This past weekend I stopped by the Fremont County Fiber Art Guild’s Fiber Fest at the fairgrounds. I try and make this event every time it’s held. I don’t knit, or crochet, but I have many Afghans and other knitted things from my Mother’s hand as I was growing up. They are comforting, not only for their warmth, but for the warm memories.
I especially like visiting the wool-bearing animals that usually show up at the event. This year there were goats and alpacas brought down from Gillette by Cindy Jennings and a very fluffy angora rabbit from the other side of the Wind Rivers from Pinedale. No sheep or llamas though.
I hung out with the alpacas and goats for longer than usual. Do you know that alpacas purr? That might not be the right verb, but the quiet sound they make reminds me of purring. It’s quite relaxing. Cindy told me they do it all the time, and she said that sometimes she goes out and sits with them just to hear their music. I can understand why. The goats, on the other hand, bleat like goats. Naturally.
One of the larger alpacas in the pen at the rear of the exhibit hall was named “Blue.” And it was blue, as it began to shed its wool, which was more grayish. But underneath, it was a subtle blue color. It accepted a treat that Cindy offered. The goats, too, enjoyed the little treats.
I learned about carding, spinning, weaving, knitting and so forth. No, I didn’t partake in those activities, but I watched others work their magic.
I’ve heard that knitting can be a very relaxing activity, and I know plenty of people who, while sitting in a meeting, on a road or in an airplane, knit away making socks, scarves, knitted hats and such. Nothing is warmer than a wool knitted cap for my head, which doesn’t have as much hair as it did when in my youth. Oh well, blessings to those who help keep my noggin warm in these cooler and upcoming cold days. I’ve already put my knit cap to good use several times this fall already.
One of the exhibits I spent some time with was at Sally Allred’s. She was carding, which is taking some raw wool and using both a handheld paddle and a mechanical roller with lots of points, smoothing out the wool and getting little pieces of grass, dirt, sticks and such out of the product. Then it can be spun into the skeins that can then be knitted or stitched. It was mesmerizing to watch. I can be entertained very easily.
One of the most spectacular things I saw at the show was framed wall art made with wool that I swear looked like it was painted or photographed, at least in my eye. I was especially thrilled with a piece called “Buck Up” by Sweetwater Station wool artist Lynde German. It was a Rocky Mountain Sheep on a mountain slope. Very realistic. Hard to imagine that it was made with wool.
Then I learned in the weekend police report that someone from Albany County who had the personalized license plate 5-WOOL had it stolen from their vehicle during the fiber fest. Such a shame, and embarrassing that a visitor had something stolen from them while they were sharing their expertise with folks inside the exhibit hall.
The Fiber Arts Fair was just one thing happening this past weekend, and there’s a bunch more fun events coming up this weekend, including the annual Night at the Museum in Lander, the Pumpkin Trail and Haunting Stories in Riverton this Saturday.
Thursday evening there will be the Riverton Mayoral and House District 55 forum, Thursday’s big football game at Pavillion between Wind River and Shoshoni is expected to a doozy with two of the top teams in the entire state going head-to-head and more. Check out the events calendar in today’s paper.
Ernie Over is an employee owner and the news director of the five-station WyoTodayMedia Radio Network in Fremont and Hot Springs counties, the editor of the award winning Wyotoday.com Internet news site, and a staff member of The Ranger, Lander Journal and Wind River News