Monday, September 17, 2007

The Fair

So much has happened since my last post that I am dividing things up. We went to the state fair for the fleece auction and spinning competition. Even though we live in Kentucky, we live closer to the TN State Fair, and I must say, this year's fleece show was stunning. It's worth a trip to Nashville to see this event. No, it's not quite as amazing as the Black Sheep Gathering fleece show in Oregon, but probably as close as one can get in Tennessee, and far less expensive. (special fleecey photos saved for other articles and things, sorry!)

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...


Blogger Melanie said...

Gorgeous fleeces! The ribby shell is very pretty.

September 17, 2007 at 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely fibers and great fair animal pics. Love the ribby shell; especially the blue yarn.

September 17, 2007 at 8:34 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

It sounds wonderful, bar the allergies. I am jealous. But the Knitting & Stitching Show is in London next month, which helps. No sheep, no cows, though :-(

September 18, 2007 at 4:43 AM  

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