Tuesday, October 04, 2005

New Jersey Fiber Festival Report

Okay, if you blinked you probably missed it, but two weeks ago, New Jersey held its annual fiber and sheep festival on a gorgeous sunny afternoon. The Harvest Sheep and Fiber Festival is held the fourth weekend in September every year. This year, the festival had the misfortune of being held the same weekend as Stitches, which may have put a damper on attendance. I took the intrepid James (my eldest) along for a ride. He's always up for field trips involving livestock and is generally a good sport when Mom stops to fondle yarn. Here he is at the entrance to the show:

Now if you're thinking this is something along the lines of Maryland Sheep & Wool, or Rhinebeck, you'll be sorely disappointed. We're talking small. Really, really small. But perfect for a seven-year-old with a short attention span and a knitter with an ample stash. We admired the sheep in the show ring. This is a Shetland:

In addition to many breeds of sheep, they had other fiber animals, like this alpaca:

(Did you ever notice what complete hams alpacas are? You can always count on them to bat their eyelashes and smile pretty for the camera.)

And some non-fiber animals (unless you know something I don't about turkeys):

My son fell in love with some itty-bitty bunnies called Jersey Woolies. Here's one but I don't think the photo shows how absolutely adorable they are:

We're still working on getting Daddy to reconsider the no-pet rule, but so far, it's not looking good.

After browsing among some hand-dyed and handspun yarns and fleece, seeing some spinners, and getting the obligatory snack, we watched the sheepdog demonstration. This was Micky herding some ducks:

The Harvest Festival isn't very big in terms of numbers, but it is big on charm. If you have little kids in tow and want an uncrowded, manageable outing, this would be a good choice. Besides, don't you just love the smell of fresh sheep manure in the morning?

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