One of my favorite weekends of the entire year is the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. I save my yarn shopping money just for this weekend and make plans to go with my fiber-inclined friends.
Sheep and Wool Festivals (there’s one for NY and MD too) are different than yarn shows and cons. One of the reasons I love Sheep and Wool Festivals is that you get to experience the process of fiber arts from the animals themselves all the way to the finished products.
Also sometimes you’re waiting in line for a hot pretzel and a goat is waiting for his turn behind you.
The Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival offers opportunities for 4H students and professional breeders to enter their livestock in competitions. I always find it cool to see where my wool comes from (and also sheepsies are cute).
There are also competitions like Sheep to Shawl. In this event teams make have to make woven fabric from fleece within a certain time frame. That means they get the fleece and have to make it all the way from preparing the fleece to spinning it to weaving it in about five hours. I know people who have done this and it is so awesome.
You can also sign up for all kinds of skills classes and there are equipment auctions and raffles as well.
The educational aspect of the event is really fun, and I’ve had non-crafty friends come along just to see how all the cool stuff is made and to pet the lambs (because of course you want to pet the lambs).
Then there’s the shopping. There are two large barns at this festival that sell everything from finished yarn to spinning wheels to notions to fleece.
Want to see my yarn haul?
Of course you do!
I may have found my new favorite sock yarn, A Hundred Ravens Yak Sock. It’s so cozy I want to crawl into a tub of it. I also got some of their Iachos sock yarn. The three colors I got left to right are: Eos, Here Be Dragons, and Halls of Lore. I also got some sock yarn from Bumblebee Acres. Left to right is Horn of Gondor and Return to Lallybroch.
Left to right is a cotton/bamboo blend from Ohmi Fibers, a skein of Targhee Sock from Oink Pigments in the show-exclusive colorway Wisconsin Malibu, a project bag from Kalediscope Fibers, and two mini skein sets from A Hundred Ravens in Pixie Surfer Madness and Dark Prism.
I was super excited for the mini skein sets because I’ve been doing more colorwork socks using Charming Colorwork Socks by Charlotte Stone ( A | BN | K | AB ).
If you plan to attend a Sheep and Wool Festival I have a few words of advice.
- You can bring your own bag in, so bringing a tote for your purchases is a good idea since not all vendors carry bags.
- Wear comfortable, washable shoes as livestock will be around and sometimes there’s poop when you’re walking between areas.
- Also they allow you to bring in bottled water so it’s a good idea to bring your own water bottle since the lines for food and drinks tend to be long and the prices pretty steep.
Have you been to any Sheep and Wool Festivals? What did you think?