EVENT – GORE PLACE SHEEPSHEARING FESTIVAL

I kick myself for not mentioning this earlier, but if you’re in the greater Boston, Massachusetts area tomorrow there’s a mini fiber-festival in Waltham. It’s an annual event that celebrates spring, or as we in this state like to think of it "mud season."

There’s no doubt that in the world of sheep and wool festivals, this one is a speck, a microscopic dot, a merest taste, but it’s local and a fun time out. You can expect a large tent staffed by spinners and dyers from the Boston Area Spinners and Dyers Guild, doing demos for adults and hands-on activities for kids. There’s usually one or two large tents housing various fiber-related retailers, mostly local sheep-to-skein outfits selling their own yarns. Sometimes there are vendors selling fleeces and roving, or dealers taking orders for wheels, looms or other spinning and weaving equipment. Again, in total there are usually fewer than a dozen fiber-related vendors, but that’s enough for me.

There are also live demos of sheep shearing, both with snips and electric clippers; a sheep dog/herding demo; live music and dance performances; wandering puppet players or minstrels; food vendors; historical crafts demos including lacemaking; and a general crafts type fair of around 50 booths selling everything from fudge to picture frames. Inpast festivalsthere have been llama rides for the littlest kids, a rope walk, and as many as 20 yarn sellers, but not every yearfeatures those goodies.

I’ll be there with both kids in tow. I’ll be wearing the loudest parrot-colored flash sweater ever knitted. If you see me (and if you’re there that sweater will be hard to miss) stop and say hello. It’s always nice to put a face to an email address.

One word of warning. It’s been rainy today. If you’re thinking ofstrollers or wheelchairs, be advised that the site is quite hilly, and being unpaved can live up to the "mud season" designation.

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