It was an amazing weekend at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival at the Jefferson Fairgrounds in Jefferson, Wisconsin. This was my first sheep and wool festival so I didn’t know what to expect. The classes were held in a large barn with curtain partitions. The gorgeous fall weather with sunshine and breezes one day and cool rain another made this setting lovely. There was another 2 barns with vendors. We loved perusing all the stalls and each purchased some beautiful hand-dyed yarn.
The highlight for both me and my sister was the Latvian mitten class with Mary Germain. We made a Christmas ornament-sized mitten and learned techniques for the cuff, picking up stitches at the thumb and tapering the top. She had a wonderful display of Latvain knitted mittens and socks as well as a collection of books on the topic. However, the most memorable part of the class was the personal stories she shared about learning to knit Latvian mittens from a local 80 year old woman who used to sell them in her knitting shop. She also spoke about her trips to Latvia and traditions she observed while she was there. She organized a walk and knit at the festival which is an event she first saw in Eastern Europe. We both left the class feeling confident about making more mittens. We also felt inspired to try new knitting challenges and see where it take us.