Divine Bird

I believe in a high-fiber diet…like wool, alpaca, cashmere…

MA Sheep & Wool 2014 – A winner is me, again!

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Warning – pic-heavy post!

Memorial Day weekend is usually a good time for me. There are family picnics, it’s the end of the semester at work, and of course, it’s when we have the Massachusetts Sheep & Wool Festival in Cummington, MA! Angie and I went up for both days this year despite the threat of thunderstorms and allergies, and it was totally worth it on all counts. On our way home on Saturday, we noticed that a bakery we’ve never been into was open. We ended up there three times over the course of the weekend – Bread Euphoria is JUST at the town line between Northampton and Haydenville on Route 9. It’s about an hour from my house and it was WORTH THE DRIVE. We had sandwiches and pastries for lunch and breakfast and it was all amazing.

I have a bit of a tradition around here where I post pics of my entries & any prizes I get from a festival. MA Sheep & Wool is one of my favorites for many reasons. First, it’s just a nice fair. It’s small enough to see in a day, but big enough to wander for two. Its skein contest is free to enter and the prizes are great. They even have speed knitting, spindle spinning, and wheel spinning competitions. Vendors come from all over New England, not just for fiber, but for maple syrup, fudge, and ice cream as well. A local culinary school offered lamb four ways, where you could buy a serving for 50 cents…YUM.

This year, I entered a whopping 10 skeins. I didn’t think I’d have anything to enter, as I didn’t spin much over the last year, but apparently I did more than I thought!  First, here are the skeins that didn’t win:

Merino, Perendale, Shetland, Romney/Mohair, and BFL

I’ll try again with these at other competitions. :)

I did really well this year. In the speed competition, I came in second in all three categories. In both spinning ones, I lost to Angie. It was really close on spindles but the wheel spinning was a total blowout. That girl can SPIN FAST, let me tell you!

The yarn is my wheel spinning result

But okay, okay, I’ll get to the good stuff.  I won two 3rd-place ribbons:

Exmoor Horn, dyed by the lovely Dan of Gnomespun Yarns

 

I call this skein “Braided Rug” because that’s what it reminds me of. Total chaotic blend. I know where it came from but can’t remember their name!!

I got a First place ribbon on this skein of merino, which pretty much surprised me. It was one of 5 skeins of the same yarn and I grabbed this one at random. Hurrah!

Gold merino dyed by a friend ages ago.

I also got a First place ribbon AND the Northeast Handspinners award on this awesome skein; I was REALLY hoping for a big win with it and it didn’t disappoint!

Merino/Silk from Fiber Optic, one long gradient from green to purple. I have a second skein that I’m finishing up.

And as if that wasn’t enough, looky what ELSE I got!

AWW YISSS. Colorful merino, BEST OF SHOW, BABY

TBH, I wasn’t expecting this skein to do so well. Not complaining, not by a long shot. :)  Just surprised. I spun this willy-nilly because the fiber was in my stash and I don’t really love merino. I’m so happy to have this lovely plate!

There were prizes for the speed contests, which are always really nice. Vendors donate an item to the contests, so this year I ended up with this giant skein of merino/silk yarn from Biltmore Wool Barn and some peach alpaca combed top from Play at Life. I also got a cute llama plush but haven’t taken a pic of him as he’s been on constant cuddle duty since I brought him home.

That skein is HUGE, and the alpaca top is suuuuper soft.

And despite having a severely curbed budget, I managed to snag a couple of deals on fiber:

Blue batts, DELICIOUS

Spunky Eclectic fibers: BFL on the left, grey overdyed BFL on the right. The bright green is almost completely spun up by now. XD

The weekend was pretty lovely, all in all. It rained a lot on Saturday but Sunday was much brighter and prettier. It is ALWAYS so good to see the people I love: Naomi, Laurie, Marcy, Lynn, Jennifer, Lisa, Sandi (and Melody!), Kate, Barbara, Beth-Ann, Dave & Kathy, Jessalu, Amy, Adrian, and more. I missed a few people, too–Dan, Tina, and Kim especially. I have a feeling I didn’t list a few names and if yours was one of them, I’m sorry. <3

Next fibery festival for me will be the Big E in September. I’ll be re-entering some of these skeins plus some other stuff I made, but at least I have some time to plan! :)

OH, and if you are one of the people who asked what I do with my ribbons, here you go:

ribbons so many ribbons

What did you do on Memorial Day weekend?

2 Comments

  1. Congratulations on all your wins :D The Best in Show is terrific, but I can’t take my eyes off of the green-purple gradient!

  2. Love, love the “braided rug” yarn!

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