Lambtown has been on my calendar for months. I read about it in Clara Parkes' book, The Knitter's Book of Wool, where she included a list of popular fiber festivals. Lambtown, which is held annually in Dixon, California, seemed like the closest fiber festival to where we live, and therefore the best choice for us this year. Wyatt agreed that a 90-minute drive for sheep, sheepdogs, and music would be worthwhile.
We went on Sunday, along with my friend Maja and her family. We all watched two of the seven sheepdogs in the final round of competition. Each dog and handler pair had ten minutes to herd three sheep from a homogenous flock around obstacles and into a pen. The competition was surprisingly intense. We had to stay quiet (a challenge for little ones, which is why we only watched two competitors), and as the dogs got close to getting all the sheep into the pen, the crowd held its collective breath, silently cheering on the dog and handler. When the sheep decided to go around, rather than in, the pen, the crowd let out a groan of disappointment.
Wyatt loved the petting zoo. There were a variety of gentle animals, including some tiny, irresistible pigs who would give an adorable little snort-squeal when you touched them.
There were also red helium balloons, stamped with a seal of the Republican Party. The kids loved the balloons. And as you may have guessed, many of us non-Republican-voting parents were vaguely irritated by having to chase, and secure these floating advertisements all day long.
No other political parties were represented, but there was a non-partisan voter registration tent, and they had a craft where the kids could build little sheep out of toilet paper tubes, cotton balls, and pre-cut construction paper. These volunteers also had a sheep trivia contest that I failed miserably. I learned, however, that the three states with the greatest number of sheep are: California, Wyoming, and Texas. Also, sheep do not have to turn their head to see behind them.
The vendors' booths were terrific, and there was so much wonderful fiber and yarn for sale. I did not get to linger long, though, because shopping in beautifully organized and carefully curated booths was not easy with my young companion. We did, however, enjoy a fascinating demonstration of a drum carder, and Wyatt got to try blending some vibrantly colored bamboo fibers on a fiber blending board. I was so happy to grab a few minutes with designer and teacher, Kira, of Kira K. Designs. And, I finally got to meet Brooke Sinnes of Sincere Sheep! I love her yarns, her creativity, and her energy. if you haven't already listened to her interview on the Woolful podcast, I highly recommend it.
Our day at the festival was terrific. We got there at 9:00 am, and we stayed until about 3:00 pm. The space was really manageable, even for little kids, it wasn't too crowded, and there was even live bluegrass music all day on a stage in front of picnic tables. I suspect we will be back next year!