This weekend marked the return of the NH Sheep and Wool Festival! They canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid but this year they were baaaaa-ck! I’ve been jumping out of my skin for the last several weeks but haven’t mentioned it here because I didn’t want to jinx my ability to attend. I was bitterly disappointed when I started to get sick last Thursday night and so nervous that I wouldn’t feel up to going.
I’m embarrassed to tell you that I still went despite being sick, but wore my mask anytime I couldn’t practice social distancing. I think we’ve learned a lot about how viruses spread in the last few years and I didn’t want to be that person, but I also couldn’t bear not attending. I hope you won’t judge me too harshly. Also – there were lots of people still masked up inside the barns, despite the near 90*F heat. Very impressive!
I last attended the festival in 2019, but it was a difficult experience. Bryce and I went together and we had some major communication issues. I was asking him, do you want to pet a sheep? And he was hearing, do you want a pet sheep?
Very similar sentences with very different meanings. Needless to say, he wanted every single sheep we encountered and got angrier each time I didn’t miraculously pull out a leash and lead it back to the car. It wasn’t until we got home that I understood what was happening. While there, I looked at exactly zero yarn stalls and came home with just a half-eaten packet of graham crackers. Disappointing to say the least.
But this year? Friends, I went alone. As one single, solitary person and not a mass of wiggly people with their own ideas about what to look at next (hint: it was never yarn). And it was a glorious experience to wander from barn to barn, not explaining myself or my plan to anyone. It’s a small festival, just three barns including the one holding the sheep and alpacas. I am such a wanderer that I visited each barn 3 times. I was a little nervous about the heat, but I brought a water bottle and an apple and they supplied plenty of hydration. There was a food truck selling soft serve ice cream that was doing brisk business; I was tempted but passed. My apple was exactly what I needed.
These sport weight skeins are from Bartlett Yarns and for a Junction pullover (non-Ravelry link). But when I took them out to photograph, I noticed the middle skein is much lighter than the other two. I swear they were the same under the lights inside the barn. I think it will still work, I’ll just do a lot of alternating. It could make a cool highlighting effect. (And, inexplicably, none of their stuff was labeled?? Of course I would have made sure they were the same shade if they were labeled!) I really liked this hearty wool and think it will make a delicious sweater.
I got these two pretty little skeins and a set of barber cords from the Nightingale Fibers booth (by the way, their website is beautiful!). The yarn is destined for an Inclinations Cowl (<- non-Ravelry ink). The barber cords have been on my wishlist for a while and I was happy for the opportunity to buy them from a local business. If you’re unfamiliar with them, they are simply silicone cords that you can stick to the ends of your knitting needles that allow you to stretch out your project without worrying about the stitches popping off – perfect for trying your projects on as you’re knitting it. I also saw a video with someone using the cords to hold sleeve stitches after you separate from the body – genius!
I used less than half of my budget for the day because I get pretty overwhelmed at festivals, even small ones like this. I was holding on to most of my money because I wanted to buy yarn for a Shifty (non-Ravelry link), but couldn’t quite find what I was looking for. I think I’m going to end up caving and buying the called for yarn.
The NH Sheep and Wool Festival is still the only one I’ve been to, but I’m reminded that these are my people every time I attend. Matthew used to say it to me every year: “these are your people, Gilley.” I’ve spent my whole life feeling like an outsider and on the fringes of everything, so it’s always nice to find a place where I feel like I fit. And the Sheep and Wool Festival is definitely ones of those places.
I’m planning to be back on Wednesday with a little update on my reading and knitting life. I hope your week starts off well!