Friday, July 25, 2008

Wool Day at the Troy Fair

Wednesday, July 23, was Wool Day at the Troy County Fair in Bradford County, PA. One of the things I love about this fair is its sense of timelessness. The Troy Fair has not ‘progessed’ to large loud beer tents but is still mostly a 4-H centered one. I spent part of the day enjoyably watching teenagers take superb care of their cows (our day is in the Large Cattle Arena). These young men and women do not have sneers on their faces while they bathe, comb, shear, feed and pooper scoop, nor do they look bored. They seem occupied and having a good time with each other, their families and animals. How refreshing!

Our booth is right next to the Jerseys. The first year we vended I had no idea about the cows so set up against the railing separating us. Ha!   The cows are on short tethers to the railing. That year they taste tested several of my fibers. Cows sure have long tongues.   The girls eat hay, look around, eat feed, but can move only a foot or two so some of them get rather interested in us. As a result my fiber gets added fiber.

This year there were 14 vendors and lots of rain. Well this year no matter what there is lots of rain, every day at some point. I wish we could send some to the areas of the country that are dry right now. We left home about 6:15 to get there by 8 which is when we were slotted to get our car in to offload. It's a very well organized fair (thanks in part to Eve H) with walkie talkies and loads of helpful smiling people. We are usually right next to the alpacas; a delightful place to be.

I was turned on to this Fair by Ellie M who is one of the judges during this event. The other two, Shelly M and Deb M, are also from my guild and work with Ellie as a team. They spend most of the day as even handed detail oriented judges who do an excellent job explaining their decisions.

There are contests including Sheep to Shawl, spindle and bobbin filling.

Plus many skein, knitting, crocheting and spinning categories for folks to enter. I am so thrilled that 4 of the winning entries, including Best of Show, used my fibers.

A fan hand spun from Autumn Sunset superwash merino/tencel then knit from a pattern in Piecework magazine.  Amy B made this  beauty with assistance from her husband who fashioned the stand and fan sticks.  It would have won Best in Show but for the fact that Amy did not do it all herself.

First Place skein from Rose blue face leicester, again hand spun by Amy B.

Another First Place for Amy B.  Hand spun from a Pixie Batt then knit in the HeartStrings Morning Surf pattern that was featured in the Summer 2008 Issue of Spin-Off.

Nuno felted from a Pixie Batt, this airy confection is Sharon G's first ever fair entry.  Her First Place Ribbon at the Troy Fair has given her enough incentive to enter this scarf in the NYS Fair in August.  I bet she wins there too.

As you have problably guessed, Amy B took Best in Show.

With vending, talking to wonderful people and so much to see and observe, all in a fairly contained space, 5 o’clock arrived quickly. We packed up, bade a fond farewell to the Jersey Girls and headed north back into New York for Red Lobster.  Thanks to Carol L for taking all the pictures.


rebecca jc said...

I wish I could have been there. There is nothing better than an old time fair with all the animals and great down home people. Lots of fun. Oh yes, please send some rain our way. We had a hurricane but it only brought us about an inch and we are 16 inches under for the year so far.

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