The Fiber Event – Greencastle, Indiana

The weather in parts of Indiana has been pretty brutal lately.  Parts of the state got 4-6 inches of rain Thursday and Thursday night and the flooding has been really bad.  Boone and Tipton Counties northwest of Indianapolis have been particularly hard hit, but they aren’t the only areas to suffer flooding.  Driving southwest of Indianapolis to Greencastle, Indiana, on I-70, I saw fields flooded like I have never seen before.  I was able to take some pictures on the way back to Indianapolis Friday late afternoon, and again Saturday morning going back to The Fiber Event.




What you are looking at here was taken Friday.  The deep divide between the interstate sides in this area are completely filled with water, and beyond the other side of the interstate, there is water as far as the eye can see.  Folks, this is not a lake you are seeing, but farm fields, and the water was deep enough that there were little whitecaps as the wind blew across it.  Mill Creek, as one example, was completely out of it banks and there was no way that small creek could handle that amount of water.




And it went on for miles.  I spoke with a shepherd friend yesterday (Robin who owns the East Fresians that is part of the Fiber Binder Club) and she told about a gentleman trying to get to her house Friday to pick up some of her ewes that she had for sale, and he kept running into roads blocked with water and kept calling her to find another way to her house.  He was supposed to be there at noon, and it was 6:30 before he could get there.


By the time we left the Fiber Event around 4 yesterday (Saturday) afternoon, the flooding had started to recede, and some of the fields were starting to look like fields once again, but there was still lots and lots of standing water everywhere.


It is understood, that no matter how nice the weather is before or after, the weekend of The Fiber Event will have rain, cold temperatures and, probably, snow.  Thursday was around 80 degrees, and it was in the 30’s on Friday.  Yesterday, the sun came out and it was in the 30’s and 40’s.  Still cold, though.  We woke up yesterday morning to see snow laying on the ground in sheltered areas.  One thing that will never bore you in Indiana is the weather, that is for sure!


Now to get to the main subject of this blog post – The Fiber Event!


This is a very well run fiber show and there are vendors from all over.  Also, there are lots of people selling raw fleeces, which is like a drug to some of us hand spinners.  In fact, our friend, Robin Jones of Knuckle-Heads Farm as mentioned above, has 75 sheep and has already sold all of her fleeces.  Besides East Fresian, she has Lincolns, too.  Ruth and Alison of Westfield Woolies brought their absolutely wonderful Cormo, Border Leicester and cross fleeces as well as some Cormo top and they were selling things left and right.  If anyone wants a lovely Cormo fleece that will wash up to be bright white and as soft as can be, get in touch with Ruth and say you want Jack’s fleece if it is still available.  If Sandy and I hadn’t already spent our allotment of fleece money for the day and didn’t have dibs on everything she is taking to the state fair this year, Jack’s fleece would have come home with us.  It is everything you want in a Cormo fleece.


Friday, I bought a 6 lb Romeldale fleece (black) for the Fiber Binder Club.  When I walked past Cascade Farm’s booth (they always bring lots of lovely fleeces), this particular fleece caught my eye.  Lovely, fine crimp, deep black, and very strong, it yelled out my name and I bought it for the Fiber Binder Club.  You members have something to look forward in this, let me tell you!!!


While at the fair, I ran into lots and lots of people I know and got and gave lots and lots of hugs.  One person I really enjoyed running into was Liz, whom I taught to spin a couple of years ago.  Since then, she has quit her job, moved to Bloomington and is studying archeology and anthropology with an emphasis in prehistoric textiles. I am a little green with envy on that, because I find that subject very fascinating and I cannot wait to hear more about what she has learned.


She and a friend with her mentioned seeing a fleece they thought was special, and they lead me to Cascade Farm’s booth to show me a gorgeous, shiny, silver-gray Border Leicester fleece.  She wanted my opinion on it, so I tested it for strength, checked it for vegetation (none), second cuts (none), and the consistency of the fleece (perfect).  The price was very good, so I told her she ought to get it.  Since she is now on a student’s budget, it was a hard decision for her, but I told her I would help her wash it and show her how to flick open the locks and spin it and she caved.




