Posted in fiber festivals, Salem Oregon

Sheep to Shawl Festival 2016

Black Sheep (1024x683)

Last weekend I visited the Sheep to Shawl Festival at the Willamette Heritage Center. It was a warm day and lovely, and I enjoyed the music, the festival food, the animals, and the obvious joy of creativity that was occurring all around.

Fruit (1024x664)
fruit cup
Cashmere Goat (1024x683)
cashmere goats
Willamette Heritage Center (1024x683)
Willamette Heritage Center

The thistles outside this building caught my eye:

Thistles in front of the Mill (1024x683)

I’ve always thought thistles interesting, texture- and shape-wise.

The Mill (1024x652)

These are also known as teasels, a specific variety of thistle, considered a noxious invasive plant in some areas of the country.

Teasels outside the Mill (683x1024)

Inside the historic Mill, I learned something new about thistles and how they were historically used in the manufacture of woolen fabric. How fascinating to learn this!

Hand Raising – This slow and tedious operation was accomplished with a hand raiser mounted with teasels which was drawn either warp or weft directions of the fabric.

Hand Raising (1024x675)

Teasels (1024x649)

Such a cool use of a plant in manufacturing!!!

The grounds were full of folks enjoying the beautiful day, the music, the demonstrations of art and craft.  I came home with a couple of skeins of fibery goodness – a skein of Shetland sock yarn for me, locally raised and milled, and another skein of local, speckled bulky yarn which will eventually end up a prize for the Ravellenic Games this summer (more on that in future posts). It was a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon and I look forward to next year’s festival!

At the Kay Woolen Mill (1024x683)


In this blog, you will find not only an exploration of all that is good in our knitterly lives, but also a variety of posts tying together my passions for writing, photography, and my home state of Oregon.

4 thoughts on “Sheep to Shawl Festival 2016

  1. The thistles made me smile b/c I think of the first Tinkerbell movie where the stampede of them destroyed everything for spring and finally Tink’s knack for inventing paid off to save spring. Wow; cashmere goats are something else. I’ve never seen one before. I wish the Bay Area would have more fiber festivals. I need to check if Oakland will but usually such things are farther up north past Napa or something and when we went once, it was more geared for spinners.

    1. Oh, my…that’s a movie I haven’t seen. Isn’t it fun how different things like thistles have different associations for us? The cashmere goats reminded me of the goats in “The Sound of Music.” Fiber festivals – I think once you start looking for them, you will start seeing them. 🙂

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