Friday, September 18, 2015

2015 Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival

It's been such a busy week, I haven't had a chance to share all of the awesome stuff I bought at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival last weekend! Being on a budget and having some very specific pre-Spinzilla needs, I made a list of what I was looking for at the show ahead of time. Believe it or not, this is me sticking to that list - really! My only yarn purchase was a skein of Xanadu yarn from Bijou Basin Ranch. It's their new fingering weight cashmere and I had to get my mitts on it. So soft! Are you surprised to see that I chose grey??
My next quest was to find some gradient roving for my yak cardigan because I want to use a handspun gradient for the yoke colorwork detail. I was 99% sure that I would find what I needed in the Fiber Optic booth - and I was right!
I also wanted to get a fair amount of either grey or black alpaca fiber to blend with colorful bits of fiber on my new blending board. Naturally, I ended up coming home with both. Oops!
The final thing on my shopping list was blending fiber, and lots of it! In particular, I really wanted to check out something I saw on Knitty, the Jar of Inspiration from Mielke's Fibers. This cool little jar is stuffed to the gills with a variety of fibers in the same color family - I could definitely see myself picking up a few more in different colors at a later date (they sell them online, too!). Cleverly placed near the Jars of Inspiration were these small bits of Alpaca/Silk roving which I couldn't resist. And while I'd vowed not to buy any more Cloudlover spinning fiber because I have so many braids in my fiber stash already,  but I couldn't resist a superwash fiber grab bag for blending purposes. Of course!
That pretty much filled up my tote bag and exhausted my budget, which meant it was time to look at some sheep. We happened to walk into the hall of breeds right as the sheep shearing demonstration started, which is always cool to watch:
Just getting my hairs did, NBD!
We said hello to some fleecy friends, such as...
An adorable pile of British Soay.
This handsome fellow is an Awassi.
This friendly Suffolk was all too happy to pose for my photo.
These fuzzy little guys are Babydoll Southdowns. As the name would imply, they are quite petite!
...and this guy with the coolest marking ever!
There were some pretty interesting rug hooking projects on display as well (and some ladies who were happily hooking nearby). These were two of my favorites:
Of course, a trip to Wisconsin isn't  complete without stopping for some New Glarus beer to take home:
I can't think of a better way to kick off the fall knitting season. I'm looking forward to playing with all of my new fiber treats and preparing some beautiful rolags to spin during Spinzilla next month!


  1. I spun up a couple braids of Fiber Optics gradients a year or so ago - you're making me want to pull out the last braid I have in my stash!

    I'm going to have to check out the Jar of Inspiration - looks super cool - but that probably means I'll have to start seriously looking for a blending board, too. You are making my Christmas list grow!

  2. ooooh you got some lovely fiber to play with! I love that gradient, and the yak yarn sounds devine.

  3. I JUST finished drinking some Serendipity and Belgian Red - I liked Serendipity better and my partner was all about the Belgian Red. Both of us agreed though - both beers are excellent!