Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival

Felted sheep and camelids from Englishman Bay, Maine

Saturday and Sunday, October 1 – 2: This is the first time I’ve been to the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival, held in Tunbridge, Vermont. The first day I went with a couple of my Quaker Knitting Goddess friends, and didn’t take any photos – I regret not getting some of the sheep shearing, but maybe another year! The second day I went with two friends from Six Loose Ladies; they were demonstrating spinning, and I just caught a ride with them, and mostly hung out at their display with them and worked on my knitting. But before that, before the crowds got to where taking photos was difficult, I wandered through the fairgrounds, still resisting buying any yarn (or fleece, or animals!!); I did buy a discounted book the first day.

Of course there were sheep (and sheep dog herding demonstrations, and sheep shearing).

My favorite sheep were the Blacknose, mostly because of how personable they were! One was persistently curious about my cane; all wanted affection and attention.

And llamas and alpacas:

Mohair goats and angora rabbits:

There was, of course, fleece of all breeds and colors.

And yarn; I kept repeating my mantra (“You do not need more yarn. You do not need more yarn. You do not need more yarn.”) especially when I fondled the gold sock yarn below!

There was equipment, from spinning wheels to buttons and yarn bowls:

In addition to the spinning demonstration from Six Loose Ladies, people were weaving, spinning, knitting and rug hooking. This was our area:

The weather both days threatened gray, and turned sunny and warm. Some areas of the hillsides were very colorful, with the leaves turning, although it’s not the most striking display of leaves I’ve seen in Vermont. The company was good, and I got a couple of inches done on the sock I’m working on. But one of the things I enjoyed most was seeing all of the hand knit, crocheted, and woven garments people were wearing, showing off their fiber creations!

Great Northern Yarn Haul, Completed

This was my haul, on the Great Northern Yarn Haul. I started out really, really disciplined, looking and willing to buy only the yarn for two cowls for the nurses who cared for Mom during her last months. But once I had those, there were other forces pulling at my wallet! From right to left,

*Pale pink: The Fibre Company, Cirro (alpaca/cotton/wool) for one of the aforementioned cowls. So SOFT!!

*Hunter orange: Plymouth Encore (acrylic/wool) because the hat I made for my sister and brother-in-law to wear       walking/hiking in Vermont, especially during hunting season, is looking very bedraggled – and it’s hard to find that   color!

*Yellow: Dirty Water Dyeworks (merino/nylon) for the second cowl. With a color name of “No. 2 Pencil”, how could I   resist?

*Gold: Sun Valley Fibers (merino/cashmere/nylon) This is the one I bought for me – probably for socks. I didn’t           really need more sock yarn – but it felt so nice!

*Indigo: A Wrinkle in Thyme Farm (Romney/Border Leicester/Finn flock, 10% nylon, dyed at the farm) They were          generous enough to let me park in their parking area for the night with my camper. I had to buy something! So         when I mentioned to one of the Quaker Knitting Goddesses in Portland that I wasn’t sure how I’d justify an                unplanned yarn purchase, she suggested that she could use a pair of socks, and it had been a while since I’d           knitted her anything. OK!

*And Poems Sock: (wool/nylon) Probably socks for my sister; these are her colors. And it was half price. I’m such a   sucker…

One of my last stops was Mapleview Farm Alpacas, in Brandon, Vermont, which mills their own yarn; here are some of the fiber producers:

And my last stop was in Rutland, where Green Mountain Yarn and Fiber has their mascot on the porch:

In all, over the course of a couple of weeks, I visited 27 of the 28 shops and farms on the list. The one I missed wasn’t open the day I was in that part of Vermont. I enjoyed some gorgeous scenery along the way, explored areas I’d not otherwise have visited, knitted with others, drooled a lot over some amazing fiber products, and got to meet some new people. I now know where to source some special fibers, and feel inspired!