Sunday a carload of Brooklynites piled into a car and drove out to the Garden State Sheep & Fiber festival. It was a pretty sweet little event. It was very small but it had some quality vendors- lots of small farms from Jersey and PA that don't make it to the big festivals. Attendance wasn't really high so it was nice to be able to stop and chat and not feel rushed.
There were lots of sheep:
Icelandic and Shetlands made up the majority of the breeds, but there were also some BFL, Cheviot, Romneys and CVMs. This moorit CVM caught my eye:
And there were alpacas:
That's a Huacaya on the left and a Suri on the right.
And there were bunnies. Fabulously soft angora buns:
These are like human babies, but softer and cuter. Added bonus that you can spin from them. I'd like to see you try and do that with a human baby.
There were also mini-donks, which made me think they could flap their ears and fly away:
I can not resist the power of cute.
They did have fleeces for sale. The one that spoke to me was an 11 lb white cormo. Long staple, super crimpy, free of VM. I kept going back to it trying to justify it, but I still have a whole lot of my MDSW cormo fleece at home needing a good spinning, so I walked away. They had a few nice Shetland fleeces, and I do have a weakness for Shetland. It's the opposite of cormo- straight and silky, and the colors in each fleece are pretty amazing.
What was surprising was the amount of crap fleeces I saw. The majority of fleeces up for sale there were dirty, full of second cuts, matted and felted, not skirted (!), sunburt or worse. Granted, most of these fleeces were priced accordingly, I found the fleece auction to be underwhelming.
My sole purchase for the day was some angora fiber, which set me back $7. I have never been able to get to a fiber festival and come home just seven dollars poorer. Also, instead of spending my Sunday night washing fleece in the bathtub, I went for a walk, knitted in the park for a bit, made dinner, spun, caught up with a friend.
Maybe I'm just atoning for future purchases.