Tag Archives: woolapalooza



While we can’t gather in person to celebrate our favorite fiber-festival of the year, we hope you can still join us virtually to learn more about the story from sheep-to-sweater, shop local fiber vendors, and enjoy some of our favorite Woolapalooza moments through the years.

In Massachusetts, sheep are raised on small family farms in flocks of varying sizes, ranging from a few ewes up to about 400 on the largest sheep farm. Sheep do well on Massachusetts land and require very little labor to produce a quality product that fits well with the New England climate. They’re also considered good for the environment and can help improve the ecosystem when managed with sustainable agriculture principles. Sheep are the perfect tool for controlling weeds and brush, helping land managers avoid mechanical and chemical means of control. They work so well that corporate and government land managers have adopted or hired flocks to help in reforested areas, watersheds, ski slopes and under power lines. You’ll often see our sheep in different fields throughout the year, doing their part to keep the pastures free of over-growth.

The Sheep-to-Sweater Process

Each year, master sheep shearer Kevin performs our shearing, removing each sheep’s wool with large hand-held shears. The wool is removed in one piece, called a fleece. Sheep are usually shorn in the spring, when they can survive without their warm coat. The fleece is then spread out and skirted, a process that removes large pieces of soiled wool, hay, etc. Each fleece weighs 8-14 pounds fresh off the sheep, and a 10-pound fleece might weigh only half that after it’s washed to remove the lanolin and soil!

After the fleece is washed, it’s then carded, which involves combing the clean, dry wool to straighten the fibers. Every wool fiber is a molecular coil-spring covered with microscopic scales. The springiness of the individual fibers can be seen in the curliness of a sheep’s fleece.  

The carded wool can then be spun on a wheel, where the fibers are drawn out and twisted together to form yarn. Wool clothing is highly durable, easily dyeable, breathable and temperature regulating, resists wrinkles and retains shape, flame resistant, and naturally water repellent. It truly is an amazing fiber!

Shop Fiber Vendors

Please support our amazing local fiber vendors who annually make Woolapalooza such a special event:

Our Favorite Woolapalooza Moments

Wool Crafts at Home

Get hands-on with wool and learn something new! Try out these step-by-step tutorials on wool-based crafts:

Lambing & Kidding Updates

As lambing and kidding season begins, so far we have had two baby goats and one lamb arrive on the farm. Like and follow our Facebook and Instagram pages for more updates as the season progresses!

Woolapalooza: Everyone’s Favorite Fiber Festival

This past weekend we enjoyed another successful celebration of sheep and their wooly contributions to the way we live. Woolapalooza, Drumlin Farm’s annual springtime festival, connects our visitors to the Sheep-to-Sweater story through live demonstrations, hands-on activities, and visits to our resident sheep.

At the Crossroads Barn, visitors got to witness live sheep shearing done by our season’s expert Kevin Ford.

Sharpening the shearing scissors

It’s sometimes hard to tell where the sheep ends and it’s thick wool coat begins, but this ain’t Kevin’s first sheep haircut.

On the Sheep-to-Sweater Interpretative Trail, families followed along a trail of tables set up with different interactive aspects of wool processing.

Getting a closer look at the wool carders.

This hand-cranked carding machine turns larger clumps of wool into smooth fibers ready for spinning.

The first of many foot-powered spinning wheels shows how piles of wool are spun into yarn.

Visitors were invited to explore our regular exhibits, making their way through the Farm Loop with other crafts and vendor tables set up, and a chili lunch at the Farm Life Center.

Hand made yarns for sale, continuing to be made while you browse.

Thank you to all of our volunteers, vendors, and sponsors Iggy’s Bread, Whole Foods Sudbury, Black Earth Compost, and Verrill Farm, for their help in creating another fun filled day! See you at Woolapalooza 2019!

Drumlin Farm Friday to Friday: March 25–April 1

Bobolink snow AD

There’s only one more week left in March! With more than a dozen lambs born, Daylight Saving Time beginning, the first day of spring, and a mini storm under our belts (on the second day of spring, of course), March has definitely kept us on our toes here at the farm.

Keep an eye out for our series programs, which start in just a couple of weeks! In the meantime, here’s what’s coming up this Friday to Friday:

Friday, March 25

Egg-citement (Waitlist)
10–11:30 am, 3:30–5 pm | Ages 2+ w/Adult
Come and celebrate the arrival of spring with an Egg Fest.  We will meet, greet and take care of chickens, examine eggs, and use natural materials to dye an egg to take home.

Saturday, March 26

Woolapalooza (Special Event)
10 am–4 pm | All ages
Celebrate the coming of spring at our annual festival featuring fiber, food, and fun! Bask in the beauty of Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, the perfect setting to delight in all things sheep.

Wednesday, March 30

Working with wool (2 classes)
6:30–9 pm | Adults
We will work with one of our raw fleeces—cleaning, carding, and dyeing—to get the wool ready to use. We will also explore spinning and felting.

Thursday, March 31

Thursday Morning Bird Walk
Join us as we explore Drumlin Farm and other local hot spots in search of late-winter and early-spring migrants. Registration is not required to attend. Call 781-259-2200 ext. 2473 on Wednesday, March 30, for more details on the exact location and time of the walk.

Check out more programs here.