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Estes Park Wool Market!

Every year I write about the wonderful Estes Park Wool Market because it's my favorite fiber event of the year. I love walking through the market and meeting the people who actually produce the fibers we all love. Hand-dyed yarn is my absolute favorite kind! I enjoy meeting the artists who pour their hearts into their work.

Driving into Estes took some time -- traffic was backed up, but the view made the wait worthwhile.

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Once we got there, the real adventure began! This year I was excited to meet Peggy from The 100th Sheep. I admit I have been stalking, I mean following, Peggy on Instagram for some time now and totally fangirled her! It was a real pleasure to meet such a talented dyer. Her colors are so rich and deep -- picking only one is impossible! She has an outstanding eye for color and her booth was an inspiration!

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If you've wanted to learn to spin, her rovings are a delightful place to start!

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I even found some really beautiful drop spindles in another booth that were a perfect complement to her rovings.

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Peggy is also a very giving person. She has a special kit for knitters that helps fund research for a friend's son's illness. This scarf pattern was translated from binary code (how cool is that?!) to knit and purl stitches that actually say, "We knit in Texas, y'all!" The end result is this very Texan cowl. Isn't it sensational?

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I really go into color overload at the market! I just want to wander around and soak up all the vibrant fibers and the gorgeous designs and beautiful art.

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I'm in awe of how far needle felting has come too. Aren't these felted sculptures outstanding? There were several booths that taught the technique. Markets aren't just for shopping; there are many valuable learning opportunities as well.

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I was thrilled to meet with Tracey from Interlacements Yarns this year! She's a truly lovely person whom I look forward to visiting with at the market. Tracey is also a very talented dyer who has colors that make it incredibly hard to make a choice. I want them all! I was able to narrow it down to two lovely skeins that are well on their way to becoming new designs.

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As always, I really basked in the exquisite designs each booth carried. I am in awe of how much creativity our community has been blessed with. I saw so many designs I wanted to make right then and there. My list of projects grew significantly on this adventure!

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While I was inside the nice big hall enjoying all the fiber fun, my husband was out enjoying the animals. There are fascinating exhibitions that show how herding dogs are trained. It's incredible that the dogs become so highly trained by the use of simple sounds like whistles and clicks. The dogs are very sweet and gentle with the sheep, yet are on guard all the time. Time spent watching them expertly herd sheep slips by so quickly!

The angora rabbits are so fluffy and fun! We always enjoy watching them being brushed to collect their fibers for spinning. They are very pampered! I've bought a nice-size bag of their soft fur, and I intend to use my drop spindle on it very soon. It should make a stunning lace-weight yarn!

The alpacas were a little more temperamental. They spit at each other if they aren't happy. We always like to stand back a little way while we visit them just for that reason alone. They are entertaining animals to spend time watching, and most alpacas at the market loved being fed a treat -- approved by their handler, of course!

I was sad to see this year's event end so quickly. There's never enough time to see everything or talk to all the vendors! I am already looking forward to next year! I'd love to hear about your local fairs and markets. What are your favorite things to do? What exhibits do you enjoy the most? Please send me your photos and comments here.

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