Monday, May 23, 2011

Another One Behind Us

Another KY Sheep and Fiber Festival has come and gone.  I'm tired, sore and my allergies are doing a number on me, but overall it seemed to have been a great success!

I was in the livestock area this year, and liked it much better in many respects.  Since I was there to promote Angora Rabbits as a luxury fiber source and the 'ideal' livestock for the Urban Farmer, it made more sense.  I think people accepted the rabbits in that way more too, seeing them right there with sheep, alpacas and goats.  It was a great spot - the side entrance to the tent was on one side of me, and the front entrance on the other - we couldn't be missed!   My posters were a little worse for the wear after getting soaked with rain last year, but I used them anyway.  They were more accessible to people and they actually looked at them and read them this time.

Truffle and Holly went with me the first day.  They were a big hit and a few people even remembered them from last year.  We had a nice breeze, but when it got really warm in the late afternoon I made some ice packs for them to lay on.  We were "on show" non-stop from before 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.  People were already around the booth before 9, and I heard "There she is!" and kids ran up to me wanting to pet bunnies even while I was carrying them to the table from the car!  

I didn't take fiber, and in the end I was glad.  Being in the livestock tent rather than with the vendors, some people asked about yarn and roving, but not like last year.   LOTS were interested in starting in Angoras though!!!  I gave out all my handouts and most of my cards the first day.   I was talking so much, I didn't touch my wheel the first day, and wouldn't have wanted to deal with money.  It was too hectic. 

 Susan Anderson  was our special guest the first day. She held a workshop, then in the afternoon, had a book signing of her newest book.  She was set up all of 15 feet from me but it took a long time before I got a moment to run over to meet her and have her sign my book.  She was so great.   As nice a person as you can imagine and "real," she is just the kind of woman who would be your next door neighbor, or in in your knitting group.   She even supported our vendors by shopping a little before she left the first day, and coming back the next day before her plane left, to shop for a few hours more!    

Ivy and Niko went the second day.   Probably the most asked question I got was about plucking the rabbits - could I hold them in my lap and spin right off them?   Ivy has such a strange coat.  The top is lovely and silky, but barely grows (she's nearly 2 and I've only sheared her on top once, right after I got her at 4 months).  She has a 'petticoat' that does grow, along with her belly wool, and it can be plucked.  Since she is my only 'plucker,' I decided to take her.   It was cooler, with a good breeze, so they were fine.

There were all kinds of fiber animals represented: 

There were BIG sheep (Wensleydale) ....  


And little sheep (the famous Lila lamby) ....... 

There were Alpacas....

Llamas ......

and goats with BIG horns!

But the most fun were all the babies! 

sleeping babies .......  (the second one is Luna)

eating babies......

and babies with looooong necks!

One of the disadvantages of being a "vendor" is there is almost no time to shop!  Well, maybe my bank account thinks that's a good thing.  It was so busy I had a hard time getting in even one meal the first day.  The second day had a MUCH lighter crowd, (we'll have to work on that) so I did get to do a little shopping.  I only went to a few booths, because I was too busy trying to get feedback from the vendors ("are you happy with everything?  Anything we could do better next year?)   I got lots of enthusiasm, and no real complaints - just some suggestions. I didn't get any photos of the vendors at all, so you will just have to visit the  Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival website and/or on Facebook for those.

All I bought was a pound of Cormo fleece I thought I might try blending with my Angora for some super-soft yarn, and some BFL roving dyed in luscious shades of pink, raspberry, orange, purple and olive. 

This photo doesn't do it justice.  BFL luster just makes the colors glow.

When I look at the photos of the booths on Facebook today , I think "Oh!  I missed that one ...and that one ....  There are some things I'm already regretting  not getting - like the lovely felted bowls (including some nesting ones!) by Tanglewood Farms   (Dianne is Luna lamby's "Mom")   She had great colors on her her yarns - really got some nice results on her dyeing.

Shortly before it was time to close down on Sunday, we got word that "some weather" was coming, and we could break down and pack up if we wanted to.  Mine took very little time, so I tried to help elsewhere, but I don't know if I was help or just in the way. :P   I took halters in the pens to round up Dianne's lambs, and Luna walked right over and stuck her head in!!  I guess she was ready to go!  The other lambs - not so much.   I chased and tried to corner them for a minute or two, but then stopped because I didn't want to stress them. But when I saw Dianne doing "sheep wrangler" all over them, maybe that wouldn't have been a problem!?!   Ya' just never know.  About then the skies opened up and it 'came a flood,'     It was wild for a few minutes with wind, thunder, lightning, and trying to load up in a deluge.  Then, about the time everything was stopped. 

What an end to the second annual Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival.  

We'll see you next year!!! 


  1. From Dianne's post and yours, it sounds like the second annual KSFF was a rousing success; congratulations!!!

  2. I'm so sad that I did't get to go. It sounded really fun.

  3. My ponies are actually around 14 hands, so small horses. Annie is a Haflinger, Prize is half arab, half quarter. I like the dual purpose aspects - riding and driving! I really lust after a meadowbrook cart - Annie would look stunning in front of one of those!

    Sounds like the fiberfest was a hoot! I used to raise angoras - the best one I ever had was a German/French/English chestnut agouti, who never matted. She was great!

  4. Hi Deb-
    My husband and I had the great pleasure of talking with you on Sunday about the rabbits. Thanks to you and the other friendly people there, my husband is now convinced that we can start our own fiber farm! I'm so excited!

    Thanks for all your great comments and insights on my blog! It means a lot to me- thanks!