It is impossible to do justice in words to the many wonders of MacAusland’s Woollen Mills in Bloomfield, PEI. But I will try. At least a little.
MacAusland’s has been producing woollen blankets since 1932. And they do produce these blankets. From scratch. They take raw wool, card and spin it, then weave blankets from the thread. These are blankets that will last forever. They are soft and warm and so unlike what most people think of as a woollen blanket (scratchy, rough, etc.) as to be a breed apart.
A visit to the factory in Bloomfield is an experience in itself. There is no “factory tour” — you just walk right in the side door and are immediately in the midst of all of the amazing belt-driven machinery used to produce blankets. You are free to poke in and around anywhere, and there are no “warning, don’t go here” signs at all (note: as a result, of course, you should watch where you step, and where your young children stick their arms/noses/legs).
Walk up the steep wooden stairs to the “showroom” and you can select from a wide array of blankets in different colours and sizes, as well as a good select of yarn.
When you buy a blanket (and you should buy a blanket), it will be wrapped in paper and tied with string. They will ship anywhere.
This week or next, or the one after that, you cannot do wrong to take the afternoon off and drive up to Bloomfield. It’s about an hour and a half from Charlottetown, just past the O’Leary turn, right on Route 2. You can stop in Kensington at the Frosty Treat on the way up for an ice cream, and at the Richmond Dairy Bar on the way back for another.