Of fiber

H er accent is thick of the South, vanilla and cream, frozen and sweet like the fresh milk it’s made with. It’s the drawl you find pouring out of someone who’s lived in Southern Ohio all their lives, who knows how to pick a horse’s hoof and make fresh cheese, even if they’re too short […]

23rd annual Wool Gathering at Young’s Jersey Dairy


All ages welcome at Young’s Wool Gathering. Photo: Bill Franz.

By Emma Jarman

Her accent is thick of the South, vanilla and cream, frozen and sweet like the fresh milk it’s made with. It’s the drawl you find pouring out of someone who’s lived in Southern Ohio all their lives, who knows how to pick a horse’s hoof and make fresh cheese, even if they’re too short to actually do it. Jill Young is an early retired schoolteacher who consequently joined her husband’s
family business—Young’s Jersey Dairy.

Her husband makes the cheese, but, “I help bale the hay, I learned how to make ice cream,” and now she helps organize and curate the Wool Gathering. This year is the 23rd annual event.

The Wool Gathering at Young’s Dairy happens Saturday, Sept. 15 and Sunday, Sept. 16. It is the largest natural fiber festival in the area, with vendors making pilgrimages from across the country to sell their handmade fiber items and more, as well as demonstrate their craft and skills. Admission is free.

Start your Wool Gathering journey by visiting the animals responsible for supplying the base material of all the products sold. The livestock tent is a hands-on experience featuring anything from sheep, cashmere goats, Angora rabbits, alpacas, and llamas.

“Last year we had a Mangalica pig, which is a pig from the Himalayas,” Young says. “This one didn’t come from the Himalayas, it came from Cleveland. But they originally came from the Himalayas.” She continues, “I have a gentleman that does sheep shearing on both days. I also have a guy that does duck herding. He brings in his dogs and the dogs herd the ducks into a little pond of water or through a little gate.”

There are a number of demonstrations more traditional to what one would expect at a fiber craft fair: crochet groups, knitters, weavers. Handmade clothing ranges from mittens to sweaters, scarves to socks, and for all ages, sizes, and sexes—even for pets. Not only are the finished products for sale, but the tools to make them yourself at home are also available.

While one might expect the venue to be teeming with mid- to senior-aged women, the Gathering is actually geared towards all ages, men and women.

“I try to have something for everybody,” Young says. “I have guys that come for the alpaca socks, I have a guy that sells belts. I have a lot of guys that buy presents for wives and girlfriends for the holidays and birthdays. And the little kids…they have all sizes of kids clothes up to full size adult clothes. I have a lady that does cards, watercolor cards so she makes Christmas and birthday cards. I have a lady that does pottery. So it covers them all.”

Particularly for the kids is Children’s book author and photographer David Fitzsimmons, who penned such titles as “Curious Critters” and “Wakem the Rooster.”

“[David] comes down on both days,” Young says, “and he does storytelling for the kids. I have to check myself because I should be walking around checking on the vendors, but I’m mesmerized by him. He’s a retired professor at Ashland and he’s just really good.”

Food will also be a-plenty at the Gathering. Not only is Young’s Dairy very near the artsy craftsy hub of the Miami Valley—Yellow Springs—full of an eclectic consortment of restaurants and eateries, but Youngs’ own food truck (Young’s on the Move) will be out and cooking, and the dairy store and restaurant will also be open. A picnic area with tables and chairs should more than suit hungry gatherers looking for a place to sit for a bite.

While Young’s Dairy does allow pets on the premises, Young encourages pet owners to leave their four-legged friends behind for this event.

“I can’t say no pets allowed because we allow pets at Young’s,” she says. “But I want people to be very respectful of the vendors if they bring animals. They have a lot of finished products hanging on mannequins, baskets of yarn might be on the ground. If a dog lifts its leg … that’s not a good situation. Ideally, I highly recommend people leave their pets at home.”

Further, the animals in the livestock tent are herded animals, so they are intimidated by dogs. Pets by no means will be allowed in the livestock tent.

Any and all others, however, are encouraged to come to the Wool Gathering.

“It’s a phenomenal event that vendors have created with just about anything you can possibly imagine that is handmade,” Young says, “and they’ve put their heart and soul into it. They love it. The look on their faces when you talk to them about their products—they are a very gifted, unique group of people that have a talent they are excited to show off.”

Support them, and Young’s at this 23rd annual fall kickoff event.

The Wool Gathering at Young’s Dairy happens Saturday, Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 6880 Springfield-Xenia Rd., Yellow Springs. For more information including a full list of vendors with links to websites and email addresses, visit youngsdairy.com/wool-gathering or call 937.325.0629.

Tags: ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Got an Opinion?

YourOpinionMatters

We are interested to hear what you think.  Please send us a message. [contact-form 4 “Opinion”]  

No Jet Engines Here

20

The very first thing is to learn how to pronounce it. No rhyming with the home of Baylor University in […]

Debate 9/11: Let’s Make Tammany Hall Great Again

cartoon cmyk

Third Parties have long complained that having the two major parties in charge of the election process gives Republicans and […]

LFD8N

3-_MG_2637

No music and arts festival would truly be complete without… wrestling, right? Well, this year at Ladyfest Dayton, buckle down […]

Lives-in-progress, demo-style

Juliet7

Right from the start of this Jesse Peretz adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel Juliet, Naked, there’s something warm and unfinished […]

Are ‘Friends” Electric?

hands

Gary Numan’s Savage return to form at CVG’s Bogart’s Gary Numan with daughter Persia, who sings on the new single […]