The Massachusetts Wool Festival

In the last few years I haven’t been frequenting the wool festivals.  I always tell myself I am too busy (never true) and I have enough yarn (ditto!).  So, today my friend Arlene strongly suggested I get out of the house, and I am so glad I did!  We drove down to Cummington, MA to spend the day at the Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Festival.

After eating lunch, trying out several samples of lamb, we wandered the grounds, admiring the bunnies…


Angora bunnies for sale

the sheep being judged..



Sheep being judged

the vendor barns…

Barns full of goodies

and outdoor booths.

outdoor booths

One vendor outside had lots of spinning fibers she had dyed with vegetal dyes:

Vegetal dyed wools

One thing I don’t like about the bigger festivals is the human crushing that goes on in the barns.  Here, there was lots to see and plenty of room to look comfortably!

Spacious barns

I was pleased to see my friend Loranne Cary Block of Snow Star Farm in NH.  She dyes her yarns with vegetal dyes and sells them at different shows around New England.  Her garment patterns have been created by leading designers such as Anna Zilboorg, Ann Feitelson, and yours truly.  Although Loranne doesn’t sell on the internet, you can find her at Rhinebeck this October.

Loranne and her beautilful yarns and garments

I also saw my friend Margaret Klein Wilson of Mostly Merino.  As always, her booth, the delicious yarns and garments, is feast for the eyes.  She takes orders online and will be at Rhinebeck as well as other local New England shows.  Check her website for details.

The Mostly Merino booth

I bought some lovely angora/wool fiber to spin…

angora/wool blend for spinning

and an incredible felted rug from Kyrgyzstan.

My Krygyzstan Rug

These rugs are made by nomadic people of northern Kyrgyzstan (an area which is part of Russia).  They raise sheep, cows, and horses in the  Tien Shan mountain range.  These rugs are made by creating single layers of wool felt.  The designs are then cut out, and the part that is”positive” is incorporated into one rug, while the “negative” of the cutout is used in another rug.  There is no waste.  I saw the negative of my rug at the festival and it was hard to choose which one I liked best.  The shapes are outlined with handspun yarn embroidered on top and there is quilting in the spaces to hold all the layers together.

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