Two weeks ago, I attended the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival in Jefferson, WI. I wasn't really looking for anything in particular, and I was overwhelmed by all the yarns and fibers ... Wow! So many colors and textures and possibilities!
At the show I only purchased a couple of things :
1) a ball of Polworth fiber for spinning into yarn. This was so soft, it felt like Merino--but heavier. I'd never heard of Polworth before. Turns out, it is a derivative of Merino wool. Nice stuff!
2) a threading hook for my spinning wheel with a nice wooden handle
3) a couple of stick shuttles for weaving
Here's what I saw on display :
* Beautiful Rag Rugs
* Wonderful cloak / shawl pins with a little bling very reasonably priced -- I wished I had purchased one, but didn't get back to that stand.
* Beautiful handspun yarn in blues with silver. $45 a skein. Expensive, and I didn't have a project in mind for it when I saw it -- but I did the next day, back at home, and too far away to go back and get it. Rats!
I was looking for Patty Reedy of Rainbow Fleece Farm -- according to the show catalog, they were indeed there, but I didn't see them. When I first started spinning nearly 20 years ago, I got some of her fiber. It has a sparkle and a sheen (luster) I haven't seen in other fleece. Really! I'm wondering what her Fiber looks like now after 20 more years of breeding and genetics. At that time, she told me she was a Fiber Arts person, and realized she needed to breed sheep in order to get the fiber she wanted. Amen!
A few stands were actually selling bags of raw fleece -- I was tempted, but I knew I had 2-3 bags at home -- washed and waiting to be carded. I see a carding day in my near future ...
I bought the new threading hook and stick shuttles at Mielke's Fiber Arts --- So I stuck with the vendors I was familiar with.
I did keep the catalog as a future reference. Lots of good information within -- and one worth keeping.
They offered lots of classes, too. Now I wish I would have signed up to attend some of them ...
How to hand-spin your own fancy yarn, for one. There's always next year!