Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WSWF Was Memorable

I returned home very late Monday night from Wisconsin.  It was a terrific trip.  The Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival is always a terrific trip.  I am especially impressed by the very good organization of this event; they are so kind to the workshop instructors, taking care of many of the details so we don’t have to.  So I offer a gigantic “Thank You” to all the volunteers at WSWF.

This festival is one of the very best places for buying high quality fibers.  This year I came home with exceptional Coopworth wool from Hidden Valley Farm & Woolen Mill, and equally fabulous Bluefaced Leicester wool from Red Oak Farm.  They don't have a website; their email address is  They share a booth with Riverwinds Farm, my go-to source for Cormo wool.

My workshops were all tremendous fun.  This was the first time I taught “Spinning Super Stretchy Wools”, and I hope to do this workshop more in the future.  Right now I am totally crazy for highly elastic wools.

Food highlights for me came from one booth whose name I cannot recall:  I had a refreshing shaved ice with lemon and raspberry syrup on Saturday, and an awesome iced mocha with loads of whipped cream on Sunday.  Yum!

I did take my camera, but was way too busy to take pictures until after the Festival was over.  On Sunday night, I stayed at the home of Carol and Paul Wagner, owners of Hidden Valley Farm & Woolen Mill.  They took me out on Monday morning to see “the girls” (the ewes).  Here’s one picture:

As I was departing the Wagners, Carol gave me a bag of fresh picked tomatoes and bell peppers.  And a couple bags of roving that she said she’d probably never get around to spinning.  One bag contained some roving from a sheep that was a cross of Jacob and Scottish Blackface.  Lovely dark wool!

And the other bag was of some Corriedale roving dyed with natural dyes by Stefania Isaacson, from Handspun by Stefania.  Always a treat to spin (or use in my classes)!

It was only a short drive from their house to Manitowoc to board the SS Badger.  The ferry ride was great as always.  Here is a series of pictures of Manitowoc disappearing over the first 30 minutes or so of the 4-hour voyage:

I had planned to take another series of pictures at the end of the trip of Ludington appearing, but I was too caught up in my knitting to do so.  I was working on a new mitten design that uses a very cool slip stitch pattern that looks like seed stitch.  Here’s what I got done:

I’m expecting to finish this mitten and it’s partner by the time I return from North Country FiberFair.  I fly out for that event tomorrow!

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