You might want to check out The Minnesota Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend. The festival began in 1997 as a way to bring wool producers, artisans, and consumers together to exchange information, ideas and products. Today’s festival not only promotes sheep and wool, but welcomes other fiber friends such as alpacas, goats and angora rabbits. Festival activities include demonstrations, classes, competitions, music, food and a lively marketplace of over 175 jury-selected fiber related vendors.
The forty or so classes being offered are heaving on spinning, weaving and shepherding, but light on knitting (I only found one class on machine sock knitting, and no crochet classes). You can preregister for classes or sign up for them the day of the event if they are still open.
For the spinner, demos on spinning wheel repair, spinning on the great wheel, spinning flax, and the fleeces show will be of interest. Also, spinners can also participate in Fiber Sandwich a spinning event and auction to raise money for Heifer International.
Knitters may want to stop by The Knitting Booth, operated by the Minnesota Knitter’s Guild, to get help with a project, and check out the demo of an old fashioned circular sock machine, supposedly a super quick way to knit socks.
Of course, the 175 juried fiber marketplace will be of interest to everyone!
Other events include a rabbit show, shearing , fleece skirting, and fleece preparation demonstrations, rabbit agility and working dog demonstrations, and specific activities geared towards children.
There will be four friendly competitions over the course of the festival: a fleece competition, a felting competition (three divisions include needle felted, wet-felted, and knit or crochet and fulled) , a skein competition (four divisions are fine, sport/worsted, bulky and novelty), and a photography contest.
The Minnesota Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival will be held Friday, May 10th (Classes only),
Saturday, May 11th from 9:00 – 5:00, and Sunday, May 12th from 10:00 – 4:00 at the Washington County Fairgrounds just east of Lake Elmo, MN. Admission is free.
See the Minnesota Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival website for a schedule of events and additional information. And if you are nowhere near Minnesota, check out our Yarn Events Map to see what’s happening near you!