Saturday, June 20, 2009

At the Estes Park Wool Market

Wool Market
Estes Park Wool Market

I'm not sure pictures, or words either for that matter, can give an idea of what a beautiful place this festival graces. The town of Estes Park is tucked up in the towering Rocky Mountains, and the fairground is within sight of the historic Stanley Hotel. Everywhere you look there is a wonderful view, and the highest mountains are snow-capped, even in June!

Young Yaks

Many things were different at this festival. I had never seen yaks before....

Suri Alpaca
Suri Alpaca

and I had never seen a Suri Alpaca, although I have some lovely suri here from Mary Martin's farm in Bluefield, Virginia. This little guy made me realize why Mary's fiber is so lovely and soft! He was quite friendly, too.

Maybe a Wesleydale?

There were several breeds of sheep I wasn't very familiar with, but like an idiot I didn't get any pictures of them. I think this glorious creature is a Wesleydale, with a wool I have spun before. There were lots of lovely alpaca and pygora goats, lots of beautiful alpacas and llamas, and even a few angora rabbits!

Wool Market
Wool Market Vendors

This part of the show will look a bit familar to veteran festival goers, with lots of lovely yarn, tools and fiber. There were some different breeds of wool here, though, that I wasn't familiar with. I fell in love with a California Variegated Mutant (yeah, I know) fleece from Durakai Sheep and Fiber Arts. Left it sitting for a bit while I walked around but had to go back and buy it. Several people mentioned to me that they had considered that very fleece themselves. I also love the wool from Gleason's Fine Woolies Bond and Corriedale sheep. Just couldn't buy everything I wanted, though, so I had to pass this one up. But if you get a chance at least have a good look at their's lovely!

Wool Market
Yarn and wool and color, oh my!

I recognized the names of a few vendors just from cruising around on the Internet, but most of them were quite new to me. That made things very exciting. We ran into Cathy and Mike, with their friend Barbara who has been getting all the wonderful curtains that Cathy has been making lately. Because Ron was along and I didn't want to bore him, we didn't hang around for all the activities. Cathy wrote about some great things that happened at the show during the weekend.

And of course I bought stuff:

My purchases, except for one!
Fleece and roving, oh my!

Sorry for the poor was raining when we got home and wicked dark in the house. When I start working with it all I should get better pictures. The fleece is the aforementioned CVM. When I got home I discovered that Spin-Off had done an article about this wool in the latest issue. So when I tackle the fleece, which will be soon, I should have some idea of what to do with it.

Another purchase was some California Red roving that I bought to spin on the delightful little spindle that Mike made for me. The vendor was Skein Train, and I had an interesting talk with her about another festival, in November, that she is involved with and promoting. So far I've spun an ounce or so of the roving and really like it.

I bought four ounces of a lovely variegated Teeswater/Cotswold cross roving from Black Hills Woolies, and just realized that I somehow didn't manage to get a picture of it! Hope I managed to get home with the ball! I was fascinated by the "cheeky" batt created by Fire Ant Ranch out of Black Welsh and Gulf Coast wool. Looking forward to seeing how that spins as well.

One thing that is the same, seems like, no matter where you go, and that is that fiber folk are special. Friendly, sharing and interesting...even though all the vendors were busy they took the time to talk about their enthusiasm for the festival and for their wools, animals and yarns. The Estes Park Wool Market was a great experience for me, and well worth the long trip!

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