Aug 23

So, Sandy and I went to Michigan Fiber Festival to get people hooked on lovely fiber in breeds of sheep they have never tried before.

Saturday morning was busy from the minute the festival opened at 9AM until a little after 1PM when the emergency alerts on everyone’s cell phones and the local tornado sirens went off simultaneously. The PA came on and the announcer said, “There is a tornado warning for Allegan County.  There has been tornado debris sighted in the air southwest of Allegan and the storm is traveling northeast in our direction.  The safest place to take shelter is the restroom building.  Thank you.”

When no one started to leave and continued shopping (and Sandy and I were winding wool and writing up orders as fast as we could wishing we had a third person to help us), the announcer came back on and said, “Let me clarify my earlier announcement.  Tornado.  Go to the bathroom.”  At that point, one person (Sheila from Never Cast Off Podcast) paid for her order but said she’d pick it up later.  Debbie (also from the Never Cast Off Podcast) said she’d pay when she got back.  Then the place cleared out.

Sandy and I took this time to finishing filling the orders left with us, pulled the sold-out sample cards from our sign, and straightened up the mess we had made trying to fill all of the orders.  We kept one eye on the radar and one eye on the weather outside (it was dumping rain), listening for any hail landing on the metal roof above us and seeing if we could feel any change in air pressure, but none of these happened.  The radar showed the storm in a U-shape around Allegan, so we didn’t feel threatened.

Now, you have to know this.  I vividly remember the April 3rd, 1974, tornadoes that clobbered southern Indiana, northeastern Kentucky and southwestern Ohio.  Since then I have been terrified of tornadoes, and any mention of them at home leaves me cowering in the closet under the stairs with one ear plastered to the weather radio.  I have nightmares where armies of tornadoes are chasing me.  But I never once felt fear on Saturday.  I just felt God watching out for us and trusted that feeling.

Unfortunately, the festival pretty much cleared out after the warnings expired.  Those who placed orders with us came and got them, but it was pretty quiet the rest of the day.

Still, Sandy and I sold out of a lot of the spinning fiber we had and there were several holes on the sign where sample cards had been.

IMG_20160821_094106066

See?  This was before Sunday when we took off a few more sold-outs.

I have updated the inventory in the shop, so that is back online.  In a couple of weeks, I hope to pick up some new processed fleeces so we will have more for Yellow Springs the weekend of September 17th and 18th.  Also, we picked up three new fleeces (BFL, Lincolnfolk, and Romney).  I am currently washing the BFL, the Lncolnfolk will be next followed by Polypay and Cormo.  The next three weeks will be very busy washing and skirting fleeces getting them ready to take to Ohio Valley.

And, I will be doing some dyeing!  The BFL I am washing now will be dyed as will the two Polypay fleeces, a couple of Dorset fleeces and maybe a Corriedale or two.  These will be available starting in 2017 for those of you interested in naturally dyed wool to spin.

After the festival was over for the day, Sheila, Debbie, Sandy and I went back to our hotel and, in the little sitting area, recorded the Never Cast Off Podcast and a short section for next The Fiber Pusher Podcast.  That was a lot of fun.  They are great ladies and I hope to do a joint podcast with them again one day.