Plus, there were activities for the kids, a skein competition and livestock on display. At the same time shoppers were enjoying the fiber show, the Great Lakes Sheep Show and Sale was also taking place on the grounds. This year, more than 300 head of sheep were up for sale.
“The show is really 19 years old. The first two years it was a craft show with a sheep show,” said Linda Reichert, coordinator for the event.
“It seemed like everyone that came was buying fiber-related crafts and supplies, so for the past 17 years it has been a fiber show and sale along with a sheep show and sale,” she said.
Reichert said this show is like a social event for the vendors. It is more relaxed than some of the bigger shows across the U.S. and vendors get to visit with each other and sell some products. Attendance for the show has been growing steadily, especially over the past few years with the growing interest in organic fibers.
Marianne Turcheck, from Bellevernon, Pa., who owns Rostraver Farms, said, “The trend has been that people are returning to organic materials.
“Sheep and lamb prices have never been higher for both meat and breeding,” she said.
There were many varieties of fiber in every color imaginable. Some were dyed by hand, such as those offered by River’s Edge Fiber Arts from Grand Ledge, Mich.
Carol Larsen and Debb Allore are the owners.
“We do 24 shows a year and are always on the road,” said Allore.
“Carol has a college degree in textile arts and she hand dyes all of the yarn.”
There were several workshops, including punch needle, mosaic, spinning lace and tatting. Liz Marino, from Buffalo, N.Y., was teaching a workshop on knitting mittens.
“When making the thumb on your mittens, don’t get exotic, find a thumb comfort zone,” Marino told her students.
Activities for kids included solar dyeing, braided beaded necklaces, and using a drop spindle.
Many vendors brought along their alpacas for display. Connie and Denny Snell, from Lakeville, brought along two of their younger alpacas, an 11-month-old gray female named Angelica and a brown male, 10 months old, named Geronimo.
“We have 53 alpacas on our farm and we shear them once a year and can get one to eight pounds of fiber per animal,” Connie Snell said.
The sheep barns and the show arena were packed full for the two days with sheep owners grooming their animals for the show on Saturday and the sale on Sunday.
Greg Deakin, sales manager for the sheep show and sale, said, “We have over 18 breeds of sheep this weekend. We’ve been doing this for around 35 years and this year was the biggest show yet with over 300 entries.”
This year’s judge was Judy Moore, from Eagle, Mich., and auctioneers were Gary Saylor and Danny Westlake, both from Ohio. The sale coordinators were Steve and Pat Myers.
A few of the breeds this year included Finnsheep, Romney, Icelandic, Cheviots, Dorset and Southdown.
Published: May 30, 2012