Sheep & Wool Galore!


Sheep are suprisingly camera shy. Unless you were looking forward to a lot of pictures of sheep butt, please excuse the unimaginative shots of the main attraction at the Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Festival.


That's not to say, of course, that sheep were the only attraction of the day. No, no, no.

Many small spinneries and dyers from the western New England/upstate New York area came to display and sell their wares. I saw many tempting things, but my rule is that a specific project must be identified for the yarn before it is purchased. This rule prevents me from buying all sorts of stuff and then spending the next year agonizing about what to do with it.

Here is the only yarn purchase of the day:


Some nubbly, soft cotton in the "Pewter" colorway from Tregellys Fibers in Hawley, Massachusetts, sold by Botanical Shades in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. I'm thinking that a nice floppy sunhat would look great in this yarn.

This yarn purchase brought about the most interesting blogger sighting of the day. A woman was sitting in the Botanical Shades booth spinning. She looked, talked, and even spun like Cassie. [I must have seen Cassie spinning at Claudia's]. Couldn't be Cassie, I thought. She didn't mention that she would be coming.

Well, of couse it was Cassie! She was very stealthy and came up with Juno, whom I saw later in the afternoon.

Of course, there were a few Boston bloggers there, too. We had an impromptu meetup at lunch. The point of my post, however, is not to catalogue everyone I saw. Sometimes I do that; today I'm just not in the mood.

The festival has a state-fair angle to it, with judged entries in several categories--all having something to do with wool or animal fibers. There was a handspinning table, and this entry in particular caught my eye:


The hank was handspun by Patricia Blomgren of East Dummerston, Vermont. I love how the bright hues are highlighted against the deep, saturated brown background.

Then there was the "youth" category. The sign above the booth, however, was the only indication that these entries were by "youths" rather than people who had been sewing for 65 years.

Here was the judges' first place:


But here was my first place:


Sewn by girls who were 17 and 14, respectively.

About now you're probably wondering what else I bought. I must admit that I indulged myself a wee bit. Remember I blogged about buying a case for my DPNs? Here it is:


It's by Katharyn Crippen of Crippenworks. Upon purchasing and inspecting this case, I realized that there is absolutely no way that I could have made something as sturdy and as nice as Katharyn's case. I'm simply not that good of a seamstress. Katharyn, apparently, is. She sells on line, so you don't have to wait until next year to buy yours.

Then (and this doesn't even count as a knitting-related purchase) I bought a pair of the warmest mittens ever:


These were made by Shepherd's Flock in Townshend, Vermont. Ironically, Sunday was one of the hottest days of the year, and there I was buying shearling mittens. But someday the cold weather will return, and my hands will thank me for my foresight.

I'll leave you with a picture of my new coffee mug:


Next up is Maine in two weeks. Who's going?


Thanks for the great, first hand report of the events. Nice mittens, too. ;)

bummed to have missed you guys, sounds like a great fair - but London was worth it. Not a single yarn store, even asked out in the Cotswolds - sheep galore - but I guess they send their coats elsewhere!

Dammit! I didn't move out to Boston fast enough! I really want to go see whether I can find some heavy sportweight shetland-y wool for a sweater I'm thinking about. (Actually, Eunny knit something like what I'd been planning as a practice project, so maybe I'll come up with something else.

The needle case! I bought the exact same one, pattern and everything, in the circular needle version at MDS&W! and I love it! its like a little treat I get to see and use every day. And I agree, I could never make one as nice or as well, or as FUN in color!

Great taste!

Aaagh! Those sheep are SO cute. I definitely want some. I think they'd do fine in my tiny yard in Newton, don't you? :)

I'm so jealous of all you northeasterners. The best we can do in NM is the Taos festival.

Argh! I am totally regretting not buying one of those Crippenworks cases this weekend at a yarn shop in VA!

That mug is fabulous! As is the DPN case. Yikes, those "youth" are gifted with the sewing thing - wow.

It was fun--and you did get some great finds (and great pictures).

I can't believe I didn't bump into you at all on Saturday! I bought one of those Crippenworks cases for circular needles at CT and I love it. I agree that she does great work.

The mug is so cute! Can you share who you bought it from? Do they have an online shop?

Hey There! I am sorry I missed you at Cummington on Sunday - I feel like it's been ages since I've seen you. :)

Kellee and I will be at Maine in two weeks, hopefully we'll get to see you there!

And the sheepy mug? I love it.

I love your self restraint! I never seen to be able to do that. I can usually find something for most of it, but that's going to be my rule at Estes. Buy for specific projects. You got some lovely goodies at the fair. The mug is so cute and the mittens will definitely keep you warm.

i love that DPN case. looks like you had a great time and managed to stay in budget too :) which never happens to me.

You are so restrained! Great needle case.

I love the yarn from Tregellys. I wish I had known you were going!

Okay....a Fiber Frolic. How cool. Well, does anyone know of anything like this on the Left Coast???? We DO knit out here in California!!! Any hints?

Great haul! I love those mugs.

those needle cases were beautiful. i didn't get any though since i wanted to do a complete inventory first before buying cases nilly willy.

what a beautiful needle case! I didn't see them, probably because fiber was on my radar.... I'll look for you in Windsor - where are you going to stay?


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