Looking for some locally made Christmas gifts, something a little different? Perhaps you would like to get out of the city for the day and miss the craziness at the malls. Calgary has several great places located north of the city which feature lovely woolen products. Travel north towards Carstairs and follow the signs.
The Rockies from Carstairs
PaSu Farm ia a working sheep farm and has a great boutique and restaurant. Shop in their boutique which sells a range of moccasins, fine wool fashions, sheepskin coats, hides, blankets and other products, made locally and from around the world. You can then enjoy a meal in their restaurant, with a view of the Rockies on a sunny day. The farm is located north of Calgary a short distance west of Queen Elizabeth Highway, off Secondary Highway 580, with lots of signs to lead you there.
As Joyce Donaldson-Yarmey suggests in her book, Back Roads of Southern Alberta, think about alternatives to Highway #2 and take Highway 2A or some of the other back routes. This is a great way to see more interesting countryside. Check out titles such as these at Calgary Public Library to find out about the roads less travelled in southern Alberta:
Day Trips From Calgary by Bill Corbett
Country Roads of Alberta by Liz Bryan
Of course, you can also borrow maps from the library as well, such as the Calgary and Southern Alberta Street Guide (2009).
Custom Woolen Mills is another great place to visit and shop. They produce woolen and exotic fiber products, such as carded wools, rovings, spinning balls, batts, wool yarns, knitting kits, socks, comforters, mattress pads and hand-woven blankets. Not only are the products produced on-site, but this is a working museum, using industrial revolution machinery. Take time to do the self-guided tour. According to their web site, they are only open 9:00 - 3:00, Monday to Friday. Go north on Highway 2, turn east at Highway 582 and follow the signs.