In addition to the sheep barns, sheepshearing demonstrations (which, incidentally, were held under the blazing sun of an atypically hot May afternoon, resulting in conditions that looked distinctly uncomfortable for both shearer and shearee), and various fibery contests (4-H sewing contests, spinning and knitting competitions, etc.), there were two barns of vendors (most based in New England and upstate New York), plus an outdoor marketplace.
Many of the vendors, of course, were selling spinning wheels and related merchandise. Since I have almost no desire to try spinning (lack of space + lack of patience ≠ spinning success), I was able to bypass these booths successfully. That's not to say I went home empty-handed, however:
From left to right we have two skeins of fingering weight alpaca (sinfully soft and warm socks, anyone?) from A Touch of Twist from Pattersonville, NY. In the middle is an almost compulsively touchable skein of alpaca courtesy of The Spinners Hill Shop in Bainbridge, NY. This one caused many swoons and sighs from Knitsmiths when we showed up back in Brookline to show off our purchases. It's really that soft, and the colors match my winter coat perfectly. Perhaps I'll finally succumb to the Clapotis craze? Last but not least, on the right, two skeins of French Twist sock yarn from French Hill Farm in Solon, Maine.
This was my first time at a fiber festival, and I had such a good time! It was great to see yarn from some of these small producers, many of whom don't have an Internet presence. Mass Sheep and Wool is a fairly small fair, but I think it was the perfect introduction--not too overwhelming but still comprehensive. I will be out of town for both the Maine Fiber Frolic and for Rhinebeck, unfortunately, but I may try to make it up to Vermont Sheep and Wool in September.