Sunday, September 14, 2008

California Wool and Fiber Festival, Part 1

Since the significant other is still gone, I'm in the sort of mode where I have to schedule some event or activity for most of my waking, non-working hours in order to stay sane. If I don't have something planned, I end up sitting home by myself watching movies and generally feeling lonely. So this weekend I attended the Mendocino County Fair, mostly so I could see the California Wool and Fiber Festival. I've been cooking up this plan to buy a raw fleece, right? But I missed Lambtown (which by all accounts was a real good time) due to being in another country, and I knew I was going to miss it several months in advance. So I was able to plan out this whole weekend to get up to Boonville and take Kristine's class, called "How to Buy a Fleece and What To Do With It." I was determined not to miss this one, as it's the last festival of the season that's close enough for me to reasonably drive to.

Oh man oh man, what a weekend. I did a lot of driving. I mean a LOT of DRIVING people. And while I think that Boonville is a pretty nice place and the trip up Highway 128 is quite lovely, I think if I went again next year, I would only go for one day, not two in a row. I put quite a few miles on the car over the last two days!

I haven't been to a county fair in a while, and this was a really fun one. I saw chickens,

Chickens at the Fair



very cute goats,

Baby Goats!

and of course, sheep.

A Ram

There was a strong contingent of farmers who are part of the Navajo Churro Sheep Project, and consequently, a large number of navajo churros. This guy had some cool horns!

Funky Horns on This Guy

I spent most of Saturday just looking around, enjoying myself, looking at everything. I saw a demonstration on indigo dyeing and got to see some sheep shearing. I didn't get any really good photos of the shearing, but it was really neat to watch. Those sheep wanted NONE of it! One complained before, during, and after, and the next one just sat on his butt when it was his turn, so that the poor girl helping the shearer had to drag him across the floor to the platform. Afterward, a friend and I pawed shamelessly through all the fleeces. I wrote down the tag information for six of them, the ones I liked based on my very limited knowledge of fleeces. I didn't have any idea how much fleece there would be, and I was pleasantly surprised:

Wall of Wool (and some Mohair)

This is about a third of the total judged fleece. A couple booths (Nebo Rock Textiles and Merry Meadows Farm) had additional fleeces that had not been entered into judging, but which mostly looked just as good as some of the best judged ones. Before the fair, I was worried that all the good fleece would be gone by Sunday afternoon. I needn't have worried! I think only one of the fleeces I wrote down on my short list sold between the time I left on Saturday and when I came back on Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday was my class, but I'll save that for a second post. (I am trying not-so-cleverly to invent suspense when, in fact, I just don't have enough pictures yet!)


Anonymous said...

the Suspence is KILLLLLIINNNGGG me

the Lady said...

Oh, the fleeces! Weren't those Navajo Churros crazy? I had no idea goats and sheep could produce viable offspring. Makes sense though.