Sheep and Wool Festivals

Last weekend, I had the privilege of attending the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival in Greenwich, NY. It was kind of a long drive from New York City – 3 hours –but worth it, because the leaves were beginning to change and the drive took me along parts of the Hudson River, which was very picturesque and lovely.

I got there Saturday, in the early part of the afternoon, and the parking lot was filling up. But, thanks to the large fairgrounds, it never got too crowded at any of the exhibits. I love fiber festivals because they bring together all the different aspects of fiber production: I met animals, farmers, spinners, dyers, weavers, knitters, crocheters, felters, and people like me: fiber fanatics!

One of my first stops was the barn that held Handmade Fiber Arts Contest. I love looking at the intricate designs and handspun wool that people have entered into the contest. Below are some photos I took of the winners. Their entries really impressed and inspired me!

Blue Ribbon-Beaded Lace Shawl

Winners Shawls and Scarves Category

Of course, my next stop was yarn! There were 3 barns devoted to fiber exhibitors; many had yarn (either commercially or hand spun) from their own animals. There were also many artisans there who specialized in hand dying or hand spinning yarn. I met Heidi from Brown Dog Fiber Studio. No, she doesn’t use dog fur to make yarn. She does use some crazy stuff though. I bought some hand spun yarn made from silk and an unspooled Metallica audio cassette! I also bought some hand-dyed thick and thin wool yarn in a black and dark blue combo that I’m going use to make a hat for myself!

Brown Dog Fiber Arts Display

One of the nice things about going to a fiber festival is the opportunity to learn some new skills. I truly appreciate the artists and artisans who patiently demonstrated needle felting, and the Rock Day Spinners Guild that gave lessons on drop spindle spinning.

Learning to use a drop spindle

There are many Sheep and Wool Festivals this time of year all over the country. Sometimes they are called Fiber Festivals and you can usually find them in your local paper, or by doing a google search. I’m excited to announce that we will be participating in the Kings County Fiber Festival in Brooklyn on October 10th. If you are in the NYC area please come and join us. We will be doing fun demos and all of our fantastic kits will be for sale. It will be our first fiber festival and we would love to see your friendly faces!

Are there local festivals in your area? Where are they and what have your experiences been? We would love to have you share your local fair with us!

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