The dark clouds and rain could not keep me away from the 24th annual Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival! The weather may have been dreary, but I had a wonderful time. There were the usual vendors there, but a few new ones as well.
As usual, I started at the tent that sold festival t-shirts, sweatshirts, and totes. I always leave my purse in the vehicle (money and checkbook in my pocket!) and get a new tote bag for the goodies I know that await inside. I was surprised that this year's logo was a sheepdog!
The first animal barn had alpaca, primarily Angora goats, and a few sheep. My favorite local Alpaca producer, Snowshoe Farm, was in there with exactly the yarn I was looking for: Alpaca Sock. It's 50% Alpaca, 30% Merino, 20% Nylon 3-ply yarn that comes in 500 yard skeins for only $26. They had a stack of cards on the table that held washing and care instructions (which they said I could take as many as I wanted) that are perfect for slipping in the package with the finished product.
At this point, my youngest found me to let me know that the Sister's of St. Mary were selling cashmere goat kids. As I had adopted 2 Angora goats in July, I thought that it might be fun to try for Cashgora. I know I will use the resulting yarn! To my surprise, they had a silver Cashmere named Sugah. The price was right, so I bought her. My husband just rolled his eyes.
Back to the yarn vendors. I had brought a list with me of weight and yardage needed for projects I have lined up. I found everything I was looking for. The best deal of the day was a luxurious lace weight: 70% baby alpaca, 20% silk, 10% cashmere, 1300 yards for $32 from Nightingale Fibers. I can't wait to work with it!!
We stopped to talk with both the sheep dog demonstrator and the fencing people. Then it was back through one more vendor area, where I purchased several skeins of hand-dyed superwash Merino from Dyenamics Yarn (430 yds each). I also bought 100% blue faced Leicester wool, dk weight, 700 yard hand-panted skeins from Jan Marek Raczkowski.
My tote-bag full, it was time to go back to the truck. We stopped again at the tote-bag tent to speak with the event coordinator to get directions to pick up the goat. Sugah laid down on my daughter's lap in the back seat, and off we went.
I had apprehensions about an unsecured goat in the back seat, but she was incredibly well behaved. For most of the trip home, she just sat and chewed her cud. We made a stop for a leg stretch, where Sugah wanted out too. She relieved herself, then got back in with the rest of us. She did not make any mess in the truck at all, but rather waited until she was out (she went again as soon as we got home.)
At 4 months, Sugah is bigger than my 5 month old Angora goats. There was a little bit of adjustment as she figured out where the water and hay were, and while the Angora's figured out who this newcomer was, but all quieted down within an hour.
My only disappointment with this year's show was there were no Angora rabbits there. I was hoping to find a female to place in a hutch between the two males I currently have. But I suppose if there HAD been a rabbit there, I would not have had the space to get Sugah. Sometimes things just work out that way!