How has it been more than 12 days and I haven’t managed to tell you about the Sheep and Wool Festival?!?!?! Well, I know the real reason why, but it’s still surprising! The real reason is that I took a few quick photos of my purchases to show them off to some friends (and I think on Instagram) but never time to actually photograph them well to show you. Which is wrong, because you’re my friends too, and you deserved better. I just wanted to give you quality shots so you can drool over the pretty stuff. Truth be told some of the photos still don’t do the products justice. I tried with natural light, pulled out my photography lights, and still just couldn’t capture the true colors of several items.
Sheep & Wool 2018
My son Ben and I went to Sheep and Wool together and Nick (husband) stayed home. Probably better that way. My son spent his budget on foods. I didn’t really have an exact budget but spent way more than intended on everything but food. I DID make a list of what I needed or was open to buying, mostly to validate that things weren’t on impulse if Nick asked. I usually cart all these lists around in my head and I think he thinks I’m making them up. Technically all but one purchase was on my list. There were a few items (even must get items) that I didn’t get. Like a warping peg, which somehow I could not manage to see a single one anywhere. Either I missed it or they sold out Saturday, or there really weren’t any. Last year a vendor had TONS I should have gotten one then. My other MUST GET included the new Jumbo Round Loom from Wild Hare Fiber. You know how much I LOVE my smaller two, and this one was announced just a few weeks ago. I KNEW I would get it at Sheep and Wool, it was one of the reasons I went. Why pay for shipping when I could get it in person and have lots of other fun at the same time.
My son and I had fun together at the festival, though his purchases gave him a belly ache before we were done. It was nice to have him too, not because he carried stuff and was generally helpful but because he tends to look at very different colors than I do. Also, he was able to gain more insight into fiber crafts (besides just knitting/crocheting) and is excited to try a few things now.
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So, let’s show you the goods!
- I don’t have a picture, but I ALWAYS (you know, the two times I’ve been to the festival) bought some wool wax hand creme. It’s great stuff. So good that I am thinking of buying some and selling here on the site. I bought a tube last year and then upgraded this year to the big tub. It was a better value.
- My MUST BUY was the jumbo loom! While I was in her pretty booth I also snagged a “Granola Top” which is 100% animal free roving and came in a beautiful color! I love Wild Hare Fiber and you can visit their Etsy Shop HERE.
- We thoroughly enjoyed the Wool Room. A perfect example of the benefit of going to the festival vs ordering online. Because they don’t really seem to have online ordering. I’ve talked to Ben lots of times about the fun of dyeing and blending, and of course, kids can’t listen to Mom, BUT the sales lady really hyped him up about these dye kits. Each kit contains a different weight of yarn, so I naturally had to get one of each. Plus, they were on sale!! We haven’t yet, but a fun dye day is in our future! The cream bag is cotton sliver, which is so silky my son asked for it. I admit I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. I’ve also been interested in blending some of my own funky and fun rovings (or rolags since I only have hand carders) so when I saw the colorful stuff in the bag I wanted some. The overall group photo doesn’t do it justice. The individual photo is a much better representation. It’s made from shredded and blended silk saris, so the color is quite lovely, and there are even metallic threads. I could spin it as is, or blend it with other stuff. 4. I also got 3 “silk hankies.” These don’t look like much. They are unspun silk. We’ll probably dye some. I don’t have a specific plan but wanted to play with them. I can’t seem to find a card or label for the vendor. My receipt was a generic sales slip. 5. I wasn’t intending per say to buy yarn but was open to 1-2 amazing skeins. This one came home with me. I had an impossible time catching the color correctly. It’s divine. It practically jumped off the rack to me. Only one of it’s kind and looks like painted velvet. Such RICH color. This was from Sweitzer’s Fiber Mill, which had BEAUTIFUL stuff but doesn’t show much of it online. Their daughter Lily also has her own line of yarns. She dyes all of them herself! I highly advise checking their site from time to time and seeing if they will be a show near you. The website mostly features their fiber processing but not their amazing yarns. Mine is wool and ingeo, which is a corn fiber! 6. Also in the yarn department, I bought two skeins from https://oldmillyarn.info/Old Mill Yarn. I looked at this booth last year, but didn’t bring anything home. They sell mill ends of lots of stuff, usually quite unique and fun. This year I couldn’t resist this funky white mystery fiber, which I plan to use in weaving and as a ply with other fun yarns in spinning, and this amazing silky blue. The blue was impossible to photograph. It’s more of a seafoam color and has a lovely sheen. It’s wool and rayon. I plan to use the blue for ….. I’m not sure. Perhaps a machine knit blanket/throw. I suspect it will show up in a lot of places, most of my yarns do.7. The purchases aren’t over yet, but close! You KNOW you bought a lot of wool when the shopping bag is a trash bag! This vendor, Bartlett Yarns, had buy 5 get 1 free, and since I was wanting more roving to blend my own it was a good value. The price was one of the best at the festival anyway. I bought 5 big balls in my color choices and let my son pick the freebie. Guess which one he picked? One of these things is not like the others! I told him I need to have him help me more often because I buy all the same colors and he forces me to spread out of that color zone. I will say, all of the blues and greens are so much prettier in real life. The one in the bottom left just looks royal blue, but in person is a lovely blend of blue and purple like a galaxy. They are all more heathered or tweed. Except for his orange, it is pretty much exactly what it looks like. The bottom right is more of a pale sky blue than a gray. The on the right of his is more of a seafoam. They all have a short fiber length, so I don’t love them spun alone, but have done a bit of blending and it works great for what I wanted. And that is all of my purchases! I spent more than intended. I kind of halfway through the festival decided to try to buy everything once a year at the festival and then buy very minimal the rest of the year. You really get great values and variety there that you don’t see other places.
I had also intended to buy some dyed locks for my blending, but we saw them first and I wanted to match them to other purchases, so I wanted to go back, but my son’s belly ache and the general heat and tiredness put a stop to that idea. I also wanted some angelina fiber for the same idea and just didn’t see much, especially not in colors I found thrilling. Also, the aforementioned warping peg.
Some vendors I drooled over but for various reasons didn’t buy anything included these folks:
Catoctin Creek Farm Something they had caught my eye enough to grab a business card, but I should have made a note because I can’t remember what it was.
The Bosworth Spindles/ Journey Wheel are always drool-worthy.
Claymonster Pottery was super awesome! I loved all their stuff. The only reason I didn’t buy something was that I had a feeling in my messy house and with my Master of Disaster son, whatever I got wouldn’t be long-lived.
Into the Whirled was full of dreamy stuff too.
SO there we go! That was my favorite stuff and purchases at sheep and wool, very belated. I”d love to know your favorites, your thoughts, and any sheep and wool experiences you have! I’ll also be doing more posts of course talking about what I make with my new lovelies!