December 08, 2022

From the Pastures: Backbone of fair

As I write this column, I am looking out over our county fair. The Boone County Fair has been a family tradition since I was a child. The fair is special for a lot of families. I really enjoy seeing all the livestock shows and catching up with friends.

For the first time in many years, our family does not have any sheep or cattle in the barns. We are a bit lost without that spot in the barn where everyone gathers. It has been fun to still watch the shows and support friends and the next generation of 4-H members. My grandkids only have a couple years and they are old enough for 4-H. Looking forward to that time.

In the last couple of years, I have had the opportunity to see the fair from the side of all the amazing volunteers who work very hard to make the fair week great. The volunteers are the backbone of the fair and work endlessly to make the fair a success. In our county, the fair is truly a community event.

Last month, I mentioned that I have some Scottish Blackface wool ready to work with. I have been able to dye this wool in several colors. Colors were chosen that would complement each other when blended together. I use a color wheel to help with color selection. Typically, the colors across the color wheel will blend well together. It is fun to throw in some variations and see what comes out.

I chose to make batts with the dyed Scottish Blackface wool rather than yarn at this time. Three colors were blended together at the carder, giving each color a bright presence in the batt. I will be needle felting these colored batts, which will make them denser and like a piece of felt. The colors should stand out and make interesting patterns. In the past, these batts have been popular at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. Hard to believe the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival, Sept. 9-11, is just around the corner.

Hope everyone has a chance to enjoy the state fair or a county fair.

Jane Zeien

Jane Zeien

Belvidere, Ill.