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NH Sheep and Wool, or Will this post ever end Wednesday

My blogging mojo has been as weak as an extra light cup of decaffeinated joe. I've got a lot of metaphysical questions and ideas floating around in my head these days much of which I either don't want to share or worse, desire to share but am unable to distill into a coherent narrative.

I am in a fugue state brought on by the nexus of some personal revelations and my immersion in the biographical material of Christopher Jonathon McCandless, the subject of the book and movie entitled Into the Wild. But there is both knitting and even a bit of introductory spinning going on at chez yarn these days, but before that I want to get down my thoughts about the weekend.

I thoroughly enjoyed my jaunt up to Contoocook, where the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool festival was held. The web based weather forecast I read indicated it would start out cold and cloudy but get nicer as the day progressed and it was right on the money.

It was raw as I left my house at 7:30 am and I was glad to be keeping myself warm with a pair of Digitessa's and Blueberry Moon. Hubby made fun of me all decked out and show-offy. He may be right, but since I knit it, I have no problem flaunting it.

The drive up was glorious. I listened to an audiobook of Into the Wild and appreciated how beautiful New England is becoming. The foliage is still a little on the anemic side, needing another week or two to peak, but budding foliage and blue skies peppered with cloud puffs are a welcome vista nonetheless.

The festival was easy to find and within moments of walking in the gate I had blown 1/3 of my cash on three beautiful skeins of yarn.


60% Merino/40% Cotton from Maple Creek Farm


Two 75% Merino/25% Nylon skeins from Ball and Skein

Knowing I would go over the all the booths once my Dad's wife, Chris, showed up, I quickly exited the barn and set my sights on the sheep dog trials.

It became apparent quite quickly, even to my novice eye, that the competitors were beginners. Having a herding breed myself, an Australian Shepherd, kept me enthralled with the border collies on display, but I was considerably uncomfortable with the harsh commandeering the entrants used. I saw no physical violence towards the dogs but I felt violence in how they talked to their charges.

I'm sure this is normal, and maybe misunderstood by my aspy perceptions, but I was discomfited all the same and so moved on to the museum barn. Here I found women making socks on antique knitting machines, another woman spinning on a 4 or 5 foot wheel, and a third woman making needle felted animals.

I then went on to the sheep stalls but I quickly found that they did not have stalls set for judging or selling like they did at Rhinebeck. I caught a small bit of the youth show. Even though I never learned what they were exhibiting or judging, I saw more than anyone's fair share of cuteness!

That little bugger was very vocal. I tried to get a shot of him baaaing, but no luck.

Shortly thereafter Chris showed up and I had to tell her that we wouldn't be seeing the fleece to shawl competition, as it was set for Sunday. She didn't seem disappointed, and thus we set off to the nearest vendor barn.

As far as the fleece and wool vendors, I don't think NHSW was that much smaller than Rhinebeck. There was a great deal to see. After succumbing to another pair of sock yarns, I knew I had to keep what little money I had left for my main ticket items, white laceweight, preferably baby alpaca, a spindle, and some starter roving.


The pink skein is fingering, the green skein is sport weight, both 100% superwash Merino

As we hit booth after booth, my initial fear of spending so much so soon, dissipated. I experienced the deja vu of Rhinebeck, where the second half of the shopping was mostly alpaca and mohair and other yarn I had no interest in. I felt relieved I had purchased what I liked and not waited to find something better. But as far as the laceweight, I never did find a single indy seller and so when I happened upon some Jojoland fingering cashmere, I grabbed two skeins immediately.

It wasn't until the proprietor showed me a fabulous lace scarf pattern that I recollected that I had heard of and seen the yarn before. One of my LYSes sold it in a kit. I wasn't too keen on the dull mint colored yarn in the kit, but I pined over the pattern and was promptly told it was not sold separately.


Happy, I was, to see it sold separately and thus scooped up a copy. Although this is not the end of my immoderation, I must conclude here. The rest of the story will have to wait for another day.


Nell said…
Sounds like you had a blast! And you picked up some lovely yarn too. Can't wait to see the rest.