Sunday, September 24, 2017

A Woolly Festival and a Giveaway

Earlier this month, my sister and I went to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival, a happy gathering of all things woolly held each year at the Jefferson County Fairground in Jefferson, Wisconsin.

First we visited the sheep barns (yarn on the hoof!) where we saw an astounding variety of breeds and personalities.

There were friendly sheep and curious sheep:

Happy sheep and placid sheep:

Nattily-clad sheep and mysterious masked sheep:

And the wool! Black, brown, tan, white, cream, grey, and every shade between, with every conceivable texture of curl:

We saw wool on the sheep, wool on the floor, wool in bags (hundreds of bags):

Then we looked in on the sheep judging:

After a brief stop for refreshments (root beer float made with sheep's milk ice cream for me), we made our way to the AMAZING hooked rug display:

I love this one:

Look at the detail!

Some rugs were pretty, and some whimsical:

This photo is for the Goatmother :)

These were some of my favourites - check out the lovely knitted detail on the lower left:

A kind member of the Cream City Rug Hookers gave us a demonstration of the craft, and let us try our hand at it:

Already surfeited with color, we took a breath, made sure our wallets were handy, and walked across the fairground to look at yarn.


So. Much. Yarn.

It was a bit like going to a great museum - the eyes can only take in so much, and eventually what you see becomes a blur. But what a gorgeous blur....

In addition to yarn, there were buttons and shawl pins and spindles and straps...

...and weaving and hats and mittens and baskets, and all sorts and shapes of lovely handmakes:

It was wonderful. I can't wait to go back next year.


One of the best things about a festival like this is the chance to meet the shepherds and spinners, the dyers and weavers, the painters and shapers of all the lovely things on display. We loved hearing their stories, getting their expert advice, and having a chance to support their good work.

I brought home some wonderful Wisconsin-grown and Wisconsin-spun yarn, plus a gorgeous handmade button by Belinda Carson of "B" Unique Jewelry and Crafts:


You could win that beautiful button, and a skein of Wisconsin yarn, by entering the (drumroll please):

Yarn! Button! Magazine!

The cheery orange button measures about 2" - perfect for accenting a shawl, cowl, or hat. The Romney Yarn, from Yorkshire Rose Farm, is a lofty worsted weight in soft bluish-grey with hints of warm taupe.

Also included: a copy of Interweave Crochet Fall 2017, which features two patterns and an article by yours truly.

To enter the Woolly Giveaway, just leave a comment below that includes the word "wool".

~ If you're a "No-Reply Blogger", or if your online profile does not include an email address, make sure there's a way for me to reach you.

~ If you can't leave a comment because you don't have an online profile, send me an e-mail (see my profile for the address) and include "wool" in the subject line.

Giveaway closes on Sunday, October 1, at midnight (US Central Daylight Time). The winner will be chosen by random number generator.

Winner to be announced on Monday, October 2. (Can you believe it's almost October?)

This giveaway is international. Good luck!


It's crazy hot in Wisconsin right now. How's your weather?

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  1. Sue, I have just had such a good one-sided visit with you as I caught up with your posts since June :) I love your photos and writing and am so excited that you are working on a book! Bravo! I enjoyed the cyclist quotes from the book you read...he is a champ! I hope you are feeling fully recovered from your surgery. The sheep photos are especially wonderful to me. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful creative work. Consider me in line to purchase your first book! xx

  2. Wow! What a fantastic event. I love the picture of the sheep being judged--great expression on his face! A friend of mine was at her home in Scotland this summer helping her family shear sheep. It is a lot of work, but I would love to give it a try.

  3. What an amazing wool festival. I think I'm in love with the bunny juggling eggs rug.

    And oh those sweet sheepy faces!!! I'd want to take them ALL home with me.

  4. It's been really hot here, too. My chickens are panting! (but they are okay) I guess I won't be knitting them any wool sweaters anytime soon.
    (See how I did that? I worked in the word "wool." Kind of awkwardly, but hey, there it is. Wool. :-)
    p.s. I don't have any sheep yet, so no wool of my own, but wow, those are some gorgeous sheep, and I love looking at the samples of their wool -- especially the one with the long curly woolly locks. I'll have to find out what kind of sheep that is in case I ever have sheep to go along with my chickens, who have feathers instead of wool.
    Wool, I mean well, that's enough for now. :-)

  5. Wool, why not?
    (Does a play on words count?)
    Lovely of you to have such a great giveaway! So happy that you were able to go to this festival!

  6. Oh dear, just read the comment before mine and we thought of "well" and "wool" sounding alike. That person must be a genius!

  7. Hi, Sue. I literally drooled reading your post, Sue. I love sheep, their wool in all its glorious varieties, carding, spinning, dyeing; so many beautiful textures, weights, and colors. I really enjoyed looking at each of your photos and reading your post. My favorite rug that you showed is the girl reaching for snowflakes with the lovely knitted fringe to her coat.

    I come from a long line of hookers in Nova Scotia, and some of my great grandmother's and grandmother's, and great aunt's and aunt's hooked rugs are preserved and sometimes displayed in a local museum. Two of my sisters are beautiful hookers. My youngest, Bertie, outfitted me with a pattern, wool, and the best of handcrafted Nova Scotia hooks and frames, and both she and my sister Donnie patiently helped me to learn the basics. I was thrilled, until I seriously tried hooking. I am too ADHD. It was torture for me to sit and hook, no matter how much I loved the wools and colors. So I had to admit defeat and return the beautiful materials and tools so they could find someone who had the patience to put them to good use.

    I would love to win your wool, but it should go to someone who would craft something beautiful with it, instead of pet it and admire it! LOL

  8. I wish I could have been an angel on your shoulder when you were enjoying the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. Beautiful colors and textures everywhere and on top of that, all of the lovely sheep. Too bad there aren't any festivals like that in my neck of the woods.

  9. Lovely pictures and all the sheep-ish products! What fun:)
    Please enter me in the contest.
    alikat2004 on

  10. Awesome post! :) Looks like so much fun. Have a great day sweet friend. :)

  11. Why, oh why, can't the goatmother put a lovely wool rug in the barn? Is that too much to ask???

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  13. What a great festival! I wish I had a local wool festival.

  14. Loved your pics! Thanks for sharing :)

  15. I've never been to a wool festival - it looks wonderful!

  16. So many pretty things, love the rugs. About the only way I can deal with wool is on the hoof. Wool against my skin gives me hives,as does cashmere and angora, sad, sad, sad.

  17. WOOL! There.. no doubts that I'd love to win your fabulous prizes! I think the magazine with your patterns would be the best part!! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  18. This is heaven. :-) I've never been to a wooly market. It doesn't exist where I live. :-(
    I won last time, so don't put my name in your hat, please. May others be lucky this time. All the best, Regula

  19. Congrats on the article and patterns in the magazine.
    The rugs are wonderful, full of charm and as you say whimsy. The colours of the wools used are brilliant.
    Those four legged beauties certainly are generous with their wool!

  20. I would love to go to a wool festival. I have just finished my first ever pair of wool socks. Thank you dear sheep for sharing your wool!!!

  21. I could go there every month. I love all things about it. THanks for a fun contest

  22. That looks like such a fun day out. I've never been to a wool market. There were some fantastic things to see there! I love the way you could see the wool industry from sheep to finished product

  23. Oh wow, looks like a wonderfully organized wool festival. The sheep are so precious. And the hooked rugs absolutely amazing! Definitely could spend many many many hours looking at and being inspired by everything there.


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