Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival 2014
This past weekend the Giant, Horace and I bundled ourselves into our car and headed east in search of all things wooly. Our destination, the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival. Our goal(s) to see some sheep, to acquire some fiber, and lastly to have a good time. I can safely say mission accomplished.
Our escapades at the festival were a bit briefer than last year, but we still managed to see a lot. First we headed to the hall of breeds (well technically our first thing was to meet up with a friendly face, but more on that later.) Of course Horace was interested in seeing his brethren and so we wandered and viewed all the different kinds of sheep that were present. Unfortunately there were far fewer than last year, but we were early enough that I have to wonder if that was the reason. Despite that we still had fun. Clockwise from the top right side: These little sheep are known as baby-dolls and supposedly they get no bigger than this, and man were they ever adorable. Next we have a Rambouillet sheep, the big guy (whose back side you see in this photo) had some truly magnificent horns, but alas he seemed to be a bit camera-shy.
In the bottom left we have some sheep that I believe are Cormo (but I could be completely wrong) anyway they were a bit timid and eyed Horace with some skepticism. At the top left, we have Horace who wanted to take a break later in the morning. ( I love sheep and wool festivals, because this was one of those very few times that no one seemed to mind that I was taking photos of a stuffed sheep.)
I should note our grand adventure was not completed alone, along the way we met up with our lady Marja. You may remember her as a key member in Horace’s fan club. She and I walked around and while I would have had a fun time regardless, having a fellow fiber person present made the experience about fifty times better.
Marja can be seen here testing out a lovely (and giant/heavy) spindle. The spindle is a thing of beauty let me tell you. Suffice it to say Horace had to check it out as well.
The one thing I do have to say about Marja is that she can be a wicked influence when it comes to purchases. That lady has a great eye for color and she helped me pick out some lovely fiber, although it was so out of my usual palette that I think even the Giant was a bit shocked (in a good way of course.)
Speaking of fiber there were a few purchases made this year (and I am sure you are all thinking, well duh…) I did make a point to try to branch out and only pick up fiber that was new to me, either in type or color. And guys? I manged to do pretty well.
From the upper right corner (working clockwise again.) The first is not only a brightly colored 4 ounces, but it is Rambouillet. Purchased at the Fiber Curio and Sundries booth. They had a variety of lovelies available, but this caught my eye and just begged to come home with me.
The next one was a lovely (and discounted) Polwarth (another new to me breed) mash-up. The color is discontinued, and I bought it in part because it reminds me of a muppet. Purchased at the River’s Edge Fiber Arts booth.
The next was a little less of a departure, but gorgeous none the less; it is a lovely 4 ounces of merino and the photo is not doing the colors enough justice. I bought from this vendor, Snokist Farm Girl, last year and loved it so much that I knew it was going to be on my list. The biggest problem I faced was which color to choose. You know me I am a sucker for purple.
The top left, was the big one, my first purchase of the day, and a key factor in acquiring the other bright colors. (Major points go to Marja for not only finding this braid, but actually finding two and not keeping them both to herself.) This lovely, lovely braid is four ounces of bright and sparkly colors, in the, oh-so-dear-to-my-heart BFL. It took all I had not to snatch most of their colors in this stuff up. The vendor, Yarn Geek Fibers, has definitely made my list to watch.
My last fiber purchase to show you is one that I have been coveting for the last year. I saw the fiber at the last Iowa Sheep and Wool festival and while I debated (and waited too long to pick up last year) I was keeping a clear eye out for it this year. It came from River’s Edge Fiber Arts and I almost completely missed it. I had given up hope of finding the vendor (thanks in small part to the fact that I left my list at home.) And so I felt doomed to wander around looking in vain. Nope, I purchased the muppet fiber and just happened to glance over and spied the little bin of the stuff. I could hardly believe my luck. The fiber? 2 ounces of 100% Rose. Yes you read that right, Roses. I believe it comes from the stems (and is dyed) but yeah Roses. The stuff is soft, oh so soft. Now for me this was a bit of a luxury purchase, but I figured after a year of wanting it, I knew I would enjoy it. If only I can convince myself to spin it up.
Lastly, but definitely not least(ly), I made one more purchase for the day. I mentioned in my last post that I was looking for a new drop spindle and after surveying the various vendors, I came across one that just had to be mine. Meet the newest addition to our little spinning family.
1.6 ounces of pure love. (The tiny ball of singles is from the car ride home, yeah I didn’t wait long to break it in, you can’t tell me you wouldn’t do the same. It’s the muppet yarn for those that might be wondering.)
So how was your weekend?