Sunday, May 8, 2011

Shepherd's Harvest

After such a cold, rainy, grey spring, we finally got a good weather day on a weekend! It was great timing for good weather because yesterday was the Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival. The past two years that I have gone to the festival have been cold and/or snowy/rainy so the sun and warmth was such a glorious change.

Jill joined me for her first fiber fair experience. I think she liked it and was even tempted by all of the beautiful fiber even though she doesn't spin.

There were a lot of great vendors at the fair including Briar Rose Fibers.

We got to watch Dirty Harry be shorn and get his hooves clipped. He wasn't so pleased about getting naked in front of an audience.

In each of the buildings, there was live music to be heard while you browsed the vendors' offerings.

The most educational part of the day for me was the booth that had silkworms for sale. They had the entire life cycle available for viewing and the woman minding the booth was super generous with her knowledge. I have never seen silkworms in person, so it was fascinating. The photo above shows the eggs, the worms at various stages and the worms about to spin cocoons (shown in reverse clockwise order).

There were also cocoons with the worms/moths inside them. This vendor lets the moths hatch out of the cocoons, so she showed us how the cocoons can be used after they have the hatching hole in them. I was pleased about that, because the alternative is to kill them while they are inside the cocoon. Killing the moth before it leaves the cocoon preserves the continuous silk strand but I think continuous strands are overrated :)

The moths can't fly so they were just flapping away in this tupperware. If I was a spinner I just might have invested in some silkworms.

Another fun part of the festival is running into fellow knitting friends. At lunchtime, we ran into Pam and Sarah, so we got to picnic with them. We also saw a few other knitting friends along the way and even chatted up some new people. For those of you who haven't experienced a knitting festival, people are quite friendly and it is even acceptable to fondle a stranger's knitwear.

I didn't enhance my stash much this year, since I only purchased one skein of yarn, a handcarved wooden spoon, some kettle corn and a woven silk scarf. Still, it was energizing to be amongst creative people on a beautiful spring day.

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