Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Revisited 

Finally, after a 4 year hiatus, I was able to return with Dan to the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival (why do people always want to get married on this weekend?!).  We drove up and back in one day, something that we are not going to repeat, it is so much more enjoyable to stay overnight and not have the nighttime driving.  It was a long day, but fun.

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Sheep judging, interesting as always

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There was a different sheep shearer than we had seen in the past.  Amazing how docile the sheep get when put on their backs.

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And we got to see a new sheep breed being introduced to the US, Valais Blackness, a breed from Switzerland.  Look at that fleece!  Apparently it is a coarse wool, I wonder if it is like Churro sheep.  This was the hit of the fair for breeders.  They are so cute also.

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We also watched the sheep dog trials, which is so fascinating.  I am not sure how they train the dogs so well.  My photos were not great of that event.

And then, on to the market.  The first year that I went to this event in 2010, the market overwhelmed me.  I was a brand new spinner, taking my first class up there, and picking up my first wheel, the Ashford traditional.  That didn’t stop me from ogling over other wheels at the fair.  There were several vendors selling wheels, and so many with big bags of beautiful fleece and roving that you could buy in whatever quantity you chose.  By the next year, I had my eye on a Jensen wheel that was on display at the fair, and finally got it that winter,  I still love my Jensen.  The Traditional was sold right after I got the Jensen, and I still have my Ashford Joy for traveling, both great wheels.

The market, while still occupying both of the large barns, was different.  There were the weaving and knitting and dyed fleece, but much less emphasis on spinning and I only saw one vendor with 2 big bags of roving.  That was a bit of a disappointment for me.

Fiber Optic, my favorite dyer for roving was there, as they have been for the last several years.  I hesitate to admit how much of her roving I have in my stash waiting to be spun up, so I was not looking at that.  However, I have never knit with her sock yarn, and this seemed like a good time to purchase it, especially after my Clown Barf experience.  The owner, Kimber Baldwin, has a degree in Chemistry, and a great sense of color.  Plus, if you don’t like the outcome you can call her and return it!

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Their yarn seems to be more popular now than the roving.  One day I will make it down to her shop, which looks amazing.  I purchased yarn for 3 pairs of socks.  the deep red/brown color is what Dan chose for himself.

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I have already wound up the multi-color.

My purchases also were for my Ravelry birthday twin, and then a new book for myself:

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It is a lovely book, and I looked through it thoroughly.  Happily adding it to my stitch dictionary collection.

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