Sunday, August 15, 2010

Off to the Skagit County Fair we went....

The County directly to the south of us is called Skagit (soft "a" and the "g" is is pronounced like a "j") - The past week was their county fair - we went two years ago, but did not get our entry in soon enough to go last year. This year, all the Shetland breeders who were going sent their paperwork in as soon as the enrollment opened to ensure that we could have a "mini" Shetland Show -

There were four farms who participated -

Krissie and Robin were our sheepy representatives - Ruby would not take part in any of the pre-fair lessons, so she didn't get to (have to?) go.

Mt. Vernon, where the fair is held, is only about 30 miles from our place -

Joyce came from Thistledown Shetlands - She had the longest trip - over 300 miles - to get here.

She had some very handsome little boys - I just loved the one with the "cumber-bun"

Lynn came from Soap Lake - probably close to 250 miles -

She had recently had foot surgery, but she always had a smile on her face.

Sally came from Granite Falls - about 45 miles SE of Mt. Vernon.

We all wondered if she had Max on Prosac. He was the mellowest, sweetest ram I've ever seen.

She also brought these two cuties...

Our friend Denise was nice enough to come help with the showing - she got to lead Robin while The Shepherd got the wiley Krissie.

Did I mention that it was hot - it was about 90 degrees at the "top of the afternoon" - in fact we have broken heat records for the past three days now.

The Shepherd also helped Joyce show her boys. (it looks like I need to sit down and figure out what's going on with my camera - a lot of my pictures were terribly overexposed)

The judge is the owner of Dawn's Custom Carding in Roy. She was fast, and definitely knew the type of fiber that she preferred...

I had to work on Friday, but Saturday I took my spinning wheel. This is where we sat to spin a couple of years ago. so this is where The Shepherd put my chair and wheel when he brought it in - but you see the square light spot at the verrrryyy end of this walkway? That is where the Shetland stalls were... So I packed up shop and moved down with "my people" --- it was much better.

Joyce didn't have a spare spot for her wheel, so she brought the lovely shawl that she is knitting. Lynn brought her wheel and all kinds of "show and tell" stuff - I brought the wool that I'm spinning for one of the baby sweaters that I'm making for my boss's new twin daughters.

As always, we attracted lots of people - prospective spinners and men, fascinated with the workings of the wheel - Since Lynn teaches fiber classes at her work, I let her do a lot of the talking, but I did a lot of explaining about why my wool was colored and how it got that way.

This yarn will be for Annie's sweater - I will ply it with the other bobbin straight out, not Navajo ply, because I want the sweater to have lots of color to it.

The wool for the other sweater is lavender, pinks and blues - it, of course will be for their other daughter, Violet.

And, speaking of Violets - last but not least, OUR Violet's fleece got the blue ribbon and rosette for the Shetland fleeces - (Outstanding in a class of one - )

As I mentioned earlier the judge is the owner of a fiber mill, and was clear that she was partial to "uniform length" fleeces (Appendix A anyone...)
However, I know quite a few hand spinners who would LOVE to get their mitts on this fleece - so, what ever, we got the blue, and we'll take 'em however we can get 'em.

The fair went really smoothly this year - they had changed some policies to let us go an hour before the actual closing time, to alleviate some of the congestion in the animal areas. We had a scary thing happen with the trailer just before we got on the freeway, but everyone (humans and sheep) was safe - although it might have knocked a few years off our life expectancies...we got home safe and sound.

This next Wednesday, I'm the spinning demo person for the NW Washington Fair in Lynden - I did it last year and it is quite fun. I need to get my new "story board" (How wool goes from Sheep to Sweater") put together. And the good news is that it's only supposed to be about 70 degrees instead of 90! Whoopee!


Kathy said...

Thanks so much for sharing all this with the rest of us (read those not in areas of any kind of real sheep-shows), Tina.
I always remind myself that judging is not an objective thing - most judges have definite ideas of their own as to what is good or not good, no matter what a breed standard says. A sheep could be perfect by the standard, but the judge's likes and dislikes will definitely come into play. (And this happens in all judging, not just sheep)
I was delighted to see you spinning! I remember when you didn't spin that much and now look at you! Woo Hoo! You Go!, girlfriend! Good onya!

Anonymous said...

What a great post and LOVED the pictures!!! ConCats on winning the blue ribbon for your fleece! Mom always watches the spinners when there's a fair by our house. She couldn't go to the County Fair this year, as they had a wedding in CT. BUT, our little sisfur went to the fair 2x. She's lucky! Good luck next week!!!

Leigh said...

Looks like a Shetland Shepherds reunion! Very fun. Congrats on the ribbons! Definitely something to be proud of. Very thankful you made it home safe and sound. And have fun next week!