Kim Eichler-Messmer

Kim Eichler-Messmer

Watkins Woolen Mill!!

I am on spring break and in true spring break fashion I am having a week of heavy drinking, hooking up, getting sunburned, and generally making bad decisions. 
Not really. 
I've never had that kind of spring break. Instead, my parents came to visit and we took a day trip to Watkins Woolen Mill, made homemade ice cream, did some yard work, and went to a winery. That stuff is more my speed.
Anyways, who knew that Watkins Woolen Mill was so cool? Anyone? It is truly a great place to visit and only about 40 minutes north of Kansas City. Watkins Mill is a state park that encompasses a woolen mill (surprise) and Bethany Farm - Waltus Watkins' house, orchard, garden, etc. You can tour the house, grounds, and mill for a very small fee. In my party of four, only I am a fiber nerd. But my parents are good natured and easily entertained and my husband likes anything that is either outside or has to do with history or both. We were all thoroughly impressed and here are pictures to prove how cool Watkins Mill is. Go there. For realz.
This is a sweet red and green log cabin quilt. I think it is wool.

 More red and green in the carpet. Have you ever seen carpet like that? I haven't. Well, now I have.

 They had the same china that my in-laws have. How weird is that? And the tour guide mentioned something about grandma haunting the house. I couldn't tell if she was joking.

 Have you ever seen a turkey up close? They aren't pretty. This one was quite talkative.

 These are giant carding machines for combing the wool fibers into roving. The people who ran the carders were paid the most of anyone in the mill because their job required the most skill and was the most dangerous. You can lose a finger in there.

This is the rear-view of a warping wheel. All of those cones of yarn feed through hooks and then onto a giant wheel that measures the warp before it goes to the loom. 

All of the wool was grown at Watkins Mill, washed, sorted, dyed, spun, plied, skeined, woven, and sold. There was also a great market area that I didn't take pictures of. Sad face.