Monday, June 13, 2011


After spending much of the past week at home dealing with a kidney stone, I was ready to get out and about a bit this weekend. So I headed over to the Sheep and Wool Festival, hosted annually by my small town. It's too hard to resist, especially since it's just a couple miles from my house! Several vendors were selling lovely woolen wares such as these vibrant braids of roving...

Colorful samplers of hand-painted cotton roving...

Fun knitted finger puppets—very reasonably priced at $3 each or 2 for $5...

Gorgeous hand-dyed wools in a rainbow of hues...

Felted farm animals...

Even alpaca batting for quilters. The vendor told me this is an extremely soft, high-loft batting with an excellent drape. It's easy to hand-quilt and shows stitches well. If any of you have actually tried it before, I'd be interested to hear your impressions.

Writer and sheep farmer Catherine Friend was there selling her two books, Sheepish and Hit by a Farm—memoirs of operating her southern Minnesota sheep farm. 

In addition to a nice array of vendor booths, the festival also includes a host of fiber arts classes ranging from beginning spinning and wool dyeing to traditional rug hooking and wet felting. This group was learning how to use their spinning wheels...

One of my favorite stops at the Festival is the Hall of Breeds, where you get to see a variety of sheep. I am grateful to these delightful creatures. After all, without them, we wool lovers wouldn't have a fabric stash to play with! I loved meeting this woolly fellow named Yoda.

Yoda is a Lincoln, the world's largest sheep breed. The males range from 250-350 pounds. Their woolly locks, which produce some of the heaviest fleeces, are prized by spinners. Yoda's owner told me that he is shorn twice a year. Looks like he's due soon for his biannual shearing!

These lovely fellows are Columbias, an All-American breed developed by the United States Department of Agriculture. 

And these charming Jacob sheep were a crowd pleaser. This ancient, domestic breed probably originated in what is now Syria 3,000 years ago. In 1834, the breed was named "Jacob" by the Earl of Fitzwilliam in England, based on the biblical story of the spotted sheep given to Jacob. 

I can't remember what breed these guys were but their coloring was beautiful. I just love sheep and could have stayed here all day. They were all so friendly and loved to be pet, especially Yoda.

I couldn't leave the show without getting a small souvenir for my two cats. These wool felted catnip balls are the perfect gift idea for the spoiled feline who has everything (and my two cats definitely fall into that category!).

My cat Teddy loves wool and he often goes into my sewing room when I'm not watching and steals my wool tuffet pincushions (see them on my previous post here). In the morning, I'll find them scattered about my living room, dining room, and kitchen. It looks like he approves of the new catnip ball!

Hope you've enjoyed this little tour of my state's sheep and wool festival!


  1. Looks like a great festival. Yoda's face is so cute! I have an antique spinning wheel and always intended to spin...but alas, it sits dormant.

  2. Looks like so much fun! Love the spotted sheep.
    A few years ago I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. My sister didn't even know it was held very near to her house. She came from the north with her 2 daughters, my mom and I came from the south. When we talked on our cell phones to say we were in traffic we both said "do you think this is because of the festival?" Indeed, it was! Our father had teased us that it would just be us and the farmers! We had a grand time, but haven't been back since. Will have to put it on my calendar for next year.

  3. Love all the wool products and those sheep are cute - we have some lambs near our house and their antics are so funny to watch!

  4. The roving is to die for! Wish I could have seen it in person!

  5. This event looks amazing! All the sheep are so cute! And that colored wool is just gorgeous!

  6. Lucky lucky you. Great pictures but you already know my favorite picture....the wool fabric. I hope these great little pieces are in your posession. (hee, hee). I am waiting for our fall wool show here in Ohio called The Wool Gathering which takes place in Yellowsprings, Ohio.

    Good thing your cat, Teddy, has found a substitute for your beautiful pincushions. :-) Such a cutie.

  7. Oh, that looks like a fun day! I wish I would have known about it - I could have met you there. I have a new-found love for wool. And my cats would be loving those catnip balls!

  8. Looks like lots of fun. My SIL is a spinner. The colors look wonderful and I'd be petting the sheep too!
    Used wool once and was very pleased. Machine quilted with silk thread on a regular machine.
    Glad you are feeling better.


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