Roscommon Lamb Festival, part 3

We got really lucky that our day for the Festival had glorious weather. The Wool Craft Village was in the town square in a very large tent with floorboards, so even if it had rained we would have been out of the wet. Since it was beautiful out, Kheldara and I took turns leaving the table to explore when things were slow.

After I got back from petting Lorraine’s sheep, Kheldara asked me, “Did you see the blue lamb?”

Did I what now?

Armed with vague directions, I headed back outside with my camera. I passed the post office and a building that looked like a castle, following a little path until I spotted a real castle:

Roscommon town park

…or at least what was left of one. When I took this picture, I could hear a band playing in the distance, and thought even if I didn’t find the blue lamb I would at least find lunch. (Perhaps the blue lamb was going to become lunch; I had no idea.) I continued through the gate and out into a park. Lots of people were out, enjoying the day and taking part in the festivities. Lucky for me, I found the Pet Lamb Show on the near side of the park.

There, in a pen full of lambs and children, I spotted my quarry:

A blue lamb

It was, as I’d suspected, painted. Still, not something you see every day.

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Roscommon Lamb Festival, part 1

The shop received an invitation a few months ago to participate in this year’s Roscommon Lamb Festival, the first to feature a Wool Craft Village. Kheldara (Rav link) and I volunteered to staff our table, so it came to pass that the weekend before last I drove out Wesht and discovered all the delights the Wool Lamb Festival has to offer.

Since the Village didn’t officially open until 2-ish, we got a late start and hit the road with a carfull of stuff around 10:15. We set up as soon as we arrived:

Ready to sell...

I had my Irish radio debut while we put the finishing touches on the table. One of the presenters, Eugene from Shannonside, was set up in the station’s truck outside and asked a few of the vendors if they’d like to chat. I balked at first, fearing my telltale accent would mark me as a carpetbagger, but Eugene assured me it was exactly what they wanted. We chatted about the festival, about knitting, and about how the downturn in the economy was focusing people’s attention more on creative endeavours.

The Wool Village itself ended up being several straight hours of fun — we chatted with visitors, spotted a few shop customers who were delighted at being able to see us without having to make the trek to Dublin, and met some of the other vendors. I didn’t get a chance to talk to everyone, but I did snag a picture of one of the weaver’s tapestries in progress:

Woven tapestry in progress

She uses natural dyes in her work, and had a demonstration of the dye process at her booth. It threw me for a moment when I saw the dye pots — I’d thought they were vats of the fabled lamb stew. (We never did get any lamb stew. It was in a different location.)

There were a few yarn vendors at the Village, and a few people selling finished objects. We had a felter on one side of us who sold beautiful and practical felted pieces including purses, scrapbooks, fingerless gloves, and wraps. I couldn’t get good pictures of her stuff, but it was amazing. She confessed it was hard to sell some of her finished goods sometimes, and I can definitely relate. On the other side of us, a crocheter sold finished items, mostly baby blankets and clothes:

Crocheter selling her wares

Clearly, the fibre crafts are alive and well in Ireland.