I love going to SAFF!! It is my only annual vacation. What makes it so special is that the trip combines so many smaller things I love: staying with relatives, hanging out with my sheep, competing with my sheep, seeing other people’s sheep, hanging out with friends that I see only at SAFF, and shopping the hundreds of booths of fiber goodies! All of this in one weekend! It’s splendid.
This year I took all of my Icelandic Sheep. In the photo above, I took everyone but the grey ewe. I also took my lovely Icelandic Ram, Ingleside Zeke, below.
There aren’t specifically Icelandic sheep classes to show in, so I showed my sheep in the Longwool Breeds classes. Other breeds of sheep in my classes were Lincoln Longwools, Wenslydales, and crossbreeds of Lincoln, Romney, Corriedale, Wenslydales, Liecester, etc. I showed Zeke in the Longwools White Ram Lamb class and took 1st place. The judge commented on how perfect Zeke’s head and tail were and he loved the condition of his fleece. He wondered aloud if I had washed it or combed it. I had NOT, but I had touched it and fluffed it a lot, because it’s irresistible!!! I learned my lesson about washing my wool show sheep several years ago when I caught flack for washing my Jacob sheep from several breeders (they know who they are). I like not washing sheep!!!! Zeke had to go back for the Championship drive of the Longwool Rams, meaning he had to show against the first place rams in all the age categories and two color categories in this “Breed” Group. I was nervous about this, but Zeke wasn’t. He was named Champion Longwool Ram. From there, I took him into the Supreme Ram class. These were the Champions from all the “Breed Groups” (think “Best in Show”). After walking up and down the line of handsome rams, the judge stood between Zeke and a Montadale ram beside me and wiggled his fingers, felt them again and handed the Supreme Ram ribbon to the Montadale while saying to me, “on another day, it may have been you.” I take that as a “Reserve Supreme Ram”, but there is no award given.
With the help of my sheep showing friends, my two yearling ewes showed in the Longwool Breed Colored yearling class. Ingleside Yuliana took 1st place and Stoney Meadows Canidce took 2nd. In the Longwool Breed Colored ewe Lamb class, Stoney Meadows Deva took 2nd and FarmGirl’s Darla took 4th. I didn’t get photos of them with their ribbons, but here are some shots of them.
My sheep placed in other classes in fleece classes, pairs and my flock was 6th or so out of 15. A very good show day!!
In addition to showing sheep, this year I was lucky enough to share a booth with two friends of mine who breed Jacob Sheep: Linda Bjarkman of Patchwork Farm and Fiber and Cathy Robinson of Perfect Spot Farm. I brought dyed and natural colors of needle felting wool from my father-in-law’s Suffolk Sheep and other needle felting supplies. I sold quite a bit and I needle felted for hours while people shopped. Except on Sunday because I was showing sheep.
Many people stopped by to watch, ask questions and talk. I enjoyed meeting so many people AND it was tiring!
Next year, I will not have booth space. While I did make some money doing that, I did not have the “vacation” I usually enjoy while at SAFF. In fact, I didn’t even get to make my way around to all the booths! I enjoyed visiting with my relatives in Asheville and my new and old sheep friends and of course, hanging with the sheep was tremendous!!