Wool Festivals – Free Fiber and an Education

Wool Festivals are great places to get free fiber and an education!

tents

We picked up some free wool at the 2013 Estes Park Wool Festival. And not just a little wool…as much as we wanted! It was unprocessed, dirty and smelled of pooh…but it was free!

sheep shearingWhere did we get it? Well, there were several free educational demonstrations offered throughout the wool festival. They ranged from sheep dog demonstrations to llama limbo to sheep shearing. It’s at the later demonstration that we picked up the wool. It was the first clipped fibers from the belly and butt of the sheep and it was full of lanolin, straw and pooh…and it was free for the taking (can you imagine that)!

Should we get around to cleaning it, our plan is to use the raw fiber in felting projects.

Speaking of felting…while at the festival, we watched someone felt soap (in the kids activities area). This inspired us to felt some soap, too! Here was our first attempt at felting soap:

our felted soap

Lorien (from Organic Gypsy and EowynRose) made the soaps on the far left and right. Deborah made the artistic sunflower (middle left) and I made the daisy (middle right).

Wool festivals are great places to find beautiful yarns, to talk to ranchers, to pet some animals and to learn about fibers….lots of fibers! We saw yarns (and raw fiber) made from Yak, Buffalo, Silk, Angora, Wool, Cashmere, Vicuna and more.

wool festival booths

My friends and I talked about yarn for 2 days straight! We stayed at a beautiful bed and breakfast (A Mountain Valley Home) and had a delightful girls’ weekend. The first day of the Wool Festival was crowded, but we found time to talk to most every vendor. Sunday was very quiet (pictured left) and we could shop and linger in booths more comfortably.

If you love yarn and want to learn more about it, I recommend that you go to a Wool Festival.

know your wool class on craftsyCan’t make it to a Wool Festival? There’s a free Craftsy class that talks about Sheep and Wool…and they even filmed part of the class at the Estes Park Wool Festival! I’ve taken several Craftsy classes and they are top notch. Check out the free Know Your Wool class.

Here are a few more photos of my trip to the Estes Park Wool Festival.

with roving

Roving was a top priority on our shopping list for felting projects. Left to right is Deborah, Lorien and me (Dana).

big horns

The coat/jacket keeps straw from the wool. The horns are just plain intimidating!

with the vicuna

The Vicuna was one of our favorite animals. These guys are so adorable (and a bit skittish). We were seriously tempted to buy some of their ultra soft yarn…but at $100 per hank we opted to wait until next year’s show.

wooly eyed

Woolly eyed, these sheep have beautiful curly fibers. This guy reminds me of the sheepdog from Bugs Bunny.

estes park stanley hotel

We took a short hike across from the Stanley Hotel. Novelist Steven King stayed at this hotel and was inspired to write The Shining.

We had such a blast at the wool festival…we’re already making plans to attend next year!

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Comments

  1. Lórien says:

    We had such a good time…I’m so looking forward to next year. Still have the poo wool sitting on my porch in a bag heh. The process involved in getting all the nasties out works well with my procrastination. 😉