Here she is with her prize.  Look at that fleece!  And, yes, Liz is talking, but that is pretty normal, and she and I don’t shut up when we get around one another.  I can hardly wait to show get her going with this fleece.


Also, on Friday afternoon, I met up with Sara Dunham of Punkin’s Patch and picked up Graham’s fleece.  That big BFL boy makes a beautiful fleece and I have it ear-marked for the Fiber Binder Club as well.  It’s just too pretty not to share it.


Another fleece I came home with is a newly developing breed called Dor Galen, which is a cross between Horned Dorset and Scottish Blackface.  Dave and Loraine Haxton are developing this breed and the fleece I have is a yearling fleece from their third generation.  It is going to be a pleasure to wash it up and test spin.  Also, I want to test it in knitting, weaving and see how it takes color.  And what does Dor Galen stand for?  Well, it is Elvish for Green Acres.  I love it and it cracked me up!!!


Yesterday, Sandy and I saw the fleeces being readied for judging and we saw a couple of fleeces that we were interested in.  One was a lovely gray Romney with a great sheen on it and a nice, even crimp structure.  Sandy also fell in love with a carmel-colored Shetland lamb fleece and we both drooled over a bright-white Shetland fleece.  The judge introduced herself (she usually judges at NAILE (North American International Livestock Exposition) in Lousiville, Kentucky)) so getting her to judge here was great!


judging romney


She went over each fleece carefully and here she is judging the Romney I wanted.  Not all of the fleeces were for sale, but this Romney was.


Sandy and I watched her judge all of the fleeces, taking in what she said about them all, and learning as much as we could.  At this point, Sandy and I are pretty good judges of the breeds we know best, but there are many more breeds out there we haven’t come in contact with, yet, and the more we learn, the better at buying we will be.


2nd place Romney


In the end, the three fleeces we liked all came in second place (I liked the Romney that came in first, but it wasn’t the color I was looking for) and


judging sheet romney


the Romney I liked came in a close second with 55 out of 60 possible points awarded to it.  It was owned by 3L&S Farms, and is from a ewe called Blackout.  So, I went to their booth and bought it from them.  We dropped it off at Ohio Valley Fiber Mill while we were there for processing and will pick it up at the Kentucky Sheep & Fiber Festival next month.  We usually send all of our stuff to Zeilinger’s, but we wanted to see what Ohio Valley could do with it for comparison.


The Shetland lamb fleece that Sandy wanted was going to listed for bidding to be sold to the highest bidder, so Sandy didn’t feel she wanted to deal with that, and the bright-white Shetland fleece wasn’t for sale.


When Sandy and I left the fair for the day and were driving back to I-70 to head back to Indianapolis, we saw this:




This is in front of City Hall and we had to get pictures of it and check it out.  It is a combination of knitting and crocheting and the rainbow of colors were awesome!







I loved how they worked around the shaped of the trucks of this magnolia tree.


night stockings


And they left their calling card.  What fun!!!


Our next show is the Kentucky Sheep & Fiber Festival on May 18th and 19th and we will be there as vendors.  As much fun as these things are, I am really looking forward to it.


3 Responses

  1. Cindy in FL Says:

    What a great weekend!!!! I love the fleeces you got-will look forward to them in the future FBC shipments. So glad you got to meet great people along the way-no surprise there, though! The flooding is terrible-we see it on the news here. Glad you were able to get to the show safely. The yarn bombing is beautiful!!!!
    (Yarn bombing is still in my future!)

  2. Cindy in FL Says:

    PS-I doubted the tree in the yarn bombing was a Magnolia tree because it has such different flowers then mine and that there were no leaves on it when it was blooming-well , you are right , it is a Saucer Magnolia and mine is a Magnolia Grandiflora very different trees but both still magnolias. So now we know! lol

  3. thecrazysheeplady Says:

    It was great seeing you. Enjoyed the festival and the workshop I took! That flooding was CRAZY.

    Graham says “Hay” ;-).

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