October 3, 2009 - 2:21pm -- swingbug

I just returned from Lambtown USA, a festival in nearby Dixon, CA celebrating sheep and sheep-related business. It’s a small fair – it costs all of a dollar to get in – and I went solo, which means I went with my iPhone and took pictures.

I like these little festivals. This is a small deal. A couple of buildings, a handful of food booths, a smattering of other miscellaneous vendors spread out on the grass, a lot of kids walking around sporting their 4H greens. This is a neighborhood thing.

I went straight from ballet class and by the time I walked in the gates I was really hungry. (I parked a few blocks away on a neighboring street - you can read that as cheap or as athletic, so please you.) The first order of business was food. I walked past two hotdog stands without looking. Dude. Who comes to a fair called “Lambtown” and orders a hotdog. Be gone with you! I was hoping for somebody making some wicked gyros. No luck. If anyone out there owns a greek restaurant, Lambtown needs you. But I found a smoked lamb sandwich and a band about to start up, so I parked it on a planter in the shade, and my sandwich and I listened to the first few songs that Bump City had to offer. These folks were a cover band, mostly rock, that drove out from Woodland, just like me. I like these little bands that you always find at the fair. I do. Rock, jazz, country, celtic goth, whatever. Music is always better live. You’re supposed to feel the bass, and not because your crappy car speakers are out of balance. That’s part of it. Otherwise, though, I think I just like seeing people do what they do best. I don’t need to hear the best version of “Proud Mary” ever played. I have a Creedence album for that. But if playing a decent version “Proud Mary” is what you do best, then I want to hear you do it.

But on to the sheep. And friends. The Lambtown festival is home to more than just sheep. There was a generous attendance of alpacas – you know me and camelids – plus goats and bunnies and their various handlers.

This here on the left, ladies and gentlemen, is a woman sheering an angora rabbit. I kid you not. And that bunny? Perfectly alive and content to recline for a shave and haircut, so you PETA types can chill out right now.

They also had some angora goats, which don’t make angora but mohair, as it turns out. I don’t know the origins of the word “angora” – though I’m sure some energetic reader is looking it up on Wikipedia right now (caught you, Chezza) – but I’m guessing it has something to do with really frigging cold climates.

I enjoyed the fuzzies on the outside, but it was the fuzzies on the inside, in the fiber fair building, that entertained me the most.

I was still at the first booth when my cellphone rang.

“Hi Ania.”

Truly, I didn’t have to look at the caller ID.

“So, is it fabulous?”

“I just walked into the fiber building, and yes.”

“What have you picked up so far?”

“Right now I’ve got my fingers in a wine-colored sock yarn.”

“I’m going to fall over and die from that surprise.”

We laugh. “You know me too well.”

“Your yarn buying habits anyway.”

“What else is there to know?”

I walked out with a wool/tencel blend from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks. Sock weight. I first encountered Chasing Rainbows at the local yarn shop in Napa near my folks’ house. There something about the way Nancy Finn dyes her yarns. They have this sheen to them that you can identify as her work from five meters off. I’m sure it has something to do with the tencel, but it’s something particular to this dyer too. Beautiful stuff. This rainbow followed me home.

“Call me later to tell me what you added to your stash,” Ania says.

“It is not stash. Sock yarn never counts as stash.”

“The Yarn Harlot says so,” we chime together. We love the Yarn Harlot, but not just because she’s clever in the arts of knitting and writing. She also a wonderful enabler.

And speaking of enablers, I found the Ravelry Meetup site by the exit and stopped in to show off my new stash purchase. They were all knitting and spinning. I hadn’t brought a project myself. I told them that I didn’t bring any needles with me as a talisman against unnecessary wool purchases. We all laughed at my little joke.

There are a few more pictures of my adventures at Lambtown on my photo page. Enjoy.

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