Each year in May the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Growers Association sponsors a sheep and wool festival. Basically it’s a farm show/craft fair oriented, not surprisingly, around yarn and wool crafts. Many merchants show up from around the New England area to hawk their goods plus there are the usual food and beverage stands, very much a country fair atmosphere. There are hand made goods available of course, plus tools and supplies for knitters, spinners, crocheters, and whatever else kind of wool related endeavor you can think of. You can buy hand spun and dyed yarn or for the truly committed (my wife) you can buy raw fleeces freshly shorn from the sheep that then need to be hand carded, spun into yarn, and dyed. My wife, and many others, do this for fun.
My wife usually goes to the festival every year, and often I’ll go along with her. The fairground where it’s held is a nice place to walk around and there are plenty of picture taking opportunities. And I like the country fair atmosphere, it’s a good time. Usually.
The last time I went I encountered my first ever episode of anti-photographeritis. Yarn merchants typically have their skeins of yarn laid out on tables or hanging from racks for display, and the color patterns are interesting and beautiful and, frankly, unavoidable if you are a photographer. There are no posted rules against photography on the site so I was happily snapping away at some displays when I hear, “excuse me, sir, excuse me! You can’t take pictures of that!” It was the woman who owned the booth and she was beside herself that I was taking shots of the yarn display. I mentioned that there were no rules against cameras and she said she didn’t care about that, HER colors were unique and she didn’t want pictures taken of them. I didn’t realize that I’d just met the first woman in the history of Western civilization to come up with the idea of dyeing yarn. It wasn’t a discussion worth having, so I put my camera down like a good boy and, like a good girl, my wife put back a few things she had picked up to purchase from the Mother of Yarn Dyeing and we moved on. It was an annoying and disturbing occurrence and had never happened to me before. I have to admit, it put me off for the rest of the day and I didn’t really enjoy it.
Here are a couple of shots I took that day. The yarn is from the Dye Queen’s collection. Shhhhh…