My friend Jane and I met up today at Tal-y-Bont show, I love local shows, I love the livestock the crafts, the cake, the giant veg...
I entered some of my knitting in a local show last year, but my new local show only had classes for a knitted cushion or a bag (and I make neither of those), and Tal-y-Bont technically isn't local to me so I didn't bother entering. I may get organised and do it next year though as some of the hand crafts classes were of an amazingly high standard, but unfortunately the knitting wasn't one of those classes, and it would be nice to show people some of the lovely designs and ideas that are now about.
This show had a lovely selection of local sheep, none of them are the super soft fleece breeds that we commonly know in knitting, but the climate around here doesn't suit that sort of sheep.
There were some Black Welsh Mountain though, which is definitely a breed that's worth trying, unlike the white version it's fleece is much softer, and with much less kemp (thicker hairs). I have a few different blends with this fibre in the shop, it's particularly nice blended with silk.
There were also a few of the classic handspinners sheep, Jacobs. I have a washed Jacob fleece under my bed that I really must do something with!
Plenty more photos to have a look at on my Flickr stream if you like that sort of thing.
There was also a handcraft tent, and in there was an old man who was hand plaiting headcollars for sheep and cattle out of cord and twine, beautiful work.
They also held a shearing competition, though disappointingly it seemed to be about the way the sheep looked at the end, rather than the quality of the fleece as an end product, the sheared fleeces would be useless to a handspinner, and as they were only from Welsh Mountain sheep I didn't even bother to try and scrounge a freebie.
There was blade shearing, which left the sheep with rather more dignity than the electric clipper shearing!
This sheep didn't seem to appreciate it's haircut, can't say I blamed it, 12degrees centigrade is not a pleasant temperature for an August day!