Saturday, October 24, 2009


Day 2 of my adventures at SAFF. My feet are tired and so am I. I'm missing Henry and my cats, but it's a happy tired. At least I got to snuggle an Angora rabbit in my lap today. What a sweet animal and so luxurious to just wrap this fur around your fingers. They're such docile and sweet animals, they make you want to take home two or three. Just kidding, cats, don't get nervous. I said, "want." One of the things I've enjoyed this weekend is getting to know the various breeds of sheep, at least through their wool. I got a lesson on Navajo-Churro sheep today. They're an old breed brought here by the Spaniards in the 1500's. They were obtained by the Navajo from the Friars in the 1600's, were phased out through government intervention, and are now again being raised by the Navajo for their double-coated wool to make their blankets. Who would have thought sheep would have such history? The Navajo-Churro wool is too rough for clothing worn next to the skin, but is extremely warm and makes wonderful rugs and blankets. Thank you to Ann Fay of Rising Meadow Farm in Randolph County, NC for the historical information.
I also had the opportunity to watch and video-tape a demonstration of cotton spinning on a great wheel by Kelsey Schissel, of Plays in Mud Pottery Studio in Asheville, NC. Her father, Lyle Wheeler makes the Great Wheels. You can find him at
Neal Howard, the Weaver was also gracious enough to allow me to video-tape her while weaving on her Baby Wolf loom by Schact. She gave me quite a bit of information while being taped. Watch for upcoming episodes of my Craft Write podcast for these and the sheep shearing from day one.
Congratulations to Carolyn & Rick Beasley of Heelside Farms in Four Oaks, NC for winning Supreme Grand Champion for Ewe Wool Breeds at the NC State Fair. Just look at the expression on her sheep. Such a proud, pleased face.
Jeannie Giberson spent quite a while explaining to me and other knitters how to knit the border and entrelac sections on her Ashlar Cap. I bought Miss Babs "Yummy Toes" Sock & Baby Yarn for an Ashlar Cap for Eva and an ECU version adult size for me. I can't wait to get started on them. And, of course, I had to get some new Addi's in size 3 for these.
Most unique purchase of the day: New Zealand Possum/Merino blend roving from the Tail Spinner. Pictures yesterday of the needle felting class by Melissa Gray.
We didn't get back to the finish of the Sheep-to-Shawl demonstration. I did take a few pictures this morning of the process. We saw a demo of wet-felting a can cozy by Marlene's Felting Madness. This definitely looks like a future Fiber Arts Club project for school.

And last, thanks to JSMS Farm for taking the time to talk to me and Rheta about Romney sheep. I did learn one extra tidbit today: don't try to take sheep pictures at feeding time. They just won't stand still for such silliness as photos when dinner is being served.

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