If you've never experienced a sheep and wool show/festival/fair, then make a point to do so! It doesn't matter the size as much as it does with what you'll experience and walk away with -- hours of blissful fiber fixes!
Yesterday I drove to Tolland county to attend the 97th Annual Connecticut Sheep, Wool and Fiber Festival with my daughter and my friend, Grace. We were followed up by another HHCC member, Ruth, and her husband Ron who is a big help to the Club. The birds were chirping, the sheep were baa-ing. In the far background, dogs were yipping and if you listened really carefully you could hear various fibers being petted and admired. Well, no, you couldn't hear people petting fibers but you could hear all the ohhs and ahhhs of admiration!!
We arrived early in the morning and began strolling the various buildings filled with vendors selling everything from crochet hooks to unspun roving. From toy horses to delicous maple syrup covered walnuts to the most incredible handpainted silk hankies and dreamy soft Peruvian alpaca offered by *ATouchofTwist*! [[**Silk hankies are the result of taking the silk worms' cocoon and opening it up. It can be crocheted in this state. If interested in learning how to crochet with unspun fibers, then you're going to want to take a class with Janet Rehfeldt like I did a few years back. And hey, ATouchofTwist will be at the Conference, so be sure to get yourself some of this yummy fiber!]]
I got to meet with fellow International Freeform member, Claudia, who was displaying her incredible freeform work and selling items from her "Heal My Hands" business. I bought the lotion & lip balm from her but see now I should have bought more. (Claudia, hook me up @ the Conference this summer, ok?) You can see Claudia and her freeform work pictured above. If you'd like a closer look at her fiber art, click onto the image and it will lead to her blog ...
There was a lot to see and do too! From watching a sheep being sheered to taking a hay ride pulled by Oxen! (amazing animals!) There were demonstrations for weaving and spinning and dying and even for crochet!!! This Festival is nowhere near the size as the one in Massachusetts or New York, but it was packed with quite a bit for the eye to feast upon! We had a most fantastic time and wondered if the day could get any better ...
And it did!
Since we don't have an ACMoore near us we opted to stop on our way home and see if there were any goodies wishing to be adopted. Sure enough they had their Mode*Dea Prima on sale for 50% off and I found enough of a dye lot to consider crocheting myself the "Seraphina Shawl" everyone on the Internet has been raving about. I figure with a bulky yarn and a large hook I should be able to whip it up in no time and be able to wear it next weekend. (Who said I need to get any sleep?) I also picked up some funky purple fibers to use in the still-ongoing Jean Jacket Project, and to eventually create an evening purse that will be donated for auction at my children's school next fall. Tickled with my find we decided to head home.
But I got boxed into the wrong lane and could not turn onto the highway without risking an accident. Thinking I'd make a quick turn-around in a nearby shopping plaza we ended up getting trapped. (The shopping plaza has really weird entering/exiting locations.) As I drove around looking for a way to exit the shopping plaza a very, very large Joann's appeared. One look at the mere size of this store was temptation enough to go in. Inside, to our delight, they had a huge sale going on. My daughter surprised me by requesting I buy her a set of funky looking knitting needles (to view up close & for product info, please click onto image on left). I say surprised because I've been asking her since the day she first picked up the crochet hook and made her first yarn over if she thought she'd be interested in learning how to knit too. She always said no, and professed she loved crocheting too much to try it. It's good to see she's now interested in trying it. (Now, I've got to find someone knowledgeable about it to show her -- come on, did you really think I'd try to teach her? I don't know enough about it to even attempt to do that! I need someone to sit with me! LOL)
Upon arriving home my son asked my daughter, "Did you really go on an Oxen ride?" She grinned from ear to ear, "Yes I did! And it was fun! You wanna go with us next year," she asked him eagerly. "Oh Yeah!" he exclaimed, "I'm going!!"