As you are well aware, this last weekend was Shepherd’s Harvest, the biggest fiber festival in the Twin Cities area. Four barns plus some freestanding tents of vendors, sheep, alpacas, goats and bunnies, classes and fleece sales all combine to make one of my favorite events.
I took 3 great classes. The first, taught by Dee Heinrich of Peeper Hollow Farm, was on sheep color genetics. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Looking at the photos of lambs and figuring out their possible genetics was like sudoku on hooves.
The second was a photography class with Gale Zucker. Yes, this is the second class I’ve taken with Gale, but now that I’ve been applying some of her wisdom I was ready to absorb a bit more. Like how changing the exposure setting on your camera can make a big difference in picture quality in general, and how lowering it as much as a full f-stop can allow you to actually capture black yarn in particular. The picture below shows the results of decreasing the exposure setting (with no other editing of the photo after it is downloaded).
My last class was taught by Carol Wagner of Hidden Valley Farm & Woolen Mill. We played with fiber blending, color blending, and color layering. A total blast, and I’m afraid it may have pushed me toward doing some dyeing.
It definitely pushed me toward buying one of her Coopworth fleeces. The fiber we worked with in class was so lofty and lustrous. I also bought a pound of raw Rambouillet just to compare that fine stuff to the stronger Coopworth. A Rambouillet lock is on the left below, the Coopworth to the right.
In between coming and going to the festival, I did get a little knitting done. I’ve gotten a start on another test knit – this one for Erica. Her spiral shawl is a great travel project, at least at this size, as the pattern is simple increases in a stockinette ground.
And I haven’t forgotten the big event of the summer. I’ve gotten a start on my sweater to wear to your retirement. The pattern, Paulina by Julie Weisenberger, is much lovelier than this bit of sleeve suggests.
All in all, I’m ending the weekend smiling.