Grits and Purls

Spinning yarns about the grit of life

I think that my daughter may be the only person who can attend a Sheep and Wool Festival and come home with a stuffed cow. A few weeks ago the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival was held at the fairgrounds in Jefferson, WI. I attended last year accompanied by two other knitter friends, and we spent the better part of a day wandering around all the vendor booths fondling yarns, wishing that I had been smart enough to write down the yardage I would need for the various projects I was considering.

This year I decided to take a class. I knew I would not have a weekend free because my husband was working against a major deadline. So, I took a vacation day and the beaded wrist warmers class taught by Carol Rhoades. It was a fun class, my first at adding beads to my knitting, and I learned that beaded wrist warmers are the “in” thing among Swedish skateboarders. So I’m thinking that once my wrist warmers are complete, I should invest in a skateboard to match.

My beaded wrist warmers and yarn bowl from Jennie the Potter

The festival was great. I met great people, early Friday morning as the sun just started to warm the day, I had hot chocolate on the grounds and chatted with a fellow knitter from Whitewater, WI, who was taking a weaving class. In my class, I sat next to a lady who has been knitting since the year I was born, and I had lunch at a table with a veterinarian from the Milwaukee area who was at the festival with her 4-year-old daughter, a great opportunity for me to discover what things at the fair were interesting to her daughter and also a chance to pick up the tip of packing a “picnic” lunch if I returned the next day with my daughter in tow.

On Saturday, because I still had free admission into the festival, I took my daughter to the festival after her swimming lessing, thinking that she would enjoy the opportunity to see two-day-old lambs, pet a sheep or two, and observe the crook and whistle trials of the working dogs. It was beautiful day, and my daughter was delighted to pack a sack lunch in her brand new “princess” lunch bag.

One of the first things we did was watch the crook and whistle trials. My daughter was more interested in chasing the butterflies in the fields, but she had a grand time. Then we went into the lambing barn. My daughter was amazed at the wooly softness of the sheep that was available for petting inside the barn, that is, until the sheep pooped. After that event, her fingers immediately pinched her nose and we could not exit the barn fast enough.

We found a place to wash our hands and headed to a shady spot for lunch. We ate our peanut butter crackers, apples, strawberries, pretzels and fresh-squeezed lemonade from the stand at the festival. We were in the shade of the activity center, but we were at the door so that we could watch and comment on the hustle and bustle of the activity outside, the antique tractors that went going by, the dogs on leads, the people with their fleece and yarns.

We looked at the quilts and hooked rugs on display, and then walked through the vendor area. She found the Angora rabbits, and finally the vendor with the toys. She looked at the sheep, but she already has two stuffed sheep. She looked at the stuffed dogs, nothing that could compete with her best buddy Flop E. Dog. She looked at stuffed rabbits, but then she started counting up all the stuffed rabbits she has. Eventually she settled on an ultra-soft stuffed cow within her budget. So she purchased him, immediately christened him “Jippy” and we were off. Two trips around the fairgrounds on the tractor/train and it was time to go home. She was asleep before I made it out of the fairground parking lot, with Jippy the cow acting as a pillow while she dreamed of butterflies, working dogs and wooly soft sheep on an early fall day.

© 2011 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.

3 thoughts on “Sheep, Wool and Cows

  1. What a fun day for you and your little girl. My friend raises alpacas for their wool. Beaded wrist warmers, hmmmm, I like that and I don;t own a skateboard.

  2. Great post, Michelle…I don’t know about the beaded wrist warmers, but I’m sure they will be great sellers at next year’s fair! So try to knit at least a hundred or more of them, okay?
    Your little one is so cute, and isn’t it great that she keeps you on your toes? I am so happy that she found a new animal to love…

  3. Jimmy says:

    I cannot wait to meet Jippy on skype!!!

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