Most of the time when I mention the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival to people I get very strange looks back. Sheep? You’re going to see a festival of sheep? Really?
And here’s why. A long, long time ago, when I first learned to knit, I learned with cheap yarn. Afterall, I’ve been notorious in my life for picking up a new hobby and then dropping is soon thereafter. Was knitting going to be the same? Didn’t know. But I did know I didn’t want to invest in expensive stuff if I wasn’t going to like the craft. Besides, what does a new knitter know about yarn anyway? Next to nothing, really. I had no clue what “yarn weight” was (pertaining to the thickness/thinness of yarn) or the difference between acrylic, cotton, superwash or anything else. It was totally greek to me (actually, I can’t say that anymore as I’m studying Greek, but I didn’t know it back then so its okay).
But not now. Now I know better. Now I know that the softest yarn to knit with is Merino or Correidale. I know that superwash means that you can put the garment in the washer and dryer. And I know that there is nothing more pleasurable than knitting with good quality, natural yarn.
The world of yarn is a very large one. Silk, corn, seaweed, bamboo, sheep wool, alpaca wool, buffalo – all contribute to the family of yarn and each has its own properties that determine how well the yarn takes color dye, how “drapey” the yarn is, whether or not it pills, how “springey” it is and even the luster of the yarn (shiney).
Knitting is not simply the act. Knitting does require one to think about pattern, yarn, technique and color. It gets complicated. But the biggest complication is deciding what yarn to use.
And THAT is where the Sheep and Wool Festival come in. There will be lots of “mom and pop” sheep breeders/farmers selling their wares. Lots and lots of top quality wool – of every fiber, weight and color you can imagine. Stuff you can’t find in stores or in online stores. Unique yarn. Cheap yarn. Quality yarn.
So there is really no question to be asked – the answer will always be the Sheep and Wool Festival. 🙂
Oh, and guess what? This is my 400th blog post! WOOHOO!