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10 October 2016

2016 Kentucky Wool Festival -- LOTS of photos!

Well, after listening to me complain about the cold spring and the hot autumn, Mother Nature gave me a wonderful gift.  Saturday was the most glorious fall day, with a cloudless blue sky and a bit of morning chill (but not too much!) and a bit of afternoon warmth (but not too much!).  It was a perfect day to make the drive to Falmouth, county seat of Pendleton County, Kentucky, for their annual Wool Festival.  We had such a good time! And I took lots of photos to share with you in this post.  So, before I take you on an armchair tour of the Festival, let me update you on what I'm working on.

I'm making another little baby dress off Diane Soucy's pattern (this will be my fourth!), BUT I have run out of yarn.  (I could have sworn I had more Swish DK in Carnation!)  So until I can reorder what I need, I'm working on a scarf for a friend using Shine Sport yarn from Knit Picks.  Shine is a 60/40 blend of cotton and Modal® natural beech wood fiber, and it's machine washable/dryable.  I don't want to show you the pattern just yet, because it's a surprise gift, and I don't want to let the cat out of the bag just yet.

So, without further ado, let's go ....

To avoid traffic congestion, the Festival organizers partnered with the school board to run buses between the high school and the state park where the festival was held.  It was nice to park at the high school and take the bus to the entry gate of the Festival!  We wound through downtown Falmouth, then out of town through some beautiful woodland that boasted unmistakable signs of fall.

 After arriving and paying the very reasonable $5 per person admission fee, we encountered some wonderful works of art as we followed the walking trail.

There were also some crafts to help bring the robust colors of the season to your home or yard.

One of the most fascinating displays was the old-time blacksmith's forge.  Dennis Sutton demonstrated blacksmithing and wrought ironwork, done the old fashioned way.

I'm not a fan of fur, but I had to laugh when we approached Deborah Taylor's tent of fur and leather crafts.  This "jackalope" taxidermy caught my eye -- reminded me of the man of the place and myself!

Deborah also had something I've never seen before: a purse crafted from a skunk pelt.  Ooooookay ......

 Deborah, by the way, was one of a group of artisans from a group called Campbell County Primitive. CCP gives demonstrations of how our forefathers and foremothers lived in the days before highways, Internet, and other modern conveniences.  I'd love to give you a link to follow, but I'm having a hard time finding any info.  I'll keep looking!

Demonstrations abounded.  There was a gentleman who showed us how sheep shearing was done, in the days before electric clippers ...

... and the Miller family brought their famous border collies, who herd sheep with simple voice commands or even whistles!  The Miller Border Collies are famous in Kentucky.  They're at the State Fair every year; but I have never ever managed to push through the crowd that surrounds their small arena to see them at work.  So it was a real treat for me to see them at the Wool Fest!  You can read more about them on their website or on Facebook.

Roy, age 12, is an awesome herd dog.

Mr. Miller's dogs were a big hit with families and kids.

Two stages provided plenty of opportunity for local talent to shine.  This fellow is part of an old-time mountain band that plays old hymns and bluegrass gospel music.

These young men were with the Campbell County Primitive group.  They camped out in a teepee-shaped tent, and had a hearty breakfast over an open fire. They reminded me of Lewis and Clark, or perhaps Boone and Crockett.

And of course, there were animals!  Sheep, cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens, llamas, alpacas, ponies, ....

This Shetland sheep is named Moses, and he came to the Festival with his brother, Aaron, and their sister, Sheba. ("Ought that not have been Miriam?" I asked the farmer, and he replied, "Yeah, I dropped the ball on that one.")  Aaron and Sheba are camera-shy, but Moses enjoyed assuming a pose befitting a leader of men, and having his photograph taken.

This was a sweet moment between a mama goat and her kid.

And, of course, there's always that ONE guy who hates having his photo taken ...

There was a gift shop, selling Festival-themed merchandise.  Just based on observation, I think they were doing a brisk business in t-shirts -- saw lots of them in the crowd.

Members of the Pendleton County Fire Department were on hand, providing EMS services and standing by in case of emergency.

The variety of food was astounding!!  In addition to typical "fair fare", such as funnel cakes and turkey legs, there were local churches selling home-cooked, stick-to-your-rib foods like soup beans and chicken & dumplings.  Between the caramel apples and the apple dumplings, a lot of produce was required.  We saw boxes of apples filling a shining-clean stock trailer.

There was so much to see and do!  But, as always, I'm drawn like a magnet to the siren song of wool and yarn.  So off to the Sheep and Wool Tents we went, and found things to tempt any spinner, knitter, or crocheter's pocketbook!

The tent on the right was devoted to wool, yarn, etc.  The tent on the left housed the animals.


Spinning wheels, looms, fleece, roving, and yarn -- so much yarn! -- hand dyed, hand painted, in colors subtle and brilliant -- items made from yarn and wool and felt -- it took an effort to keep my hands on my camera and out of my pockets.  There was one yarn in particular that very nearly went home with me, but I resisted.


These little felted Nativity scenes reminded me of my friend, Catherine.

Jessica of Jessica's Creations had the most gorgeous self-striping yarns!

A lace shawl, in peacock colors, with sky-blue beads.  Glorious!


This sign reminded me of my friend Jayne, who raises sheep, and my friend Joy, a master spinner.

Kreations by Phyllis from Lexington, KY has been at every fiber festival I've attended this year.  If she's at the next one, I vow I will buy one of her hats!!  They're fabulous!

Y'all know I love gnomes.  These little dolls were offered as gifts for anyone contributing $10 to a charity.
On our way back to the gate to catch the bus home, we passed beautiful displays of autumn's bounty.  Pumpkins, gourds, dried corn, haybales, squash of all kinds -- everything was there, and at reasonable prices.

In the end, the only thing I took home from the festival for myself was free .... I found a buckeye, the seed of the horse chestnut tree, on the ground at my feet.  I'm going to plant it, and see if I can grow a tree from seed.  If I'm successful, I'll always having a living reminder of our wonderful day at the Wool Festival!

Believe me, all these photos just barely scratch the surface.  To get a broader perspective on the 2016 Kentucky Wool Fest, visit their webpage.  They've posted lots of photos from this year's event on their Facebook page, too. Early estimates indicate that this year's crowd was a record for the 33-year event!!  As for next year?  The man and I are already planning to go again!

That's about it from this end of the country.  I hope you enjoyed my photo tour of the 2016 Kentucky Wool Festival.  I'll be back next week with an update from the farm, and hopefully an update on my ongoing projects.  See you then!

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