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Wooly Creatures And Creations At Upcoming Wool Market

If knowing an item is hand crafted is alluring, there are plenty of attractions at the June 13 and 14 Estes Park Wool Market.

That’s when hand-crafted items, and the animals that provide the fiber, take center stage during the free, two-day festival. One of the largest events of its kind in the nation, the Wool Market features exhibits, demonstrations, competitions and a plethora of finished products created from natural fibers.

The festival at The Fairgrounds at Stanley Park is open on Saturday, June 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, June 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Workshops covering topics as diverse as dyeing wool to spinning exotic fibers and the study of hand-woven garments are conducted during the two days preceding the festival. A full listing of the classes can be found at http://estesnet.com/Events/woolmarket.htm. Deadline for class registration is May 22.

Now in its 19th year, the festival-goers can experience all stages in the life of fiber—from its origins on the animals themselves to raw fleeces, spinning and then creating magnificent garments and goods for discerning buyers. In addition to the competitions held during the weekend, there are many other activities guaranteed to enthrall and inspire.

One of the most popular attractions is the Children’s Tent, where visitors, young and old, are invited to participate in rope weaving, spinning and loom weaving. Weavers and spinners will be on hand to teach basics and give visitors a chance to try the techniques for themselves.
In addition, sheep dog herding demonstrations and sheep shearing demonstrations are held four times each day during the Wool Market. An announcer provides play-by-play explanations of the traditional herding and sheep shearing techniques used by these animals and their handlers.

Sheep, llama, alpaca, and Cashmere and Angora goat competitions and fleece contests are held throughout the weekend. Perennial favorites among the individual events are the Llama Limbo/Leaping Llama games at noon on Saturday and the Sheep to Shawl contest that begins at 9 a.m. on Sunday.

For shoppers, more than 50 booths will be filled with fleeces, raw fibers, novelty knitting and crocheting yarns, as well as finished coats, scarves, hats, shawls, and fiber processing equipment. Saturday and Sunday activities are held at The Fairgrounds at Stanley Park at the intersection of U.S. Highway 36 and Community Drive. Although admission is free, there is a $5 parking fee.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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