Monday, September 15, 2008

Lads and Ladies Lead Class

We have fun participating in the Lead Class at the Puyallup Fair. It is a class to show off and promote wearing wool. It also gives us a chance to showcase our less mainstream sheep breeds. Each contestant leads a sheep, wears wool clothing and writes a little story about the person, the sheep and the wool clothing items. Typically, there are a few entries in the lads lead, a few more in the "young" ladies classes, and 5 to 8 in the "aged ewes" class - which includes me.

Dave led Sweet Pea again this year. He likes promoting the Scotties, and with their very independent attitudes, they're not so easy to halter train. They're always a crowd favorite. Here's the Dashing Dude in his Shetland vest (spun and knit by moi) and Pendleton wool hat.

Sweet Pea stood nicely in the lineup. They earned second place this year, after having been awarded first in 2007.

Now, it's my turn to brag. After all the years of entering Ladies Lead - I finally won! - Not that winning is a big deal - that's not what the class is all about. It's still nice to win once in a while.

Contestants earn extra points for handmade articles, and more points for ones made by the contestant. This year, I "went Shetland". I wore the Shetland sweater that I designed, spun and knit, carried the Shetland/Corriedale shawl that I designed, spun and knit, led the Shetland ewe, Elora, who wore a Shetland lace sampler scarf that I also designed, spun and knit. I went over Elora multiple times to get her as clean as possible, she was fed and content before the class started.

Here we are in our finery. The white, grey and black in the shawl are the same wools as in the sweater. The dark red is overdyed grey, and the blue is Corriedale from Cary Smith's Serenity Farms flock.

If you get a chance to enter a Lead class, go for it! It's a lot of fun and a good way to showcase the great properties of wool and promote your farm. Most sheep shows have a Lead class of sorts. The Black Sheep Gathering has a Spinner's Lead where all the items have to be handmade by someone. You can often borrow a fiber animal to lead or carry.

- Franna


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I don't know why Dave didn't win, as he and the Scottie look so dashing. Your win couldn't have been any more deserved, since you designed, spun and knit EVERYTHING! (Nearly unbelievable to someone of my skills!) Congratulations!!!

Mim said...

How fun! and your knitting and spinning is beautiful.

Donna said...


Franna said...

Michelle, you spin and knit wonderful things! Donna, too. It just takes time and some inspiration. Sometimes, the wool itself is the inspiration.
Dave and Sweet Pea are my choice. :-)
- Franna

Dave said...

I got marked down for wearing sneakers instead of a dressier type shoe... Plus Sweetpea had some dirty tips so we got gigged for fitting... Still, it is a lot of fun, and this was the last time I get to show her in this competition as she will be too old for Fair next year...

Wrensong Farm said...

Sneakers ARE my dressy shoe!!:) Fun is the name of the game and you both looked great!(or maybe I should say all four of you looked great!):)

Dave said...

Ha! I have to dress up to wear sneakers... I am sitting here wearing my Birkenstocks, which I wear just about all year, including trips out to the barn (except in snow or rain - I do have muck boots too :)

Cary at Serenity Farms said...

Hi Franna!!! Congratulations on your must have been the addition of Serenity Farms Corriedale - LOL ;D Of course, I am just teasing! EVERYTHING looks just amazing, and I love the photo of Dave and the sheep...they have the same expression on their faces ;)

I was so tickled when I tuned in to check out what you had been up to and found mention of some of our wool. Say...I think I am going to have to talk to you about some of that Gotland cross fleece if it isn't all spoken for already.

Cary at Serenity Farms

Kathy said...

This is so neat! Congrats to you both....I wonder if Ralph would ever participate? hmm...that is if AZ could ever get it together to do one of these. :)

Franna said...

Hi Cary,
I'm glad you checked in. I get a lot of compliments on that shawl. I'm sure it has to do with the Serenity Farms corriedale stripes. :-)

The contest is sponsored by the "Make it with Wool" folks. It's a National thing. Every Fair I've been to has one. You might just have to ask.

- Franna

Christy said...

Your projects are beautiful! It is another one of my goals to spin and knit a sweater by myself. First I have to learn to spin though.