Have Ewe Any Wool?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shenandoah Fall Fiber Festival

This year, I attended both days of the Shenandoah Fall Fiber Festival. It was fabulous! The weather was perfect....a bit drizzly on Sunday, but still great. (It's always great when it's not a wash-out and not too hot!!!)

There was delicious cobbler...

And lots of fiber animals...I love all the fiber animals!

There was even a camel!!! (I heard someone say that a camel was God's joke. Honestly, it just might be. They definitely have a face/neck combo that ONLY their mother could love! LOL!)

They're a bit amusing to watch, too. They just plod along...not a care in the world. (Check out the video below.) As a bonus, I learned the difference between the one-humped and the two-humped camels. The single humped version is the "Dromedary Camel" - also known as the Arabian Camel. The two-humped version (like this "little guy") is called the "Bactrian Camel".

There were several demos as well. Demo'd spinning at the Blue Ridge Spinners and Weavers Guild booth and had a fabulous time. I also found the time to check out some demos. My favorite, by far, was Keith's dyeing demo.

I'm not sure what she was using to create the reddish dye, but she did some indigo dyeing to create the fabulous blues.

Fleece to Scarf Competition

This year, I was asked to help judge the fleece to scarf contest. There were 3 teams total - two adult teams and one teenage team. Each team had one weaver and two spinners. (The 4th person you see in the Kool Jamz is acting as "coach".) All contestants competed as adults....there were not separate categories based on age.

First, the Warped Women of Dreamkeeper Farm.

Next, Team Uniquities.

Finally, Team Kool Jamz.

All the competitors started with a raw fleece and a pre-warped loom. The goal was to spin the wool and weave a scarf in the two hours allotted. Here are the various team scarves in progress.

Judging was a lot of fun as well as a great learning experience! My main expertise was in spinning, so I learned a lot about how to judge and analyze weaving. It's definitely a bonus when you get to learn in addition to the judging! I have new respect for anyone that has to judge and critique the spinning, weaving, or garments in any sort of competition. There are so many things to consider!

The teens were the unanimous winners. (Now you know why they competed against the adults....they're just that good!!!!) I think that every team had fun. I've got my fingers crossed that we'll have even MORE teams next year!!!

I bid on and won the scarf created by the "Warped Women of DreamKeeper Farm". It's the perfect table runner for condiments. It came in a fabulous silky bag and included some "Fibre Wash" and "Fibre Rinse" - perfect for washing fine woolens!

In addition to my scarf purchase, I bought several interesting skeins of yarn, a yarn bowl, and some fabulous fiber. I even "gave in" and purchases two fleeces - an alpaca fleece and a tan merino...oh, so soft! I'm such a sucker for super soft wool and alpaca!


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