Estes Park Wool Market

The weekend of June 8 and 9 was the Estes Park Wool Market, my very first fiber-related festival!  I drove up on Sunday and arrived around 10:30AM.  Despite my worries, plenty of parking was available and none of the merchandise appeared to be picked over. 

Upon my entrance, I was greeted by these lovelies:

Baby alpacas, they were such dolls!

Being my first fiber festival, I was a bit overwhelmed.  Before hitting the vendors, I perused some of the animal tents:

Two very curious sheep

 

Bluefaced Leicester Ram Lambs… FOR SALE!!!  Lambs can live happily in a small two-bedroom apartment, right?  I was surprised by how many of the animals were for sale. 

 

Sheep sheering demonstration

 

More alpacas – the one in front was so interested in people.  Look at those long lashes!

 

Angora rabbits… I caught them cuddling.

 

The owner had some treats for his goats, it was fun to feed them!  He was so gentle when taking the food out of my hands.

 

The young goat enjoyed a few treats as well.

 

Then on to a few showing competitions:

I only caught a bit of this sheep competition, they were all adorable and I'm glad I wasn't the one doing the judging.

 

The llama show was very informative.  Several classes of llamas were competing and the announcer explained what the judges look for in each animal for each class. 

 

Here is the winner!

 

One of my favorite events of the day was the sheep herding demonstration.  Those cattle dogs are so darn smart!

 

A cattle dog herding a pack of sheep.  Many different commands were explained and then demonstrated. 

 

The woman conducting the demonstration clearly understood the language of herding and had many wonderful stories about her own experiences. 

 

This dog was rescued only days before being put down as a puppy.  He has no tail due to a possible spinal issue and the owner thought it would hinder him for life.  Overcoming these odds, he is now a wonderful herding dog and companion.

 

Finally, I dared to venture inside of the tent bursting with vendors of all things fiber. 

A display of beautiful spindles, yarns, and garments.

 

My friend Sue won a pair of alpaca fingerless mitts from a silent auction. 

Sue is appropriately showing off her new mitts in front of the alpacas

 

Lately I have been loving crochet lace so I set my sights on some fabulous lace weight yarns.  Experimenting with different fiber types is always fun!  Most recently I have been gravitating toward crocheting with wool/silk or alpaca/silk blends that feel wonderful in my hands and crochet up nicely.  Somehow I managed to stick to my budget and walked away with only 3 hanks of yarn.

 
My little pile of goodies for the Wool Market: 1 hank of Shibui Knits Silk Cloud in Ivory (60% kid mohair, 40% silk) and 2 balls of Classic Elite Yarns Silky Alpaca Lace in a gorgeous dusty rose color… the photo doesn't do it justice (70% alpaca, 30% silk)

Some of the other gals here at Interweave picked up a muffin of qiviot (muskox yarn)… it’s so very soft!!  I am excited to see what they make with this luxurious yarn.  Did anyone else make it to the Wool Market?  What are your favorite yarns to crochet with right now?

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