This year was a big success for both the sheep and wool shows in Drake Sk. The event kicked off with a wine and cheese sponsored by Granite Quarry Farms with sheep cheese from the Cheesery in Kitscoty. I have to say the maple/chive spreadable sheep cheese was the best I have ever tasted. It didn't hurt that the wine was my favourite too :P
I spent the whole weekend surrounded by sheep many of which are common in this province and the prairie provinces in general. Down breeds such as Dorset, Suffolk, N. Country Cheviot and Arcotts are known for their superior meat but I like them more for their wool. Down/Medium breeds have wool that has bulk without the weight. Their staple lengths average 3-5 inches and the fleeces can be quite large. To many of the producers in the sheep industry, the meat is the main focus and their wool takes a back burner, even though it also has a value. The point of the wool show is to show producers that there is another side to their industry and wool DOES have a value and as a renewable resource it can be productive over and over. Rambouillet sheep are also common in this province and their fleeces can be gorgeous. I bid on one that was entered into the wool show and won. Their fleeces fall into the fine category and can weigh between 9 - 14 lbs! Next year we are promised a Targhee fleece :P I am still learning and seeing more breeds this year was great. We had double the amount of fleeces entered this year compared to last and we even had an audience. We had the fleeces categorized by fine, medium (down) and coarse (longwools). Winners were awarded ribbons at the end of the show and I chose a coloured BFL X Corriedale to win the "Judges Choice" Ribbon. Prizes were awarded at the banquet on Saturday night. Special thanks to my friend Lindsay of Wired WhimZee for helping Val and I make everything go smoothly.
My friend Val Fiddler from Wooly Wool of the West co-ordinated the show and is a big supporter of the wool industry. She has a lovely flock of sheep and brought a few for the breed display; a Corriedale ewe and her lamb (so cute!), a big, beautiful Blue Faced Leicester and a handsome Black Welsh.
I also had a booth set up with all my wool items. I sold lots of SOAK, t-shirts, yarn and all my buttons :) I even had one customer say "It's SO nice to see wool at a sheep show!". Thanks to everyone who came out, I can't wait for next year.