Last Saturday was the Sheep to Shawl Festival at historic Mission Mill in Salem, OR:
Yep, that's all part of what was the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill, a real, live woolen mill and dyeworks that operated from 1889 until 1962. The buildings now house a textile museum, several shops, and provide a meeting place for the local Knitting Guild and Spinning Guild as well as offer classes in textile arts. Also on the grounds are the Marion County Historical Society, and several historic buildings, including the Jason Lee house. It was Jason Lee's mission that pretty much began our fair city.
The grounds around the mill, with its mill race running through, make a lovely setting for a little festival like this (even with the occasional train rumbling by).
There were plenty of spinners with their wheels showing off their skills:
Helen and Betsey, from our Ravelry group, were there.
And so was Katie, rockin' the hand-spun yarns:
And of course, the fiber animals! The title may say "Sheep to Shawl," but there were other wooly beasties besides sheep, like these angora goats, the source of cashmere:
Some baby pygoras (pygmy angora goats) here, with curly, silky wool:
Of course there were sheep -- this one couldn't make up her mind about whether her right or left profile was most flattering, so I had to snap the picture fast:
Alpacas always think they're pretty cool, even if they do all look like they're wearing cheap hairpieces:
These youngsters, freshly shorn, looked like a gaggle of first-graders all waiting to have their school pictures taken:
Speaking of shearing, there were shearing demonstrations, too. (PETA members who still harbor the silly notion that sheep are killed for their wool, take note how this very valued, very expensive, very healthy animal is most definitely not dead post-shearing and seems to be pretty cool with the whole business.)
While all this was going on, the ducks in the mill race feasted on cracked corn offered from from a coin-operated dispenser. With that many little ones running around, there were sure to be many pleas of, "Mom, can we feed the ducks?"