The 2013 festival season is officially open with the 104th Connecticut Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend kicking things off.
And what adorable faces KnittingKittens, Patshere and I found as we
wandered through! This was, it seemed, the year of the nursery. Kids (the kind with hooves), bunnies, and of course, lambs like little Nellie, here. She is a Romney; by unscientific observation Romney was one of the most visible breeds of this show.
We were pleased to see one of the
newer farms in Connecticut bringing lovely Romney fiber and yarn to market. Anne McIntyre-Lahner and Mark Lahner’s Olympia Farm of Guilford first appeared on my radar a couple of years ago. This year, their booth was well-stocked with natural-colored Romney in cream and grays at various weights and extremely reasonable prices. The lighter shade you see here comes from Maggie, Bonnie, Coco and Cookie.
Sadly, in spite of victories like that, overall there appeared to be fewer vendors than in previous years. Some of our favorites were not to be found in the barns and tents, perhaps reflecting just how hard it is to keep a small
independent business afloat. However, others, like Still River Mill, continue to work at distinguishing themselves with their own unique yarns. Take, for example, Slinky Mink, pointed out by Clara at Rhinebeck last fall. It was heavenly to touch. Find it. Knit it. Love it. Repeat.
As a non-lamb-eater, I did appreciate that the lamb stew and other lamb entrees were not on the menu ~ or infusing an entire indoor area. I always found it a little jarring (if not downright creepy) to have lamb served up a mere twenty yards from barns with live sheep.
Every year festival organizers bring great demonstrations to this show. It is easy to be mesmerized by the bobbin lace makers. I found the tatting equally hypnotic. It’s kind of like macrame using cobwebs that ultimately produces its own special lace. All those teensy knots and they were just flying by. It was something to behold.
Since I have been
somewhat preoccupied planning my new knitting space, I confess to being completely taken by everything about this display from Nifty Thrifty Dry Goods. It had more trims than I would ever begin to know what to do with … and everything in the booth was just pretty. (I am ignoring the fact that everything here requires use of a sewing needle and thread, where I
possess no talent whatsoever and generally provoke sympathy from those who see my infantile attempts … ) Then again, maybe if I amassed enough antique spools with enough different ribbons like these, I might be motivated to change that.
Nahhhh. They’re better just to look at and enjoy.
Now that “the season” is underway, if you are heading out to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend, I hope to see you there. I will be reprising my role as a Booth Babe at Spirit Trail Fiberworks ~ that’s at A30 of the Main Exhibition Hall. Do come by to see what Jennifer has been cooking up in her dyepots and give me a hoot!