Royal Winter Fair

>> Monday, November 16, 2009

Angora rabbits being judged. They're just giant balls of fluff.

Yesterday we went to the Royal Winter Fair. I've been keen to go and attend the wool auction. They also had a drop spindle competition, and several spinning and weaving groups demonstrating spinning on a spinning wheel and weaving on a loom.

The main event was a sheep to shawl competition where the participants spin the yarn straight from the fleece, then weave a shawl which ends up being judged then finally sold at the wool auction. They also auctioned the skeins that were spun on drop spindles but I was there for a fleece!

Beforehand they have long tables with all the fleeces laid out so you can have a look (and touch!) before bidding. They also print out a catalogue at the last minute once they have all the information about the fleeces. Fleeces are sold by the pound, so you bid a price per pound that you want to pay.

There's a range of sizes, this time there were fleeces weighing from 3.2 to 11.2 pounds. I wanted a smaller fleece, in a continuing effort to not fill our house entirely with craft things.
I used my catalogue to write notes about the fleeces I was interested in bidding on. I didn't really know how much they would go for, so I didn't want to fixate on one special fleece and end up with nothing if it was too expensive. The prices ended up at $4.50/lb up to $21/lb.

There's a wide range, this is one of the white fleeces, soft and fluffy with a fine crimp:
This one was the grand prize winner, fine and soft with a tiny crimp:
This one went for $20 per pound, special and lovely

Surprisingly the prices weren't always based on whether the fleece had won a prize. Some of the top prize winners went for very reasonable prices of $6 - $7 per pound. I was writing down all the prices during the auction to try to see how much I should bid on my favourites. It was a bit nerve wracking. Near the end the prices seemed to be going right up, and I still hadn't won a fleece. There was a white one I wanted but it went up to $13 and I gave up.

I really wanted one of the natural grey/brown fleeces and ended up winning one of the last auctions. My fleece had long glossy wavy locks that I think is a Lincoln long hair. In then end I paid $7.50/lb and it was a first prize winner. I was very happy about that. It's so gorgeous, I can't wait to spin it up! I'll show how I'm going to process my fleece in my next post...

2 comments:

Jaimie,  November 18, 2009  

Okay, we went to the fair and I missed Angora rabbits??? So mad at myself!!

Veronika May 25, 2012  

Angora rabbits are great, my friend had a few and I know Id LOVE to have them when I have somewhere to put them :) they do look funny when the wool is cut off though :)

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