Kentucky Sheep & Wool Festival

Yesterday, Sandy, her 87-year-old mom, Jane, and I drove down to the Kentucky Sheep & Wool Festival in Lexington.  It was a perfect day to go to a fiber fair.  It was sunny, warm (mid 80’s) with a slight breeze to keep things from getting too stifling.

This is the second year for the fiber portion of the fair and those who were there last year said it was at least double the size, so it is growing.  The nicest thing about this show was the quality of the vendors.  There was none of that “flea market” feel (as quoted by Sandy) where people set up booths to sell things that don’t even remotely have to do with fiber or fiber animals.  There was one guy who was in a booth promoting soybeans.  I told him if he wanted to really get people’s attention at a fiber fair, he should have soysilk samples to give away, not BBQ spices.  His was the one booth there that had nothing to do with fiber.

There was one main building, one main mongo tent (pictured above), plus a few other smaller tents.  There were lambs, sheep, bunnies, llamas and alpacas for sale.  There was a sheep herding trial associated with this fair, and there were the most beautiful Border Collies all over the place.

One observation I made was the sheer quantity of alpaca fiber available.  I’d almost say that alpaca made up half of what you saw there.  I had never seen anything like it.

I ended up buying a handwoven rug to go under my Harrisville loom so it wouldn’t scratch up my hardwood floor, some shuttles for students, some yarn, a quart of raw honey (for the morning oatmeal I make for a co-worker – I serve only the best ingredients I can get) and a couple cones of 5/2 cotton.  And a fleece.  You really didn’t think Sandy and I would get away from a fiber fair without at least one fleece.  It is the most beautiful Romney fleece – lots of luster and a sweet crimp structure that I can’t wait to get onto my wheel.  I think it will end up as July’s Fiber Binder Club selection.

Sometimes the best things, though, happen by accident.  I was taking some pictures of a small group of lambs, but being lambs, they were very active and most of the pictures came out blurry.  I hate it that most digital camera have that moment of hesitation between you pressing the button and the picture actually taking.  By the time the shutter “clicks” the special moment is gone.  It’s one of the reasons I miss my 35 mm camera so much.

Well.  I got in one lucky shot yesterday.  Check this one out.

I will be saving this one for something special.  Maybe a calendar or something.  But I do know I will be printing it out and framing it for my studio as well.  Look at that sweet face and that smile.  I’d loved to have brought this little fellow home with me, but…  oh well…  He moved into position not when I pressed the button on my camera, but when the shutter actually did its thing.  Luck, luck, luck, luck, LUCK!  No skill on the photographer’s part at all.

And a friend of mine, who we ran into quite by accident, had three skeins in the skein competition and she won two firsts and a second on them.  There was much hugging and congratulations going on there.  The really special thing about this is that I taught her how to spin.  She bought my Kromski wheel from me and I went to her apartment a couple of times a month for several months for tea, cookies and spinning lessons.  She picked it up very quickly, and now she has her own business selling her handspun yarns.  I am very proud of her.

We had a great day there, and Sandy and I have this one on our list of ones we want to vend at next year.  Wish us luck that we can create enough product to make this dream a reality.

5 Responses

  1. Cindy in FL Says:

    Precious picture! I hope things work out so you can vend at this show next year! What a great plan.

  2. Leigh Says:

    I agree about digital cameras. And about the soy! Sounds like a perfect day. I too hope it works out for you and Sandy next year.

  3. Judy Says:

    It sounds like a great fiber festival to attend!

  4. Sharon Says:

    I’ve only attended a couple of fiber festivals but they’re been pretty much what you said worth going. I’m so impressed that Sandy’s mother went!

  5. Deb Whited Says:

    I am on the planning committee for the KY Sheep and Fiber Festival, and was a “vendor” as well (I hsd the Angora rabbits). I’m SO glad you and your mother had a good time at the festival – and thank you for supporting the vendors! That way they will come back!
    By way of explanation about the soybeans… It is a KY Fiber and Food Festival. Minoring on the food end so far, to be sure, but promoting KY farmers and food products. We call it “Kentucky Proud.” That logo appears on KY-produced food items. I bought a quart of honey from the bee guy too (and he didn’t have anything fiber!). Please don’t hesitate to e-mail our website with feedback – what you liked, what you didn’t, what you would like to see in the future. I hope you will come to visit with us again next year! (The lamb photo is definitely Tanglewood Farms – blog Sheep Dreams – and I think it is of the famous Luna herself!)

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