Crafts, Heifer International/Overlook Farm, Rutland MA