Tucson Wool Festival

Below is what the military would call an after action report! This is a small portion of what you missed, if you were not able to make the festival. So you can have something to look forward to, there will be a Spring Festival on March 13, 2010, when the shearer returns - the vendors currently listed on the Tucson Wool Festival page will all be returning. We have also set the date for next year's Tucson Wool Festival 2010 as October 23, 2010.
Same hours for both of them: 9-3.

The winner of the Raffle Freeform Shawl is Ellie. She has been notified and will claim it sometime this week. I told her that she will have to be photographed and she has agreed.

The drawing winners are:
Judith Fragomeni - the yarn
Patricia Wheelis - the cell phone bag
Sally Spira - the roving
Kathy Jensen - the batts

If the winners have won something they can't use, or don't want to learn how to use, they can trade it with someone who can. I will send emails, but one person did not include hers. They have until Friday to let me know that they are claiming their prize. Congratulations and thanks for participating!
I like to begin the first animal tour every year with feeding the animals. It saves me time in the morning and I am feeding at their regular hour between 9 and 10 A.M. I like to talk about what I feed the animals and why. We are in front of the fence over which I toss the food for the Shetlands. I figured the Shetlands would come close enough to be seen, if I fed them.

I always have a very attentive audience. They are very kind and laugh at the appropriate times! One of my visitors was very gracious and acted as my personal photographer for the first tour. If she sends me her name, I will give her credit.
The llamas are locked into the main pen for the day, because cars are parking in their hangout. They are looking for a grain handout and very curious about all of the people.
Here we are admiring the lovely "red" goats, who are awaiting their haircuts.

We all looked a lot more professional this year. Practice does make perfect. The vendors and demonstrators are buying canopies to protect themselves from the sun. Good thing, since it was a record 99 degrees yesterday.

Several people, who have attended every year, said that this was our best show ever in terms of turnout and quality. Marc says he agrees. He was the guy riding the bike and directing parking. He is my husband, in case you did not know and spends a lot of time labouring to make sure that all goes smoothly. It is important that people don't block the road and other cars. We don't want people getting frustrated, because they can't get out or through. Marc is going to be working with the shearer next year, so we are looking for two energetic people to take over the parking. If you know anyone with traffic management skills who would be available in March, could you let me know?

We are always looking for friendly new vendors to add to the festival. One of the new ones this year was Leann with organic fibers. She was a lovely new addition and came from New Mexico to share her wares. All of the vendors contact information is on the website: www.uniquedeisgnsbykathy.com.

For me, the whole festival revolves around the animals in some way. Between the tours and the shearing, I did not get a chance to check out the fleeces till this afternoon after the shearer finished. Two of my friends came to share in the excitement of fondling the new fibers. 87 new fleeces to play with and the only one that I consider to be rug yarn is Absinthe's (the friendly shaggy goat that will remind you of a dog.) Barbara, my oldest goat at 6 1/2 years old, had her 13th fleece shorn and it is gorgeous. Holly put her hand in and was saying what a gorgeous fleece it was when she realized whose it was.
I have pulled three fleeces to make myself and Marc something: the blackest black kid fleece, the pewter colored fleece, and the Rambouillet ram fleece off a ram that got taken off the dinner list as soon as I saw what was under his outer fleece. Desert Rose is now for sale, but not as dinner.
This ram appeared to have a black head with a white fleece. Imagine my surprise when I saw his fleece pictured below. I had gone back to the shop when he got sheared today. Talk about an awesome fleece. Soft and gorgeous coloring. When washed, it will be a very soft gray. I plan to blend some with the pewter mohair for myself a vest and blend some with the black mohair fleece for a vest for Marc. I have been promising him a vest for 6 years. Maybe it is about time that I make good on my promise. I am itching to start spinning it, but it has to be washed. I can't do the "in the grease" thing with my allergies. Also, I know what he has been sitting in all year!
All of the yellow/tan washed right out into a soft gray. Judy had to sneak a piece and wash it immediately. I did not recognize the coloring, so I had to run out to the sheep to see whose it was. Anyhow, I am thrilled and the ram now has a name "Thrilled."
My friend Caroline has sent me pictures, so I will post some tomorrow of the yarn judging and other scenes that I missed, while I was out with the animals.
Thank you to all who came out to the Wool Festival yesterday. It was a lot of fun and great to meet with so many other fiber addicts! A special thanks to those who ran my shop and demonstrated. I could not do all of this on my own. I have to admit, that without the fleeces today, it would have been a flat feeling day!