This is what Fibre East does to you.
I went with my children on Saturday and loved it. As well as the obvious attractions for me of the merino, silk and cashmere treasures available to buy, there was plenty for us all to do. First on the list was a sheep-shearing roadshow. I was amazed at how calm the sheep was through the process and how easy the shearer made it look. I think he may have done it before.
Having seen where the fleece came from, my youngest asked to buy one for himself.
"But what would you do with it?" I asked.
"Cuddle it," he said.
How was I supposed to argue with that? I did persuade him to find something a little more manageable than an entire fleece, and he chose the hand-dyed merino in the picture above. He even paid for it out of his own pocket money.
We were excited to discover a community farm on the site open to all the visitors. Piglets cooling off in their water butt made us laugh and we found sheep who were stoical about us petting their fleecy necks. We must have looked very warm, because a lady working on the farm took us to stand for a minute or two in the chiller room. I bought two cold drinks from the shelves to show my gratitude!
Inspired by the calm industry of the spinners around the show, I gave in and bought the beginner's spinning kit. And I didn't even try to resist the wool tops (fleece ready for spinning) from Adelaide and Walker. They enticed me in with sheep breeds that I have read about and researched for Yarnsub but not actually knitted with as yet. Gotland, Corriedale and Wensleydale came home with me. Plus some Blue Faced Leicester in three natural shades, twisted into candy stripes like a piece of sheep-meets-humbug art. I think I might keep it like that, it makes me smile.
Anyone know how to keep sheep?