Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep and Wool

The Shepherd’s Harvest show was a blast! Unfortunately, I can’t show you the vendors or cute animal pictures because I had total camnesia – that is, I left my camera at home. (I guess I was too excited about the show!) Torild did bring her camera, though, and she shared a few shots with me. I note that she too was humming a sheep-and-wool tune when she got in the car. (Hi ho, hi ho, it’s to sheep and wool we go…!) We all have sheep and wool songs!

ETA: Susan has some nice photos and a summary of the show here.

Gossiping with the fantastic (but blogless) Shelley H – she’s telling me that I’m wearing my shawl backward.

Border collie herding demo

Checking out a Rio Grande wheel

The show was a lot of fun. Given that I’m used to MDSW-sized crowds and vendors, I found our local show to be quite cozy (~2 1/2 barns of vendors and maybe 1/10th the number of animals on display). Most of the yarn seemed to be from family farms and were millspun by small carding operations. Some had pictures or names of the sheep that produced the wool for the yarn. I love when shepherds do that!

I saw a lot of rughooking vendors, probably an equal amount of raw fleece and processed roving, and little commercial spinning fibers (eg, Ashland Bay). I saw no spindle vendors or carder manufacturers, and I found only 1 booth with lots of spinning wheels to try (Jensen – more below). Other booths with wheels on display had put them high on shelves and had put fiber or whatnot on the treadles. It looked like they didn’t actually want you to try the wheels (and most vendors had only 1 chair). The Rio Grande above was someone’s personal wheel (it was made in the mid-1980s and is in great shape).

We spent about an hour observing sheepherding dogs in action and listening to the Q&A about Border collies. We also watched a flax-to-linen demo. That was really something – what a hella lot of work that is just to make the fiber ready to spin. We had a brief celebrity sighting (Norman Kennedy). We waited in line to eat lambburgers and fresh cheese curds (delicious!), plus Torild and I shared a tasty bag of kettle corn during the dog demo.

I did sit down in front of a Jensen D30, which was quite beautiful. I can’t give a full review because I only spun for a few minutes. However, I note that the wheel is not as heavily rim-weighted as the wheel I own, so it stops very quickly when you stop treadling. The ratios cover a wide range, and the wheel treadled smoothly at the highest ratio that I tried (13:1). The wheel knocks down somewhat (you can lift the drive wheel off the frame), and the whole thing is pretty lightweight, maybe 15 lbs. (Does a 30-inch wheel really weigh less than my cat?) The finishing work was nice – I loved the finials and decorative turnings. For a handmade wheel, the price can’t be beat (~$1650). I can see why Jensen wheels have such a enthusiastic fan base.

What did I buy at the show? Well, let’s see…

Hillside Honey & Crafts (no Web presence): 2 4-oz skeins of DK weight blue yarn, untreated but supposedly machine washable (Rambouillet and Lincoln cross wool)

Handspun by Stefania: 10.7 oz of Corriedale and silk, dyed with madder and osage orange (I think), respectively. I’m glad that MDSW shoppers didn’t completely empty her inventory!

Lone Tree Wools (no Web presence): Dyed silk hankies

No vendor name on the receipt: Crystal Palace bamboo sock needles (US1, 6″ length)

Morning Sun Fiber Barn: 4 oz of blue pygora blended with lavender silk (~85/15)

15 thoughts on “Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep and Wool

  1. Sounds like a lovely, relaxing time. The new additions to your stash are beautiful. But, it looks like you did exercise restraint. šŸ™‚

  2. It was so nice to see you! I am drooling over the fiber you bought – I was debating going back to both of those vendors (Handspun by Stefania and Morning Sun) for more fiber, but decided I’d spent enough. *Sigh*

  3. Looks like a good sheepy time. Pygora looks interesting. I haven’t seen a Rio Grande. Very unusual way to address the wheel. I wonder what his template was.

  4. Sounds like a cozy festival. I’m really clueless as to why these vendors would put the wheel out of touch. They want to sell spinning wheels, don’t they? Then put one out for people to try out.

  5. Yet another person I didn’t run into while I was there!! The one thing I wish SH would do is have more food vendors…

  6. Hey June, I noticed your name on the door prize list at Shepherd’s Harvest. Did you pick up your prize? I would imagine they would contact you if you didn’t. (There was contact info on that door prize registration form, wasn’t there?!)

  7. RE: “Spinning is more fun than knitting” — that’s what I’m afraid of! Another obsession! My kids already think they are orphans. Love hearing about what was there from a spinners’s perspective because I didn’t really know what I was looking at.

  8. Oh boy, that looks like a great outing. I love the pygora blend. I’ve really enjoyed spinning pygora in the past. Do you know if it’s the A, C or Blend type of pygora?
    Oh and any event that highlights Border Collies is a winner in my book šŸ™‚

  9. It looks like a great time! I have a small (semi)local festival like that, and it’s not the best on the acquisition side of things (not that I need more), but a great way to see all of my local fiber friends at one time. So, which new fiber is next on the chopping block?

  10. So did you turn your shawl around to wear it forward? Your hair is really short. Good for those hot humid summer days.

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