2014 Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter and I spent the weekend at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. Even without taking any classes, we had a wonderful time.

We arrived around noon on Friday, after pushing through driving rain that morning. Fortunately, it wasn’t raining in Jefferson, so we were able to pitch our tent right away. Once we got our admission bracelets, we ventured in for lunch. Nothing appealed to us immediately, so we went straight for the ice cream barn. The strawberry sundaes are so good, and only $3!

We took our treat to go watch the sheepdog trials, as we figured vendors wouldn’t appreciate our sticky snack. On the way, we saw a gathering in the arena where they have shearing demonstrations, the Hall of Breeds, and ….. newborn lambs. Yup, just missed it by 5 minutes, just like the last time we were at the festival. We hung out for a bit though, because….newborn lambs….so cute. This mama had quadruplets!

New Lamb
Newborn Lamb

We took a turn through the market, and picked up all kinds of goodies. Like this natural brown pelt, possibly for my loom bench (although I could just pet it forever).
Natural Sheepskin
And some fiber…..some Falkland from River’s Edge, and some balls of Cormo/Angora from Prairie Moonrise Farm.
River's Edge Falkland
Cormo/Angora from Prairie Moonrise Farm

My daughter picked up a ‘Tube of Blue’ from Mielke’s (I got a new kate that will work with my Hansen bobbins). She has yet to decide what I’m going to make for her with it. She just likes looking at it all stacked in the jar.
DD and blue bin
Blue Bin

The next morning, we grabbed some breakfast and headed over to the sheepdog trails. They are always interesting, and this year they had asked a gentleman to explain things and add some color commentary. We then stopped over to watch some sheep judging (they had fiber and meat animals showing in side by side rings, so a lot to watch). Then popped over to watch David shear a few sheep. We grabbed an early lunch to avoid the crowds, and took a look at the silent auction items. We staked out a few things, and I managed to win this ball of Corrie from Four Crows Farm.
Corrie from Four Crows Farm

This was cool, too… but we ultimately decided someone else should have it.
Sheep Shingle

We also took in the hooked rug show. Here are a couple we thought were clever. This is a rabbit hole I’m sure I’ll fall into someday.
Hooked Rug Deer
Hooked Rug Cats

We enjoyed some more ice cream (but not the wasps) while spectating at the first Walk and Knit competition. It was pretty amusing. Then the competition was on at the Fleece Sale silent auction. I won a fabulous Corriedale/Fresian fleece from a junior shower, Anne Hinchley, with many shades of tan and brown, and maybe some grey. I’m looking forward to working with this fleece, and I’m sure I’ll be posting about it!

Sunday, we ate our breakfast while watching sheep dogs, and met a couple of nice ladies, who also happened to be entered in the yarn and design contests. We all headed over to the judging for those. I entered my rainbow shawl to the design contest on a whim. That show was won by one of my new friends, with a lovely argyle crop sweater.

I entered a couple of skeins of yarn, and they did well!
This was a Shetland gradient I spun up super quick the night before the show. They have a separate class for Shetland, and I had these delicious natural shades I wanted to try out. Don’t get too excited by the blue ribbon, it was the only skein in the class (but I did score 90/100 on it, so that is good!)
That big fluffy grey skein next to mine? It won Best of Show.
Shetland Hand Spun

And here’s my Autumn Splendor Polwarth, which I spun while on family vacation in Wisconsin during the Tour de Fleece.
Autumn Splendor Polwarth
Autumn Splendor Polwarth Hand Spun

So, I’m pretty excited that my everyday spinning is apparently pretty good, and even my ‘throw fiber at the wheel’ spinning is decent. Next year I’ll have to enter in the Advanced Class, but that is ok. 🙂 We are already looking forward to next year’s festival!

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