I was talking with a non-knitting friend when I returned from the fair yesterday, and I apparently went on and on about all the animals we had touched and petted. She stopped me, asking, "Why are you all so thrilled to be touching these animals?" I hadn't thought about it but it's true. We were just so interested to see and feel the animals whose fiber we knit with. It's fun to find out what the fibers feel like before they are washed and treated and spun into yarns.
This is an alpaca, and I have knit many, many things from alpaca. Hello, mr? mrs? alpaca!
This is a lamb. Isn't it cute!?
This is an angora goat. Mohair comes from this animal.
This is an angora rabbit. They are every bit as soft as they look. This is the fuzzy, furry angora you find in sweaters. The angora from these rabbits is harvested, if that's the right term, by hand. The owners just pull it out, and the rabbits don't mind at all.
The fair was held in a huge agricultural structure where rodeos and animal auctions are held. As large as the place is, it was FULL of all sorts of fiber-related things, from drop spindles to felting machines, antique sock-knitting machines, spinning wheels, looms and on and on and on. There were demonstrations of all sorts of activities, and the attendees like my friends and me took along our knitting to do when we stopped for a break. One of our knit-night friends had submitted yarn she had spun herself and a lace shawl she had knit from her own spun yarn. She won three ribbons in all. Congratulations, S!