|The Cottage @ The Willows Motel|
and spent our first afternoon visiting one of my favorite contemporary art museums. On Saturday morning, before heading to the Sheep & Wool Fair, I got a bunch of texts from my dear friend Erin, with tips on which indie dyer and spinner booths to visit. She was spot on, but I'll save those notes for part IV (more teasing, I know). Driving out of town, we stopped at the Water Street Book Store where we were all like children in a candy store. I try to use my public library as often as possible, but I did indulge and bought a terrific stitch pattern encyclopedia which I'll review another time.
Okay, now to the sheep! The Massachusetts Sheep & Wool Fair is held on the Cummington Fairgrounds in western Massachusetts. Held annually on these fairgrounds (except for one) for the past 38 years, this fair was founded first as a potluck dinner at the home of Henry and Virginia Easterbrooks. It began as a spinoff of a youth sheep judging contest, and what I think makes this fair extra special is the generous number of demonstrations of sheep showing, sheep shearing, and sheepdog trials. From what I've been told, this fair is on the small side but you wouldn't know it in terms of the large numbers of 4H teen participants. Watching them show and shear their sheep is quite a sight. I love how confident they are, and it's clear that they love and respect their animals.
|I love the variety of colors in this photo|
I've never sheared a sheep although that's now going on my bucket list so watching the many demos of shearing that day was impressive. Everyone has a slightly different technique and touch but each treated her or his sheep with complete gentleness and authority.
Seeing all the fleece and fiber that was sheared made me wish I was a spinner. You got it, another thing for my bucket list!