Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

Two Fiber Festivals July 13, 2012

This summer I have gotten the chance to attend two fiber festivals near where I live.  The first was Shepherd’s Harvest which is held in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.  This was the 15th year that Shepherd’s Harvest had been held and it shows.

There were 3 buildings of vendors…

a building of sheep and goats…

and one of Llama’s, who were also having a show at the same time.

Some of the Llamas were even being sheared.

There were lots of cute, fuzzy butts…

And tons of adorable angora bunnies for sale. (I really wanted to bring some home with me!)

They had classes and talks…

and llamas wandering around with packs on their backs.

There were fried pickles and Walleye for sale…

and exhibits of photography and yarn making prowess.

There were also sheepdog demonstrations, and this one unlucky guy in the cone of shame.

There was even a wool yurt!

Of course, there were lots of things for sale and I got a few of them:-)

This is a Wensleydale fleece that I got:

This is some very fun yarn that I found…

I also got a cone of this sock yarn in grey…

and a whole pile of mill ends of sock yarns in a bunch of different colors!

There was a lady there selling prairie settler style bonnets.  Given that I will most likely be doing period spinning soon, I thought I should get one.  They are not flattering and I can completely understand why Laura Ingalls was constantly ditching hers.  You have NO peripheral vision in them!  I would get totally paranoid that someone was sneaking up on me. However, they probably really did the trick of keeping the sun off of faces and necks, which was their purpose.

I also got a few things which didn’t get photographed, most notably the book Knit, Swirl! by Sandra McIver (which I didn’t photograph) and a few gifts for friends.  I also got something very cool for free.

Yep, I got a case of the giant pickle jars from the folks selling fired pickles.  I put the Mountain Dew can next to them for perspective as they are really big.  I love jars and I just couldn’t resist asking if I could have them when I saw them waiting with the garbage.  I know, I’m a weirdo:-)

The second fiber festival that I’ve been to this summer was the Iowa Sheep and Wool festival.  It was held in Adel, Iowa on a wickedly hot weekend, which I hold partially accountable for the reason that there weren’t that many people there.  A bunch of the members of my guild were there.  Many of us brought spinning wheels or drop spindles to demonstrate in the spinning and weaving demonstration area.  (We’re wearing the hot, purple shirts)

One of our guild had a stand there where she was selling wool from her sheep among other things.

There were sheep and goats there, but I only got a picture of one with a great smile!

There were also a passel of collie puppies getting introduced to sheep.  They were cute in only the way puppies of any breed can be.

I didn’t get a lot of stuff here and what I did get, I forgot to photograph.  It was just so stinking hot that you really didn’t want to touch a lot of fiber because it stuck to your sweaty skin.  This is a much smaller festival than Shepherd’s Harvest, but it is also about half the age.  It is also much closer for me to attend.  It was only about an hour away from my apartment in Ames.  I’ll definitely go next year, but I will pray for cooler weather!


I’ve missed you too…

The past 6 weeks or so have been unbelievably hectic for me.  I am, for all intents and purposes, living in two places.  I feel like I am moving on a weekly basis as I pack-up clothes and kit and go from the apartment to the farm, farm to the apartment.  Between these commutes, I have a LOT of driving for my job.  Nearly 400 miles a week at one point.

But my work has only been part of what has kept me from the blog.  Another part has been applying and getting accepted to graduate school (again).  I am working on my Master’s degree in Agricultural Education.  The specific degree that I am seeking is a non-thesis one, which will allow me to get my teaching credentials so that I can teach at a high school or 2 year college when I am done.  I started off taking a class already this summer in Ag Mechanics.  I have already had classes in nearly every other area that I needed for this degree except for agricultural mechanics.  So, that’s how I ended-up becoming a Briggs and Stratton Master Service Technician this summer.  Also, I did a lot of welding.  I really love welding, so that part wasn’t too bad, especially since we were getting to play with practically brand-new Miller welders!  I found out that I have a gift for a type of oxy-acytelene that I had never gotten to play with.  But small engines?  Argh!  I usually can’t even get a lawn mower started!  However, I did well in the class despite my issues with engines in the past and now I probably could diagnose a problem even if I still can’t get it started:-)  Also, I now have a rockin’ welding mask to call my own as well as a bunch of other necessary safety equipment.

Since I will be starting to go to school full-time in the autumn, I also had to find a new place to live as my apartment lease is up at the end of July.  I have found a place where I can even take Meara with me(!!) that is near the Vet Med college at Iowa State. So, in addition to my weekly ‘moving’, I am actually moving at the end of the month.

I’ve also been gardening, but the massive heat wave that we’ve had here has made it pretty difficult to do.  Since I am working in greenhouses and we’ve had multiple days where it was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside when I am at home the very last thing on this earth that I want to do is to go outside into the heat.  For anything.  So the garden got a little neglected and weedy.  The worst is the back garden which is the thistle patch from HELL right now.  However, the tomatoes have started fruiting and we are staring down a tomatopalooza coming in the next couple of weeks as the Roma tomatoes all start becoming ripe.  Also, a onionpalooza, but that isn’t as scary to me.

I’ve done a little knitting and crochet lately.  Mostly it seems like I am working on baby blankets.  There are a passel of babies being born to friends of mine in the next couple of months so I need to get hooking!  I’ve also been doing a little knitting on my sock yarn blanket for which I have been faithfully collecting new and different types of sock yarn.  If anyone out there is looking for a trading partner for mini skeins of yarn for a sock yarn blanket, give me a shout.  I have a LOT:-)

But I haven’t forgotten about y’all in all of this insanity.  I have a massive backlog of photos that I need to sort through and show you.  Hopefully, I will get started on that this weekend.  Since I don’t really have that started yet, I give you a gratuitous Sweetie Pie shot.