Monday, September 06, 2010

World Sheep and Fiber Festival in Bethel

Oh what fun! I just returned from the World Sheep & Wool Festival held in Bethel, Missouri. I may never have the money or desire to fight the crowds that some people endure to go to other, fancier, BIGGER fiber festivals, such as Maryland Sheep and Wool or Rhinebeck. But here in Missouri, we have our own little festival and it's called World Sheep & Wool. Rather ironic since it's hardly big or "worldly" but is a whole lot of fun.

This year, I attended for the very first time, and went with 3 other local spinners, Luann, Julie and Christa.

We stayed in a cute victorian house. This one. Very quaint and comfy.

I took 3 classes: one on blending fiber with cards and drum carding. I have had a drum carder for over 2 years but never really felt I knew how to make the most out of carding - when you do it, why, how etc. After taking a class from Darlene, I am excited to do much more of it!

Plus, since a Missouri guy named Ron makes my carder, the Fancy Kitty, he was at the show and was able to tune up my carder, adjust it, and I bought a new brush for it which will make it even more productive than it was to begin with. I absolutely LOVE this carder (Fancy Kitty). It's the most efficient, least expensive drum carder you can buy in my experience. Keep in mind, I have never used any other kind, so my experience is rather limited, but I love mine and can attest to Ron's excellent customer service and affordable pricing.

We took a phenomenal art yarn class by Brenda Schmidt, of Wooliebullie. She does really great work and has such a patient nature. She and her mother, Bev, stayed in the same house we did and we enjoyed her company, as well as her teaching. She makes her living selling fiber and teaching fiber arts. She has one line of natural fibers with natural colors called Natchwoolie, and one line of bright colors and crazy fibers called Wooliebullie. One thing that amazes me is that she does it ALL on an old 1970's Ashford Traddy that just has one ratio - though she uses a jumbo flyer on it which helps in spinning art yarn. This wheel has been WELL USED - it's dusty, and a "no fuss" wheel that goes absolutely EVERYWHERE with her, to these fiber shows. When it breaks, she fixes it with string, leather from a thrift store belt for the leather on the footman. She just spins like a true spinning veteran. My friend Christa says she's a "gypsy spinner." It just goes to show that you truly don't have to have a fancy wheel to spin well, technique in the long run means more than all the fancy wheels and equipment in the world that you can buy!!

Speaking of buying, I found some wonderful fiber - here's a sampling of some of my fiber. I feel like a fiber glutton. No, not a glutton, okay I feasted on fiber. But that's what long holiday weekends are all about, right?


Laura said...

What! Oh sunny biscuits! I'm not happy I missed this. I mean, a family reunion and a 90th birthday party took priority, but I love the Bethel fiber fest.

I'm so glad you had a great time! Thanks for posting the pictures. :) Nice wool p0rn. :D

HattieMae Knits said...

This sounds like so much fun! I'm so impressed that you are carding your fiber. My LYS lady has told me that she is thinking about having a class on doing what you learned. I can hardly wait. Keep up the good work. I am looking forward to seeing what you have created with your new knowledge. Happy Spinning:)

Anonymous said...

I grew up outside of Bethel and worked at the Fest Hall throughout my high school years. Believe it or not, in the 1980's over 20,000 people would attend the "Sheep Fest" ,as we called it, each year. I need to make a trip home to see it next year.