Last week I had a guest in my felting workshop - a vibrant woman Ruta from “Barono vila” homestead in Anyksciai district. Not only Ruta brought some great wool, which inspired me to design new slippers, but also told a lot about the place where she lives, surrounded by wild deers and does, and got me interested in visiting her after Christmas when the madness of giftsmaking, wrapping and sending to you worldwide will end.
Back in 2010, Ruta’s husband Petras started to grow deers and does in their luxurious lithuanian homestead. Wild animals were kept for breeding and demonstration while their meat was used in villa to cook for their guests. As of now, you can get a comfortable accommodation, dinner and breakfast in their place, participate in educations and watch how wild animals interact in their natural environment so if you choose to spend holiday in Lithuania, consider to visit them too.
In 2012 Ruta’s family started another activity: to grow sheep of an old Gotland breed, which originated in Sweden and up until now is rare in Lithuania. Gotland sheep are known for being black-headed, having no horns, very short tails and interacting with humans with particular friendliness and curiosity. They were recognized worldwide after “Lord of the Rings” saga shown up since cloaks of little hobbits were made from their wool.
Speaking of which, (yes, I never forget wool) Gotland sheep has soft, silky hair with a subtle gloss, which can’t be eliminated even after strongest dye. Because of the diversity of natural grey shades, no wonder why it is popular among eco-friendly felting community. When I’ve seen the amazing material Ruta brought me, I immediately started to imagine cute and curly Bure Bure slippers collection. Some of new examples are already finished, check them out - Little Lamb Organic wool kids slippers and Booties for children!