Monday, June 15, 2009

Estes Park Wool Market

So I went up to the legendary Estes Wool Market this weekend for the first time. In fact it was the first time going to Estes in my life! (I know, born and raised in Colorado, but the 'rents don't care for crowds, so we stayed well off the beaten path.) Lot's of critters, lots of yarn, too much cute! Like the bunnies. Fluffy, fluffy, bunnies.

And the goats, like small ornery sheep they push around and butt their pens. Some as regal as this fellow, some recently sheared and scrawny looking....

Some desperately vieing for the days hay. All little guys, the tallest goat I saw was a Mama with bloated udder, just barely as big as an average sheep. But they seem about the same size around, just the legs are shorter. Much of the cuteness may be however, not in the diminutive size, but the lock of fuzz that obscures their eyes...daaaaaw!

Next I headed to the alpaca tent, in search of fluffy fleeces. This guy still has his fleece on, waiting to show before being sheared for the summer. He's a nice mottled color, and very proud. Not only did he get his own pen he wasn't nekked yet...

Of course that means he wasn't sporting a mowhawk either. That's right kids, if you let your family shave you for fiber they will leave you a little poof on top so you can hang with the cool kids. Alpacas of all colors hang together, no discrimination in the camilid world.

Next it was sheep time, curly haired teesdales...

And super shaggy I dunno what that is but it must be hot! The little ringlets hanging down are lovely, but it is summer here.
Most of the sheep were more ordinary types, just fluffy white things! (ok, not really white, they do get a little dirty after all...) Many sheep were in all kinds of high tech form fitting blankets to keep the fleece clean, I kinda like a little bit of "barnyard matter" to remind me were the yarn comes from, maybe just me.

Then there was a tent marked "Paco-vicuñas". They are a cross-breed, mixed with their wild ancestors. They have a fleece with very fine fibers (20 micron or so...) This guy is desperately trying to explain why the fiber is $25 bucks an ounce...

Then there is the seep to shawl team. Seems only one team showed up this year, too bad (any one wanna do it next year? I got a loom..) but these ladies did it anyway! Each day of the fair these ladies had been starting at 8:30, carding and spinning off a washed fleece to supply yarn for the weaver...

The weaver starts her day with a warped loom, and waits impaitently for the bobbins to be filled. She was nearing the end of her warp by 2 PM and preparing to take her product to the judging tent (gee, I wonder what place they'll get, I hop the judge gives them good feedback!), A lovely white shawl in a subtle weave pattern.

All in all a good way to spend a Marvelous Sunday afternoon in the Mountains of Colorado!

1 comment:

fancytiger said...

I'm glad you didn't buy into that $25/ounce. That is crazy.