Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Michigan Fiber Festival

So, as I previously mentioned I would have some "special" pictures for everyone soon. Well I flubbed a bit---I do have some pictures but not as many as I would have liked to have brought back to post.
The Michigan Fiber Festival is held every year in Allegan, Michigan around the third weekend of August. We have only gone two times now but both times we use it as a mid way point to pick up sheep that we are buying for our farm. I purchased 2 ewes and a ram from Jager Icelandics, one ewe from Little Cabin Farm and another ewe from Ingleside Icelandics. I also picked up sheep for a lady in Atlanta.
In actuality our trip started with us meeting Nancy Chase (Ingleside Icelandics) in Nashville,
picking up a ram of hers and then meeting some very nice people from Wisconsin in Indianapolis to
give them the ram---basically a delivery. Unfortunately we were late meeting them ---three minor fender benders, a fire at the side of the road and a horrible storm all contributed to us being 2 and 1/2 hours late. Ack!! I hate doing that to people---but it was out of our control. They were very nice and understanding about it though---Thank you Cathy :-)
After that we camped that night in a state park in Indiana and it was just gorgeous. The weather was perfect and the bugs were doing their whole "forest chorus" thing----which I totally miss. ( We used to live surrounded by a forest and I miss it very often ) By the way---I forgot to take pictures of any of this part.
The next day--Friday--- we diddled around for a while but eventually made our way to the festival at about 3pm. Some of the Icelandic breeders had arrived and were set up and some hadn't made it yet, so we went to wander around the fair. When our sheep got there we helped get them in a pen and I took one picture of my husband watering afterwards.

Eventually most arrived and we ended up eating a little "pot luck" dinner----that fortunately did have some "pot luck" to eat. A number of us were from way way out of town so we shirked our duties of bringing a dish. The others were very gracious to share with us---and I did get ONE picture of this. I am not in it of course :-)

Saturday dawned wonderfully cool (late fall weather seeming for us---breezy, dewy and we needed a light jacket) and we got started for a busy day.
I fed and watered all the sheep and then we went off to eat breakfast. I took some pictures of downtown Allegan which is a very cute little town to stop at and even spend a night if you ever go through that way. It's not large, so a week worth of things to do might be hard to find unless you were there for something specific---but it is very cute and clean. The people are pleasant and friendly---which makes the stay enjoyable just because of that. By the way---you can tell by the picture that the weather was wonderful that day.

Later that afternoon---I showed some of the sheep for Jager Icelandics. Of course, Barb kept giving me the polled sheep---which don't have the handy dandy handles on top of their head to control them with. Some people halter break their sheep---but not everyone does so they can be a bit of a pill sometimes. Little ballerinas doing high jumps on the end of a "string". Then they will throw their selves down into the flooring and roll in it as they have a fit about being held still and cover the very fleece they are being judged on in wood chips. Baaad sheep.

Unfortunately none of my victims, err....sheep, placed at all. Though I think the judge thought my handling technique was good (which it wasn't) since she chatted to me a bit (a no no) and I placed right on the other side of the ribbon every time. However---a good time was had by all and there were lots of sheep to see. We got to talk with friends not seen for a year, made new friends and saw lots of fiber related STUFF.
I even broke down and bought some yarn---a rarity for me. I am a very very good person about not buying on whim---but I did like this yarn and since it is boucle, it is out of my skill range to produce. I will post a picture of it when I start the project. I think I will make something for my mother's upcoming 60th birthday with it.

Anyways---we had a great time. Made it back safely and now have sheep in our quarantine area. My new ram is wonderfully built (I had to shear him to figure it out though) and my new ewes all seem to be somewhat friendly and curious. Overall---good purchases. I will post pictures of them another day.

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