Monday, October 27, 2008

Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF)

Sheep, old friends, new friends, lots of colorful fiber, wonderful sheep artist, spinning, showing, selling (bittersweet) & an overall good time...

What a great 3 day weekend we just had at the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair in Asheville, NC!! Thursday evening we loaded up quite a few Shetlands--to show and to sell. SAFF is a great fiber event that is very close to home--about 25 minutes.

We didn't attend the NC State Fair for the first time in many years. With 2 daughters in college and SAFF being on the weekend, we decided it would be too difficult this year.

Rothey, Katie, and I settled the sheep in the Ag. Center and ate a late supper at Subway. We enjoyed a little extra sleep on Friday morning and leisurely returned to SAFF. We show on Saturday and Sunday, so Friday is a day to enjoy all related to fiber! Friday is a day to talk sheep and check out the booths full of great stuff!! It was very cold and rainy. We ate at our favorite burger joint again, Fuddruckers and picked up mineral while we were in Asheville. Back at the barn we discussed more sheep things with some sales along the way. Some of my roving and spinning wheel hooks were available in one of the booths inside. I also entered two fleeces in the show and sale area. This was to try and sell them mainly. Lauren came up after classes and work on the campus of Gardner-Webb University. We enjoyed supper with a big group from the 4-H club we used to be part of when the girls were younger.

Saturday and Sunday are show days. Letty Klein was our judge this year. The junior show is Sat. which was Lauren's last time in this group. (My girls are all grown up.) Lauren had a 1st place ewe lamb in a large Shetland class- Amelia. Jane was 4th. She had a second and third place with Butterscotch and Sprinkles in the yearling class. Lauren's Annie won the aged ewe class and she is 7 years old. Annie went on to win Champion Shetland Ewe--not bad for an older gal! Jane was 2nd and Amelia was 4th out of the fleece class that had 13 sheep participating.

On Sunday in the open show we had a 2nd place ram lamb with Wilbur, a 2nd and 4th place with Amelia and Minnie Pearl in the ewe lamb class, 1st and 2nd with Butterscotch and Sprinkles in the yearling class, and our best aged ewes were 2nd with Annie and 4th with Cara. Out of an all breeds pair of ewes class, Katie and Lauren placed 3rd with Cara and Sprinkles. (This pair was the Supreme Champion Pair at the Mt. State Fair in Sept.) We had a 2nd place fleece with Wilbur and Amelia was 3rd in this class.

Even better than winning--we were able to place 4 ram lambs, 2 ewe lambs, and 4 wethers in great homes from Tenn., Georgia, South Carolina, and of course, NC. I sold 6 balls of roving and 3 spinning wheel hooks as well as one of the raw fleeces in the show/sale. I sent the other one with Zeilingers to be processed. That was SUCCESS!!

My purchases-- a Lendrum very fast flyer--Merry Christmas to me (Now only if I could figure out how to thread the thing--why doesn't anything come with directions?), some silk to mix with my yarn, some specialty fiber to spin, a print by an amazing artist that depicts sheep in all kinds of situations, a sheep pulling a cart with 2 bags of wool figurine, and 3 buttons that say, "Got Sheep?", "I love Shetland", and "I love spinning".

What a weekend!! It was fun, relaxing (believe it or not), and all around worthwhile. We arrived home in daylight, unloaded, fed sheep, fed ourselves, sent Lauren back to college and tried to clean the dust and dirt from our stuff that was in the barn!! Aren't sheep fun?? ;)


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Wow, I'd say that was an EXTREMELY successful weekend! Congratulations! I really like Letty as a judge; sure wish we could get some aged ewe classes in the shows out here.

Kara said...

I'd say too, Congrats! Your sheep are beautiful. I wish we could get ANY Shetland classes around here. Congrats on your sales especially. It gives me faith that people are still buying sheep and fiber, and that I am not completely off my rocker to be breeding sheep this fall. Comfort purchases? Now if I can get my sheep "out" there for people to have access to, that is really the thing isn't it?

Conni Tögel said...

Your shetlands were my favorites at SAFF - beautiful fluffies, all of them (though, of course, my favorite was the bottle lamb that wanted out of her pen - what a cutie!)
Thanks again for stopping by to visit my sheep as well - not as fluffy as yours,unfortunately :o)
Congrats on your new wheel - sounds like a great thing to have (and now I'm jealous...)

Hidaway Farms Shetlands said...

Thank you all for stopping by our blog and especially for leaving comments!

Michelle, I wonder why aged ewes aren't shown elsewhere. They prove the test of time, don't they?

Kara, if it wasn't for SAFF I don't know how we would be able to market our sheep. In the 7 years that we have had Shetlands, our customers have picked up our card or bought them on the spot.

Conni, it's great to hear from you!! Your sheep were terrific too!! Maybe not fluffy but they can live in my house. I came home with your "Welcoming The Real King" print and then my oldest daughter, Katie, surprised me with "Hiccups." Your artwork definitely put smiles on our faces. I hope we'll see you again!