Monday, September 8, 2008

Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival

On Saturday, Pipsqueak and I went to the Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival in Essex Junction. I've been going for the past four years and Pipsqueak has joined me the last two. We enjoy it for the same reasons: seeing and touching the animals, and touching all that soft yarn and fiber. I certainly don't go to buy anything since my stash will probably outlive me, but I go to get inspiration (which usually does result in a purchase).
We started the day with a free kid workshop, which involved stuffing wool roving in a grape vine ball. Roving is washed and sometimes dyed fleece. The balls can be hung on a Christmas tree, or hung from a branch outside so birds can pick fleece from it for their nests.

Pipsqueak made friends with a llama. This one had just done an obstacle course. I love llamas. They have beautiful eyes, and the sweetest hum. Their coat is the softest thing I've ever felt. It really makes me want to snuggle them.

I was trying to take a photo of baby Diego and his mom, but Belle kept sticking her snout in my shot until I gave up and included her. Belle's owner says she knows a camera when she sees one. Llamas are so smart.

How about this purple goat?! I've never heard of dying the fleece while it's still on the animal. She wasn't being a cooperative model by turning her backside to me. I hope she wasn't humiliated by her purpleness.

We watched a little sheep herding. Border collies are amazing to watch. The herding instinct is so strong, and they obviously love their work. A friend of ours owns and trains them. A few weeks ago, she came to visit us with six of her dogs. They are so well trained that it was a pleasure having them here.
There was a sheep shearing demonstration. The sheep may look relaxed, but it's actually playing dead along the lines of, "If you think I'm already dead, maybe you won't try to eat me."

Pipsqueak got to try her hand at spinning and succeeded at making some nice lumpy yarn, which is no worse than I could do. I marvel at these spinners making fine even yarn.

My favorite vendor (and the one that got all my money) was the Bagsmith. First I tried these size 50 knitting needles that were 20 inches long and used six strands of yarn. They also have 40 inch long needles. You can knit multi-strands of yarn or roving. They make some beautiful rugs and wall hangings, which I hope to try someday. I bought a little purse kit and a french doll kit. They were evil temptresses with all their beautiful purse kits, embellishments, silk cocoons and storage units.


She sure is strange! said...

Just found your blog by way of CAP! I LOVE it!!!! Can't wait to see your kale soup recipe!


Kitt said...

What a fun day!

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