Sunday, May 19, 2013

I Fell Off the Sheep, and It Was Totally Worth It

Yesterday, I boarded a bus and headed out with about two dozen other fiber enthusiasts and crafters to the Hallockville Farm and Museum, where the fourth annual Long Island Fleece and Fiber Fair was held.

This was the first year that the fair organized a bus, and I was very proud to be a part of that and help out with being the bus hostess on the NYC end of things. Traffic was light, the ride smooth and before I knew it, myself, Dana and the rest of us arrived at the fair.

We were greeted by the staff and directors of Hallockville and were treated to our goodie bags with magazines and discount coupons inside. The bag was really useful because today was the day that I told myself, "If I find something I love, I will fall off the (cold) sheep." This was going to be my only fiber festival for the year (unless I go to the one in New Jersey in September) so I was going to make the most of it.

Believe it or not, I thought that I did make the most of it, but in fact I still missed out on certain tours and events! While the fair is small, it makes up for its size by the variety of vendors and the availability of activities. The one activity I regret missing out on is the "Fiber Tour" of the farm where you go behind the scenes and see how textiles were made on the farm.

First was the shopping. I was really ready to go all out, but in fact I didn't get too much. Granted, "not too much" is a relative phrase  - what is "not too much" for me may be minuscule for someone else (which has happened before). Dana and I walked into the barn and I immediately fell in love with roving and yarn from Hampton Artistic Yarns. Not only did I walk out with some roving, but later when Dana showed me the yarn she got from them, I immediately backtracked and got the same skein (see the goodies later on in the post).
Roving artfully displayed at the Hampton Artistic Yarns booth.
I purchased that neutral/pink braid in the middle, but the turquoise/purple on the
right also caught my eye the minute I walked in the barn. 
Inside the barn. 
Long Island Livestock fingering weight yarn - love, love love. 
Vending area. Tiny, but mighty. 
At the Bay Haven Short Tails booth.
This needs to be recreated in a yarn shop. I love this concept. 
In between shopping and events, I got a chance to meet Trisha Malcolm, the editor of Vogue Knitting, who was a premier sponsor for the event and provided the sweet goodie bags. She is such a nice person to speak with and I had a great time hanging out with her and her team at the Vogue Knitting booth to catch a bit of a break. There was alot of walking back and forth between the vendors and the activity areas!

One of the activities that we wanted to see was sheep shearing. This was demonstrated by Tabbethia of Long Island Livestock Co.
"I don't care if it's hot, I do NOT want a haircut!"
"Fine, I'll just lay here and make life difficult for you. NOT MOVING."
"This is so undignified."
"I get that I'm done, but I'm still not making life any easier."
That's alot of fleece. Still, not tempted to get my own (yet). 
In addition to the llama obstacle course, there were blacksmith demonstrations, where we saw how a horseshoe was made.
This was a very stubborn llama. 
Pounding away, tapping the anvil in between hits to keep the rhythm going. 
Half-finished horseshoe. 
One of the highlights of the festival were the animals. Especially the bunnies!
This little guy was three weeks old. 
Three month old charmer. 
"It's so fluffy I could die!"
Big guy. Very sweet. 

So soft. 
This mini Rex was the star of the rabbits - so velvety smooth and soft!
Adorable "teddy bear" sheep.
Mom and her twins. 

Everyone loves getting scritches. 
"Yeah, I know I look good."
This guy was for sale. Too bad my parents' backyard isn't big enough. 
I loved coming out for the LIF&FF; many of the bus riders and I commented on how this was a low-key event, but allowed us to take our time and really enjoy what a fiber festival has to offer besides the shopping. At Rhinebeck and MS&W, there is always a sense of the mad dash and urgency to get that skein of yarn before its gone; add the crowds and the sheer size of the events, and you are not able to get to see things like sheep shearing and herding demonstrations  unless one makes a real concerted effort to do so. Granted, this is based on my own experience; even though I know what I would like to get at these events, there is still that sense of "Go Go Go".

Here, it was a different kind of fiber festival experience, and I felt that it was very well rounded - do a bit of shopping, tour a bit and see some demonstrations and have fun without all of the stress. The bus left at 4:30, but we had more than enough time to shop, explore, do things and hang out in between.

This is now a must-go to event in my knitting calendar, and I want to thank Beth and everyone at Hallockville Farm and Tabbethia of Long Island Livestock for organizing the event and the bus, and asking me to be a part of it! Without them, I definitely would not have been able to make it out for the day. Also, special thanks to Vogue Knitting for the goodie bags.

If you didn't make it to LIF&FF this year, I do have some good news: there will be a NYC bus again for next year! It's definitely worth it to come out for the day. Tomorrow, I'll be posting the goodies that I purchased, since I am now back on the sheep again.


  1. That sounds amazing - thanks for sharing all of these great photos! I almost feel like I was there (perhaps it's wishful thinking)!

  2. Looks like you had a blast! I love fiber festivals too. :)

  3. Looks Fantastic! Was the bus by invitation only? Was it advertised? If not invitation only, would love to be on the list for next year. Thanks.


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