There were over 230 fleeces, with a huge range of sheep breeds and styles. Every color of fleece under the rainbow, and a really impressive competition for shepherds who raise wool sheep. (as opposed to "meat sheep") While many breeds are truly dual purpose, these shows are often divided up in this way, so it's the rare breeder who wins both meat and fleece oriented competition.
While shooting photos in the sheep barn, I stepped outside for a minute and caught a gorgeous array of Jersey cows. I'm an enormous fan of milk and cream, and Jerseys are some of the best producers. I had to stop and admire "the girls."
There were a fair number of personable meat sheep as well. This one seems like it's saying "Hiya! How are you?" Amidst the dusty sheep bedding, the large fans, loud fair music, and well, a distinctly poopy sheep smell, it was nice to have a quiet visit with a friendly ewe or two!
The professor struggled with some bad allergies while we were at this event,and even a bloody nose. We suffer a great deal for fiber in this family, but he seems to be no worse for wear.
In the end, we shot some great photos for the book, and I was drafted at the last minute to fill out the field for the spindle spinning competition. (most yarn produced in 10 minutes.) I tied for first place and won a set of single tine Indigo Hound wool combs! Wow! I do happen to own wool combs, so if someone is thinking of buying some, drop me an email, ok? I may just have what you're looking for... :)
Bet you're wondering what I bought? Only one fleece. Yes, I was incredibly restrained. A very big dark brown fine wool handspinning fleece came home with me for $10. More on that in the next post...