Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival, 2014

Well, its past time for a post, but we have been busy as usual. Its farming time, and the rains and strange weather have complicated and changed our plans many days. But when its Festival time, we pack up and head east regardless.

This year was one of many 'firsts'.  Having outgrown the past location, this year the Festival was in a new location - Colfax, IA, which made it a 30 minute longer drive, but the additional space was a plus.

Just for fun (and a little 'progress'), we added in a few 'new' things ourselves.
                    We added a 'new' truck to take us all, and all our things to the Festival this year.

                                           The sheep got to ride in the 'new' little show trailer.

The 'new' setup was comfortable for all, and economical too. More room, and we didn't have to drive the big 'Bertha'.  Of course, nothing about it was really new, but only new to 'Us'.

The new barn was pretty open, so we had to improvise some with the set up, but we managed to contain it all, even during the gusty winds.

We even had a 'new' sign

And some new merchandise - Hand dyed roving braids, and some hand spun yarn. Both were well received

                                                     Of course we took lots of fleeces. Which was a good thing.
We entered some in the fleece show .......

                                                     And won Champion Fleece.....

                                                      And Reserve Champion Fleece.

                                                          We were very pleased.

Another 'new' thing was the Lamb pot luck on Saturday night. The Association furnished lamb lasagna, Swedish meatballs, and fajitas, and guests all brought dishes. Of course we had to promote lamb too, so we took lamb desert -
                                               White and natural colored sheep cupcakes.

                                             Needless to say, we had no left overs to take home.

I taught 2 classes of needle felting too. Not large numbers this year, but we had fun. A skein of handspun 'Grandpa's fleece won its class, so it now sports a blue ribbon also.

We shared duties with our booth neighbors, Seelow Sheep Farm, of wool knowledge with the public.
A little cooperation among producers is a benefit for all.

So, after an exhausting but enjoyable and successful weekend, we packed up our woolies and headed west for home.

We were really glad we sold some of those fleeces. We were packed just as tight for the trip home. Christian from C&M Acres Mill brought our finished roving, bats, and needle felted sheets. I resisted the urge to pull them out while there, and was glad I did. This is the pile they made on the shop floor at home.

More than 40 lbs of fleecy fun experimenting to do.  Yes, I have plans. Now to find the time.

Time!  Right. In the meantime, the weeds in the garden are doing as well as the chosen plants. The rabbits are enjoying the broccoli, and the beets must have been good, because they're gone too. Most of the corn survived the wash outs, if we can sort it out from the crab grass. Its going to be an interesting summer, vegetable wise. At least the zucchini are trying.

The 'hayin neighbor' managed to get the first patch of hay up between rains, so we now have 7 bales tucked away for the winter. Much more is standing, and ready to mow if the weather forecast ever looked promising. Can't put up hay in 2 days with 80% humidity and showers.

So we made it through another festival. All well at home, and Dolly was glad to see us return. She tried digging a basement to her dog house in her free time while we were gone. The aged cat Stalky was well but not happy after being left alone in the house. She promptly ate, and went out for the night.

Now to work.  The garage is full of fleeces to be listed for sale. 

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your awards! Sounds like a successful festival.