The Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm held its first fiber festival this past Saturday, April 19, 2008. It was a smashing success in my opinion and of everyone I talked with.
The people behind the success of the farm and the festival are Susan Gibbs and Patrick Manning pictured here with Patrick’s younger son Logan (older son Harry isn’t pictured). Susan and Patrick and many others worked tirelessly to put together a terrific event, there wasn’t anything they could have done differently… including the stunningly beautiful day they ordered. A 70 degree, bright sunny day with a gentle breeze in the middle of April on Martha’s Vineyard… the weather gods were kind indeed.
The sheep and goats and the older kids (goat, not human) were already out and about when we got there a little before 10 am. In the picture to the right you’ll notice they’ve closed ranks around one of the young kids and are all focusing their attention in one direction.
They are staring at Chappy, our Boykin Spaniel who to them is a predator. Chappy on the other hand is looking at them increduously and wondering, what the heck are these animals?
Whenever Deb and Chappy moved to another spot the sheep would move and face them… it was really interesting.
I’d never seen sheep sheared before and it’s very interesting. The sheep look almost in a Zen state while they’re being sheared and having their hooves clipped. The wool is mostly in one piece when the shearing is finished, it’s amazing. The wool is so soft you can hardly feel it and it’s still a little warm to the touch.
This is Patrick holding Basil, kid number 4 born in February (if I’m wrong about this Susan I’m really, really sorry). Basil is the softest creature I’ve ever touched, next to Chappy of course. He quickly charmed all the shareholders and everyone wanted to hold him a get a little kid kiss from him.
A before and after picture… unshorn to the right, naked to the left. They really seemed happy to get their coats off.
Chappy not only met sheep and goats but an Island dog named Fritz. Each time they saw each other their tails would wag and they’d do a little bit of playing.
Among some of the festival goers were Sally Taylor, her husband Dean Bragonier and their son Bodhi.
One of the many nice touches that Susan and Patrick thought of was having the shearing stop for lunch. It gave everyone a chance to meet up with one another and socialize a bit. They set up long tables in the entry of the Ag Hall. We wound up eating with Susan and this delightful group of shareholders, who all pulled out their knitting after we ate. We met so many nice people and it was hard to remember everyone’s names except for 11 month old Nora and her mom Kate. The incredibly delicious food was provided by the Scottish Bakehouse… I had one of the best turkey/Swiss wraps ever.
The shearing is done, the day is winding down and so is this post. I have lots more to add so stay tuned but in the meantime enjoy some pictures here and go over to my daughter’s blog at Chappy’s mom to enjoy her posts and pictures about the festival.