Thursday, June 14, 2012

Iowa Sheep and Wool 2012

In my earlier posts I mentioned that I was at Iowa Sheep and Wool this past weekend.  I probably should have put this post before the one about the drum carder but I was way to excited about the drum carder to wait.   LOL

Anyway, on to Sheep and Wool.  It was held at the Dallas County Fairgrounds in Adel, IA.  It was about a 4hr drive for me which wasn't to bad as much of the drive was 65 or 70mph.  It is a very pretty drive with lots of farm country, but ironically, I didn't see a single sheep farm on my way down.

Friday I met up with my friend Margie and got my class area setup for my dye class.  Margie is on the board that puts S&W together so she was quite busy.  I tried to help her but felt sort of like I was getting in her way so I found a vendor who needed help and spent the rest of the evening helping her get setup.    She was happy to get some help and I was happy to have something to do.

I was rooming with Margie so I sort of followed her around like a puppy and went to dinner with her and two of her friends.  It was a very nice evening.  They made me feel very welcome and not at all like a stray they had picked up along the way. :)

Saturday was my dye class.  I had 5 students and we all had a lot of fun.  I am rubbish at taking photos at events so here are my only pictures from Sheep and Wool.

This is my class area Friday afternoon.  The class was in the small animal building and those are rabbit cages hanging from the ceiling.  They were only about 6-7 inches above my head so I was hoping none of my students were tall.

Here are two action shots of a couple of my students.

The first one she is dyeing some fiber and in the second she is wringing out some fiber that had been soaking.

Here is some finished work before rinsing. 

There was a well pump as a water source and we had grit showing up in the water buckets so I had the students take the yarn back to their homes/hotels/campers to rinse.  We wanted to keep the grit out of the yarn as much as we could.

We had an issue with electricity so I ended up with my dye pots plugged in all over the building.  It was a bit of a pain but it all worked out in the end.  And my students had fun which is the most important thing.

Saturday afternoon I shopped, helped at the registration/information booth while Margie was in a board meeting, and then took part in the lamb dinner the festival put on.  Heather had a little lamb, it was delicious!

As I had said in my previous post, one of my dye students sold me a drum carder for $150.  So Sunday morning before the vendor booths opened and classes started Margie helped me pick out two fleeces at one of the vendors she knew well.  She only had four left so we put a note on them telling the vendor I would come get them after my class.

Then I went to teach my lace knitting class.  One of the students from my dye class enjoyed the dye class so much that she signed up for my lace class too.  That made me extremely happy.  I taught my students the pattern, we knit on the pattern for a while, I helped them with the inevitable mistakes and showed them how to fix errors without having to rip back, and I showed them how to place lifelines.  After that I opened up the class to anything else they wanted to know and demonstrated blocking of lace and helped a woman figure out where she was in a pattern that she'd been working on and had set down.  I also showed them how to read the lace so if they forgot where they left off they could easily figure it out.

The student who took both of my classes told me she did enjoy the dye class more but that my lace class was great and helped her get over her fears of lace.  I was really happy to hear that.  I enjoyed the dye class more too, I always like the more physically active classes, and while lace is fun, you work to someone else's pattern.  With dyeing, you are creating what you want to create, not making something as dictated by someone else.

My lace students ended up leaving by 11 instead of 12.  We had covered everything we needed to cover, answered all their questions, and it was starting to get warm in the building so they decided they wanted to get out of there.  

So with my extra free time I got my fleeces, and some silk cocoons to play with, ate lunch, and went over to ogle the border collie pups.  They were resting while their humans took a lunch break but while I was talking to one of the humans a crowd started to gather at the pups so they decided to have a mini puppy trial for us.  

It was a lot of fun watching these 10 week old pups running sheep.  The first pup was really good and I got to hold her when they decided she had had enough and it was a second pups turn.  The second pup wasn't quite as good so the first pup kept crying and trying to get out of my arms as though she were saying, "Let me do it!  I can do it!  I'll show you how!"  One of her other humans came and collected her because she wasn't going to settle down as long as she could see the sheep.  It was good he came for her though, I'd forgotten how strong a puppy can be so I was having a hard time holding her.

One more photo for you, the pups in their pen resting.

Don't you just want to climb in there and snorgle them all?

After the trial I said good buy to my friends and headed out.  It was a great time and I look forward to going back there.

I'm going to start cleaning the fleeces I bought this weekend so be sure to follow the blog and see what I do with them.  :)  There may even be a give away for my blog followers.  :)

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