With dozens of people watching from the alley in a new barn at their Homespun Holiday promotion on Nov. 17, Bleating Heart Haven owners Cindy Ellenbecker and John Rezachek demonstrated the basics of processing the wool sheared from their animals of various species.
Wool from a fleece shorn from a sheep by Rezachek that day was used to show the carding, straightening, spinning, and weaving steps that are needed before the material can be used for making various pieces of clothing and other items.
For the sake of time during the special event, the washing and dyeing steps were not carried out.
A special guest for the day was Wisconsin's 65th Alice in Dairyland Rochelle Ripp. With guidance from Rezachek and Ellenbecker, she tried her hand at all of the steps, which including the manipulation of equipment designed for the tasks for turning wool into yarn.
The couple spent much of the summer recovering from a Sunday, June 24, fire that destroyed their converted dairy barn, which provided housing and feed storage for their animals.
They thanked Cleary Buildings representative Bill Quinette of Greenville for the company's quick construction of a new barn.
Bleating Heart Haven is the home of 60 sheep, alpaca, and goats - all of which spend much of their time in grass paddocks on the property.
Because the large animals were outside at the time, the only animals lost in the fire were three German Angora rabbits. The rabbits that perished have been replaced by a quartet named Klaus, Ludwig, Fritz and Emil.
With the use of goat milk, Ripp christened the new building in a brief ceremony at the conclusion of the kickoff promotion for the start of the holiday shopping season at Bleating Heart's craft shop.
Hours at the Bleating Heart's craft shop are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 23).
The business has a website at www.bleatinghearthaven.com. The phone number is 920-286-0971. The hobby farm address is W1993 Thede Road northwest of New Holstein to the west from Highway 57.
In conjunction with first Homespun Holiday, area vendors of coffee, wine, goat cheese and soap, lamb meat, oil paintings, handbags, glass jewelry, and photography had booths at the event.
A second Homespun Holiday is scheduled at Bleating Heart Haven on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013.