Thursday, April 14, 2011

Happiness is....two scoops of wool!

I've spend this whole week not knowing what day it is - I missed my Tuesday blogging in part to this cognitive blip and also uploading some video clips from last Saturday's sheep fest.  So here I am.  It is Thursday.  Here you are.  And here is what I know.

Saturday, Mister and I drove out to the Waterloo, IL for the 25th annual Sheep and Craft Festival.  Before I forget, the date for next year has already been set - April 14, 2012.  Monroe County Sheep and Craft Festival

It was a lovely drive and Google maps gave us a bit of a run around, but we used some logic and figured it out.  Both Mister and I grew up driving rural mid-west roads and have a bit of a knack for it.  We arrived early as I had been well advised that vendors sell out often before the 11 o'clock hour.

As you can see from the picture, we had a perfect day.  It was warm with the sun, but a cool spring breeze kept it very pleasant.  We spent a good deal of time watching the herding demonstration (video below).  I miss herding with a border collie, having worked at it a few years back.  I am not willing to live with such a dog currently, so no pitter patter of BC feet anytime soon.

We headed to the barn to look at vendor tables.  I had finally resolved by Friday afternoon that I was going to make the plunge and purchase a fleece.  Yep.  That's right.  I emailed a local spinner from my spinner's group and sought her advice.  So in the barn, I headed to the table and found a lovely bag of 2 1/4 lb of Merino/Border Leicester cross fleece.  The fleece is lovely and should wash to be a light gray.  So I've ordered fleece scour liquid and a pair of wool hand cards (so much for my holding off, huh?).  I'm beyond excited about my fleece.  It is quite greasy with the natural lanolin from the sheep, but the sheep was covered (aka she wore a coat to protect her wool from too much vegetable matter).  I'm looking forward to washing fleece this weekend and starting to process it.  I'll probably do samples to see how I want to prepare it for spinning.

I also purchased some prepared Romney lamb's fiber - 6 oz in a natural color.  It is lovely soft and bouncy.  I don't have a plan for it yet, but I've never spun Romney before so it needed to get added to my stash.

Mister and  I had a grand time at the festival.  We ate an incredible lunch of lamb chops and brats.  Enjoyed watching demonstrations, talking to people and just enjoying a glorious spring day.

Some of the sights:
Katahdin Hair Sheep

Shetland ewe and lamb

  Mama llama and baby with two alpaca friends

Sheep for "Sheep Pellet Bingo"

Sheep Shearing:

The sheep was nicked during sheering, which you'll see at the end.  The shearer shook his head after and said that he didn't do such a good job on this one.  Oops.

Herding demo clip:

My camera card was too full to capture the end of the herding, but they did get the sheep in the pen.

Coming up next week: 
Large spinning update: Mister's sock yarn, my sock yarn and the start of a new spinning project.  On the needles - finishing up a project.  Have a great weekend everyone.

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