Last weekend our team of Swag Bag Stuffers and Pony Express Riders got your cool bags put together, bundled by shop, and then delivered to all but three of the LYSs along your route. The only three left were all up in our Far North region: Pendleton Ranch, Cynthia’s Corner, and Quixotic Fibers. As it happens, Pendleton Ranch was already on my list to visit before the Crawl Proper, so that I could get a preview of what you can expect when you visit. So yesterday, Assistant Wrangler Victoria and I headed up I-35 for our own little mini-adventure.
Pendleton Ranch was first along our way, and I’m excited to tell you, it’s all I expected and more. Kathy and Ron have a lovely small fiber and meat
farm that is warm, attractive, and easy to find. Navigation really couldn’t be easier. Traveling north, take I-35 to Exit 491 and continue north on the service road. Stay on the service road until you come to CR 218 and turn right. About 1000 feet on, turn right onto their long gravel driveway and you’re there. If you’re coming from the north, take Exit 491 and cross over I-35 to the northbound service road (actually the service road is two-way, but go north). Turn right when you come to CR 218, travel about 1000 feet to their driveway on the right. Parking areas will be marked.
The Ranch is dotted with outbuildings, a modest house, a cool studio (pictured above) and a beautiful wooden barn. Sheep, chickens, alpacas, turkeys, pigs and a small garden keep Kathy and Ron busy every day. Kathy raises CVM sheep — California Variegated Mutants–and is the only breeder of this special sheep in the state. It’s a weird name for a lovely breed of colored sheep, as her wool and yarns clearly show. The couple also raise meat animals with kindness and integrity, and have meat available for sale in addition to their fiber.
NOTE: If the idea of meat animals disagrees with you, it might be better to pass up this destination. If, on the other hand, you appreciate the raising of meat animals in a loving and humane environment, you will love this family farm.
Next, we traveled a bit further up I-35 to Gainesville proper, to Cynthia’s Corner, to visit with Cynthia herself. She has just stocked up with a lovely and bountiful selection of cotton yarns, selected specifically for stitchers making Knitted Knockers for cancer surgery patients. I’m calling her the Cotton Queen now! In addition, she’s excited about a line of yarns specially dyed for her by a craftswoman in Arkansas — the color way is called Cynthia’s Iris, and was inspired by flowers in Cynthia’s own garden. This yarn comes in several different fibers and weights. When you’re at Cynthia’s, don’t forget to grab some amazing tacos at Shorty’s — the food truck across the street. Oscar is an artist with Tex-Mex.
We rounded out our northern tour with a visit with Carla and Curtis at Quixotic Fibers. In addition to all the usual luxury goodness, Carla is now dyeing her own yarn bases in some truly intense colors. During the Crawl she’ll host Petra Breakstone (Yarnz2Go) on August 27, so that would be a fun day to drop by. Also during the Crawl you can call for a quick appointment to have your measurements taken for CustomFit, an amazing software program by Amy Herzog that turns any pattern into a custom-made-for-you pattern! It seems I got caught fondling Carla’s “What the Fade” kits. Victoria hugs Stella the mascot sheep on the sidewalk.
So, as you plan your Crawling, do not neglect the Northern Kingdom. There is gorgeousness to be had, and Winter is Coming.