… California Red, Coopworth, Cotswold and more. All found at the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Festival.
Just look at all of this Coopworth fleece and yarn, produced by Woolies of Shirkshire Farm in Conway, Mass. And all of those colors? Entirely plant-dyed by Diane Roeder of Sojourner Sheep. The Coopworth skein that came home with me was dyed with cosmos and cochineal, and is the same tomato-bisque shade as the wound skein in the foreground.
The brief distance between sheep and yarn was on display for all. As a knitter, there’s a certain connection I get from seeing the material I use here on the sheep, then just a few yards away …
… its processed and (sometimes) dyed final state, ready to become whatever it is the Yarn Goddess inspires me to make of it. This is not the stuff of the big yarn houses, but an all-too-brief connection to the knitters who came before us, who raised the sheep, spun the yarn and clothed themselves.
The Cotswold and this undyed California Red were both produced by River Valley Farm in Lenox, Mass., which specializes in unique sheep breeds. The California Red will become a set of Sweet Fern Mitts from the Knitter’s Book of Wool, as my purchases are all intended to dovetail with the ongoing KBOW wool-along on Knitter’s Review and Ravelry.
Speaking of which, we did try to have a meet-up. On the upside, a few of us managed to find each other, in spite of our designated vendor having canceled. Fellow KBOW fans, you would not believe the incredibly even spinning that pamudom did in this skein of Icelandic laceweight – the May wool-along fiber. Wow. It was especially nice to meet Malone in person, and to again visit with KRR mainstay Noallatin.
Of course, the local 4-H helped out, too, with these primers about each sheep breed – sort of a KBOW tutorial for those who left their copies at home. Along these lines, some wonderful Icelandic and Jacob also made their way into my shopping bag, as well as perennial partner-in-crime KnittingKittens’. Just planning ahead for another month, Clara.
Of course, Darling Bebe is never far from mind, so this swag came home, too. Her first pair of Shepherd’s Flock shearling slippers, just like Owl’s. No reason to have chilly piggies in our house. As an aside, if you suffer from cold toes, these are quite simply the best thing on earth.
All in all, it was a wonderful, decided-at-the-last-minute getaway day. Who can help smiling surrounded by animals like this angora goat named Obama?
Tags: californiared, claraparkes, coopworth, cotswold, festival, icelandic, jacob, KBOW, knittersbookofwool, knittersreview, knittingkittens, KRR, KRRetreat, masssheepandwool, shepherdsflock, slippers, wool