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So I’ve been composing in my head for two days, trying to come up with a way to explain the beauty of the Massachusetts Sheep & Wool Festival. I had a fabulous time with friends and fiber but the words just weren’t coming.

Well. When I came in the house last night, after a very pleasant cook out on our deck with only my father-in-law for company, I read my dear friend Cate’s post about this past weekend. You must go read it, too. Now, please.

Yeah. I’m done with the words for this because there’s no way I could say it better than Cate did. My little knitting hobby has become such a huge part of my life and the friends I have made because of it, well, it just amazes me. For these are not just blogging acquaintances but real life friends. Even now, I feel like words are failing me. Just read Cate’s post again if you want to know how I feel.

I do, however, have pictures.

The fairgrounds. Really, the whole festival wasn’t much bigger than this. And yet the size was perfect. I know, I sound like Goldilocks, but this was just right.


Sheep in crazy, psychedelic coats. I’d be embarassed to wear either of these coats, were I a sheep.

Morris Dancers. Or, dance softly and carry a big stick.

A fleece. Half of this belongs to me and the other half belongs to Laurie. Because, when Laurie offers to split a Blue Ribbon winning Coopworth fleece with you, you just don’t refuse.

Oh. Another fleece. This one is all mine and, while it only won a red ribbon, I fell in love with the crimp and just had to have it.

Assorted fiber purchases. I’ve decided that I buy fiber according to the weather. New Hampshire was grey and cold and rainy and everything I bought was either beige, grey or brown. Massachusetts was bright and hot and sunny and everything I bought was bright colored and fun. So, really, between the two festivals, I’ve got it covered.

I would be remiss in this whole fiber story if I didn’t recognize and thank my husband. Dale is a trooper. He not only visits and socializes with my friends but he also lugs around 12.5 pounds of fleece, assorted fiber and bottles of water. He’s willing to sit and talk with virtual strangers until 10 pm at night, even while facing a 2.5 hour ride home, just so I can spin on Marcy’s new gossip wheel. And he only mildly makes fun of me when I try to spindle spin the day after the event. Despite being taught by a master and enoucouraged by the various members of the Spindicate, I still have issues with the spindle. I guess this means I need another get together for more lessons with my friends.

So, really, that about sums it up. Just one more thing, in case I haven’t said it yet. I had a fantastic time.

This Post Has 37 Comments

  1. It was wonderful to see you on Saturday – beautiful fleeces :o)

    Funny how we both mentioned Goldilocks in our Cummington posts…get outta my head! ;o)

  2. It looks like you shopped at a lot of the same places I did. Both Indigo moon and the sheep shed are my favorite places to buy from when I go to the festivals. It was great to see you again.

  3. It was exceptional. Mamacate really nailed it. You are such a good co-conspirator. And yes, the husband unit really held up well. A good man.

  4. I love the colors you bought. They are so beautiful.

    Thanks for pointing me toward Mamacate’s post. It was excellent.

  5. I’m so glad to have shared it with you. Thanks for being there.

    Dale was a trooper, and I even suspect he might have had a teeny bit of fun. Plus, you didn’t even mention the part about him tapping the keg. Dude.

    Have fun with the spoils of your weekend. It looks like wonderful stuff.

    And how did I ever miss those sheep?

  6. I can’t echo Kathy and even say I thought of you guys on Saturday — I was so deeply entrenched in my own little world this long weekend. But I’m glad you had a marvelous time. That Dale is a trouper, for sure! Cate, well, I spell “Cate” G-E-M.

  7. I thought of all of you this weekend – I have a smile on my face just reading all the posts about Cummington.

  8. I’m going to be reading all day about what a wonderful time was had by all-and I missed it! Wonderful pictures, Carole, and GREAT fleeces!

  9. I was at a festival also this weekend and it too was small. Sometimes I think the best ones to go to are small because you can see everything in one day and really get immersed in the vendors. I vended at our festival and did very well. My socks were a hit, I got spinning lessons and made alot of connections. I know as a vendor I would thank you for comming to a ‘small’ festival.

  10. what a great day. So informative. I didn’t buy much but went home with lots of info. Don’t kid yourselve you summed up the day beautifully

  11. looks like the perfect fiber fair to me! – I just love the smaller ones. Nice stash enhancement~ and that fleece looks divine. ~ tell Dale he’s a role model to men all over the world !

  12. Grant and I really, really needed a weekend away together, and it happened to be this one. I really wish I could have been in two places at once, though.

  13. I am so glad you had a great time. The new fiber is yummy. I bought a batt in Maryland very similar to the one in your picture. Have you ever spun from a batt before? I have no clue how to spin mine.
    I love the bright sheepy coats….sheeptards! heh

  14. Not to belittle Dale’s fabulousness–because he clearly is–but I suspect he enjoys hanging out with all us women just a little bit.

    So glad you could both make it to Cummington! I can’t wait to see what you do with the fleeces.

  15. Hi, great photos, something about the grey fleece and blue roving I love. It must be in my future. As per your comment (couldn’t see your email)… the great thing was the weekend wasn’t hectic, I didn’t have to be everywhere. You can tell by the limited photos where was I though. See you around the fiber!

  16. I think I know someone who can help you with the spindle issues. Not me, though. I’m crappy with a spindle. But I know some very good teachers. Wait until Estes! (Which isn’t much bigger than your Mass. fest, I think.)

  17. Is that… tiger roving? Not from an actual tiger, I mean, but tiger-striped? Because that would be the very best thing ever, if it was. And if you could preserve the stripiness while spinning/plying.

    I’m still thumbsy with the spindle too, but I’m going to get it right one day! And you will too.

  18. I read Cate’s post yesterday and got choked up and weepy, in a good way.

    Beautiful fleeces and fibers you lucky duck! Can’t wait to see what you do with them.

    I take it those psychedelic sheep were waiting in the wings to be judged and wore those clothes to keep them clean?

  19. Wow, you really did score some some great fibers, huh? And the CLEAN and colorful stuff! Mmmm.
    Hey, are you going to the festival up in Maine??

  20. I LOVE the orange, black, red and brown fleece! Can’t wait to see it spun up. It’ll look great on your blog (snicker). Looked again and the red and purple one is pretty cool too. And the other has a little kiss of gold… great scores all.

  21. Mmmmm fleece. So were the lambs part of the syncro swim team?

    Also adding some of your hubby’s finer (fiber)qualities to the list of my perfect guy.

  22. Wow! You always go to the neatest places. I’m totally diggin’ those sheep in their cute getups!
    Lovely fiber. Ya know, I bought two spindles last fall and I have never used them. One is a custom Bosworth, gorgeous, but I can’t do it. I suck. So good luck there missy! Can’t wait to see your spindle action.

    Oh! Fleeces are fantastic. Lucky.

  23. It was really great to meet you and Dale on Saturday. The fleece you purchased is absolutely beautiful!

    You are right about Cate’s post, it gets directly to the heart of the matter which is that there is a true community in the world of fiber and it surely is a beautiful one 🙂


  24. Congrats on your prize winning fleeces! What’s the second one? Are you gonna wash these up yourself or send them out? Happy sunny fiber, enjoy spinning them!

  25. I totally forgot about Cummington! Damn!!! So close by, yet so consumed by the house… 🙁

    What lovely fleece and roving!

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