Last week, I showed you the expansive vendor market at the Estes Park Wool Market, but of course there’s more to this festival than vendors! There’s also adorable fiber animals being shown all weekend:
There were sheep, of course, and alpaca, llamas, and goats. I saw a herd (or colony?) of angora rabbits, but I have yet to see someone spin from a live rabbit in person! It’s still on the bucket list.
At least I got to cross one thing off the list: I met real, live paco-vicunas! They’re a cross between and alpaca and their elusive, Andean cousins the vicuna. The fiber is amazing, softer than cashmere. I got to spin a little of this luxury fiber in my Ply Away class last spring!
And because it’s Colorado, I also got to meet some mountain sheep! Though, I wouldn’t recommend attempting to shear those guys.
In the barn where they were showing sheep, the festival hosted a Sheep-to-Shawl competition! Three groups prepared wool from a local sheep, spun it, and wove a shawl as quickly as they could. The winners get ribbons and bragging rights for a year. This team dressed as their favorite literary spinners and took frequent singing breaks. They utilized all the colors in a Jacob fleece to make a gorgeous twill shawl. To say I was enthralled is an understatement.
All good things must come to an end, but at least I have plenty to remember the trip by! Here is my Estes Park haul:
From top left around: Buffalo Wool Co. Earth Lace (90% bison/10% nylon) for a Lost City Knits Preserve shawl, the Cat Mountain Fiber Arts I got from The Stichin’ Den, Hummingbird Moon Over the Moon sock yarn in Unicorn Farts, a Charisma Art Sheep Incognito “Fellowsheep of the Ring” coffee cup, silver angora goat locks from Naumann Angoras, rainbow minis inspired by “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” from Canon Hand Dyes, and a mill-end skien from Estes’ fiber mill Willow Creek.
Which is a rather large haul, and then Dad had to go and make it worse by surprising me on the way home with some paco-vicuna fiber to spin… I better keep working at my Russian spindle! I’m so looking forward to working with all of these fibers!
Have you ever been to the Estes Park Wool Market? What was your favorite part? Or if you haven’t been, what would you look forward to the most? Let me know in the comments!