Sunday, September 17, 2006

A festival of sheep

This weekend, I went to the Garden State Sheep and Fiber Festival, in Ringoes, NJ. This area truly gives the Garden State its name: rolling farms, horses, little country roads. If all you've seen is Newark or Trenton, etc, you wouldn't believe me, but it's there, a small remaining slice of garden.

Judging sheep Woolly baah

The festival was quite small - three barns with lots of extra space to expand. Only one had yarn vendors, and even those seemed pretty far between. The second barn held sheep. Many, many sheep! Sheep baah-ing their loud, happy baahs! And the third barn held a few alpacas, plus some pigs, ducks, rabbits, and a single turkey (for good measure.)

Among the sheep, most impressive (if I can say that about at sheep!) were these fellows (below), possessing no fewer than four horns - and the announcer even said that these sheep from the ancient Near East could have as many as six horns! Where would you put the sixth?!

Too many horns!

Finally, I took a spinning class! Yay! I had imagined the movements entirely incorrectly! Who knew that you actually spin the yarn by dangling the spindle? We were given high whorl spindles made of two CDs and a dowel. Jessica caught me in action, as she was conveniently sitting behind me, but I don't have the image yet, so I'll save more on the spinning for another post. Instead, I'll just say that my cats were quite entertained by the wool the class provided.

Woolly Juniper


rose said...

Sounds like a fun day! It's great you've started spinning. Just wait-soon you'll want a wheel :)

Julia said...

Cool sheep festival - looks like our local one. The sheep with the four horns looks like a Jacob! Good for you, learning on a drop spindle first. It's nice to get the feel for drafting at a slooow speed. And when you feel like you might want to try a wheel, keep checking Craigslist - there are periodically wheels for good prices (that's where Dan found my Ashford Traditional).

Greta_Jane said...

Very exciting--I really would like to learn how to weave, I think, but spinning would be good as well.

Sheepish Annie said...

Ahh... spinning! This is a slippery slope. I started with a simple drop spindle and it all just sped out of control from there. And I do love it!!! Great pix!

Sarah said...

Nice! Spinning!

I love. Hope you do too!

Danielle said...

I hope there was a sheepdog demonstration to go with those sheep!

My local sheep/wool fest is also a small affair compared to (what I've heard about) the big fairs. You can see everything in an hour, I'd say. Which feels a tad... unexciting? Though I feel guilty thinking that. I really shouldn't talk, considering I'm missing the 3000-attendee Boston Knit Out!

Beth S. said...

Hey, awesome! :-) I'm sorry I didn't see you there (though we probably walked right past each other any number of times!)

I loved those Jacob sheep. They're just so striking--I spent more time watching them than any of the others.