Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wool Show happenings at the fair

Yvonne Madsen demonstrates spinning to a group of visitors to the fair.

The sights and sounds of the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden are all around – kids showing their prize animals, carnival rides, tempting fair food, and sounds wafting over from the grandstands.

Inside the wool show is a treasure trove of beautifully handcrafted items spanning the range of fiber techniques: handspun yarns, felted creations, knitted wonders, and handwoven articles. Along the wall are several bags of lovely wool from local sheep. Many of these items are sporting ribbons, validations of the their quality.

On hand are a couple of local fiber artists to demonstrate, usually one spinner and one weaver. Sometimes there’s a story-telling spinner out front, dressed in period costume, who entertains passers-by. Adults and children alike are intrigued to see the displays and view the demonstrations. Many of them have never seen a loom or a spinning wheel, so there are lots of questions. Kids often take a turn at the small table loom and weave a couple of shots of plain weave.

All this makes part of a great visit to the fair!

And here’s a small sampling of the entries.

Chris Paul's saddle blanket, woven of handspun yarn for the 2010 Lynden Rodeo

Debbie Carpenter's shawl, made from handspun Border Leicester lamb's wool

Pat Walker's hooked rug, based on her original design

Linda Landis' knitted shawl

Gabrielle Andres' shawl, made with handspun Border Leicester

...and where it all starts, with quality wool