High on wool fumes

I’ve been meaning to tell you about WoolFest ever since I got back. Definitely a cool show and a cool place. It was in Kirtland, Ohio at Lake Farmpark. Kirtland was rolling hills and lush green forests, absolutely beautiful. The farmpark was just that: a farm that was a park. There were groups of kids there on field trips and park rangers, and there were barns and farm animals.

The arena that the show was set up in was in a large barn, and there were horse stalls along the wall behind my booth. Two Belgian geldings, Fred and Jim, were directly behind me, and occasionally I’d hear them snorting or whinnying.

And of course there were sheep! Including these two.

rainbow sheep

This sign was hanging on the outside of their pen.

rainbow sheep sign

There was another sign explaining that they were for the sheep to shawl competition. I didn’t get to see the competition because I was in my booth, but I’m glad I got to meet the sheep before they were sheared.

On Sunday when I was taking a break from my booth, I wandered outside and found some of the park staff selling fleeces from the farm’s sheep. I bought six fleeces. Yum!

The people were all really nice, I sold a lot of my stuff, and I can honestly say this was the first show where my booth neighbors were horses. Good times.

After the drive home and the requisite 24 hours of zombieness, I had a hankering to weave, so I warped my rigid heddle loom with two shawls worth of handspun in various shades of purple and dark yellow. These are things I have learned from doing the first shawl:

  1. When winding paper around the back beam, if it’s “almost wide enough” it is not wide enough. (The outer warp threads were much tighter than the rest.)
  2. An 8 dent heddle is too fine for worsted weight handspun yarn that wants to stick to itself. (I had to use my tapestry beater for the whole thing. Beating with the heddle just wasn’t doable.)

Heh. Yeah. So I’ve got a 5 dent heddle on order which I’ll use to weave the second shawl, and I need to find some miniblinds I can cut to the right width because I’ve given up on paper.

It sounds disastrous, but I managed to save it by gently pulling the outer warp threads so they were the same length as the rest and then repositioning the weft along the edges. The ends are still wonky, so I won’t sell it, but that’s ok, because it looks really good with my hair. Pictures later when it’s not 12 million degrees outside. It’s definitely not wool shawl weather.


  1. Judy

    Hi Riin, I really enjoyed meeting you at Woolfest and our knitting guild is very happy you joined us! Keep in touch!

  2. Robert

    It’s the most beautiful shawl ever, Riin!

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