For the last few years, I have made an annual pilgrimage to a nearby fiber festival, A Wool Gathering. The first year was when I was pregnant with my son and my daughter was very young. It was HOT and being in the tents was miserable! The second year, my husband stayed with my daughter and I brought my sister along, along with my son, who was still a nursling and was easy enough to wear in a sling around the festival. The two years past, the kids have stayed with Grandma and it has been a great outing for my husband and I. We had planned to continue that tradition, but Mom had foot surgery 2 weeks ago and still has a pin sticking out of a toe. So, the babysitter was out. We almost skipped the festival altogether, but, at the last minute, I brought it up. I thought the kids would enjoy it and it was going to be a gorgeous fall day.

We decided to get going around lunch. We all piled in the van, buckled up and… nothing. The battery was dead! There was enough power to open the power door and for the warning chime to sound that I had the keys in the ignition while the door was open, but that was it. Thankfully I have a great husband who knows enough about vehicles that he could remove the old battery and install a new one without calling AAA. So, we removed the dead battery, stuck it in the trunk of the car and moved the kids boosters over and headed to the festival!

It was GORGEOUS! Young’s Jersey Dairy is huge, so even with the parking lots packed, you never felt overwhelmed by the crowd. And I was so excited to see that the festival has expanded! Now there were three huge tents, plus the outside vendors. We had talked about eating first, but the tram we caught in from the parking lot dropped us off at the doors of the festival.

We spent some time watching a sheep being sheared (Australian method – so funny to watch!) We checked out some sheep and had one stick his nose right up to the kids to be petted. The kids got to pet an angora bunny (if anyone is curious, angora bunnies produce angora, but angora goats produce mohair.) Then we wandered around the festival. I had my hands in many types of fibers, looking longingly at all of the beautiful hand-dyed roving and even the raw fleeces. My daughter and I fell in love with the cutest pink and brown HitchHiker spinning wheel (my husband marveled at it’s tiny size.) After wandering, we finally headed over to the kids’ area where my kids made their own jump rope with yarn and twine on a cool contraption that twisted 12 strands into one. And we topped it off with a yummy dinner at The Golden Jersey Inn. It is wonderful comfort food! Then we headed home, stopping to buy that new battery first.

Normally at this point in my blog post, I would showing pictures of all my treasures from the festival. So, here it is:

Yea. Nothing. I came home empty handed. And it nearly killed me!!! I usually use some money I get for my birthday in August to pay for my shopping trip. But we have a family vacation coming up early next year and I chose instead to put that money towards bills so we can actually afford that vacation. I promised to not buy anything today. And I kept to my word. But I didn’t like it ONE BIT!

The hardest part for me was that my daughter was going crazy of some of the yarn and a lot of the roving. I had pictures popping into my head of the yarn I would spin and the items I would knit for her. She was in love with the purples. I also loved the bright pink and green and the mixed bag of gold, green and orange. I love looking at colors like that and trying to imagine what it would look like spun up. But, this year, I will continue to just imagine!

I have vowed to come back next year (without the kids – they whined too much!) and finally get my hands on some of those great colors! And even though I didn’t bring home anything to show for our day except some jump ropes, I did bring home some inspiration. I hope to pull my wheel out, dust her off and do some spinning soon. I have tons of fiber from fiber festivals past, so I am certainly not short of materials. And maybe I can spend a few dollars and buy some dye in those great colors and dye some roving of my own. Maybe one of my next creations will be some handspun yarn. Only time will tell!