Garden State Sheep Breeders Sheep and Fiber Festival

I was pretty excited to find out that there is a local fiber festival in NJ. I heard about it last year, but after the fact. So I made sure that I found out when it was this year way in advance so I could make sure to go. I’ve been to Maryland S&W, but knew that this one was smaller. But that’s ok, right? Smaller can be just as good…

So Larry and I got our errands done yesterday morning, paid the kids to clean the house, and off we went. The festival is in Ringoes (Festival web site if you are in the area and want to go today).

OK, it was small. Really small. Not a lot of vendors. We did take the time to look at the sheep and some alpacas (no pictures of the alpacas, sorry!).

Two sets of horns!

This fleece was so nice – made me want to spin it right there!

These were so cute in their little coats; I think it was to keep them clean before they were shown.

I bought roving for my Spinning Roving Swap partner, but didn’t buy anything for my Chocolate Swap partner as I didn’t know if I’d get a yarn or roving partner. I did get a couple of things for myself!

This is 8 oz of cria alpaca roving from Windy Farm Alpacas. She was very nice – and gave me directions to do wet felting. Looks like a lot of work, so not sure I’m going to do it.


This is about 230 yards of sport weight Alpaca. Its from Tender Heart Farms. Its so soft – I thought I’d dye it and make myself a pair of socks.


This is about 4.6 oz of Alpaca (gee, guess I was a bit single minded yesterday!) – unfortunately, I didn’t get a card from the seller so I don’t know who she was. I thought the colors were beautiful – she was spinning it up and it was so nice – very stripy. I asked her how she was going to ply it – she was going to ply it with a solid. I’m not sure – I may just spin this and use it as singles to not lose the barberpole effect.


One of the vendors, Aboundingful Farm Fibers, had Angora rabbits for sale; we hung around them for a while talking to the owner and asking lots of questions. Actually, Larry is the one that started asking about it. I wish I had taken some pictures, but we were so intent on the conversation that I just didn’t think about it. I’m sort of torn – this is probably the only animal I could ever own that is related to my fiber obsession, but I’m just not sure I want to take care of another animal. She showed us the fiber she got from one – two boxes full of beautiful, soft angora. I think I need to do some internet research on it before I make a decision. There is a lot of care and maintenance on the rabbit. But I do think it would be really cool to spin angora from my own rabbit. She is located in Palmyra, PA, so not too far just in case we want to do it. Larry was actually very open to this – he really is a great husband.

We had a problem last night with Dan; I’m so upset about it and just not sure what to do with this kid anymore. It started with a phone call from him from the police station (ugh) – turns out that he was driving on a suspended license. This is his second time – so the fines are going to be enormous. Ended up with me kicking him out because I was so mad at his continued failure to take responsibility (his license was suspended because he didn’t pay a ticket) and because he continued to lie to us about the whole situation. Its so frustrating – he just got a new job as a bank teller – starts training in October. Now that’s in question as he can’t drive there. I was really hoping that he was finally starting to grow up – guess not. In his defense he never got notified (as far as I know – Dan and the truth are two things that rarely meet), but I just don’t know what we can do. Its hard to know what to do with a 21 year old that has just decided not to do anything. Larry thinks that I’m part of the problem because I keep on bailing him out, but its hard to step back and let things happen to your child. We’ve sent him to three different colleges – he never went to class. We paid half his rent for 6 months hoping that would motivate him to support himself – end result of that one was I was out 6 months of rent, and he had an eviction hearing for never paying his half of the rent. He’s been living here rent free for the last 4 months, and we hoped that he’d get on his feet, but here we are again. The penalties for 2nd offense of driving on a suspended license are fines, 6 month suspension and potentially 5 days in jail. I’m totally freaking out. I can’t imagine how things could get any worse with him. I woke up this morning with the thought that maybe we should hire a lawyer for him and see if we can’t argue that since he didn’t get notified it should be dropped. If he doesn’t lose his license, then he can take the new job, and maybe he’ll finally start to grow up. But is that just bailing him out again? Hard to know when to let go and let consequence happen. Sometimes being a parent really sucks.


9 Responses to Garden State Sheep Breeders Sheep and Fiber Festival

  1. Thanx for telling us about the small festival, I was going to spend the day there myself… Now I’ll just save my money for the big one in NY. As far as the problems your having with your son, I wish I could help. As a parent all you want to do is help your children, but in this case I think you need to walk away for a bit. If your not there to “bail” him out again, he might see what can really happen if he keeps rhis up. Good Luck

  2. AR says:

    The pics from the festival are great! It sounds like you had a fun time.

    My kids are younger, and I hope I don’t have to deal with anything like that. The school counselor and I had a talk last year about me bailing my sons out everytime they yelled for me. I was doing more harm than good. I have backed off a little and it seems like they are taking more responsibility for themselves. My older brother has never had to grow up. This is a problem between me and my mother, because she lets him live at home for free and he is 39. She says he is her son, and she can’t throw him out. I say she is enabling him to stay a child. He is perfectly capable of getting a job, but he knows he doesn’t have to, so he doesn’t. It’s easy to say I wouldn’t do that, but noone knows what they’d do until they were in the particular situation. Best wishes. I hope everything works out for you and your family.

  3. aija says:

    Sounds like the fest was a great time. I’m sorry to hear about the problems with your son; I don’t really have any advice but just wanted to give you my sympathy and hopes that he will learn to sort himself out soon.

  4. stitch-dom says:

    We need a festival here. I suppose I could go to NY but it is still an eight hour drive…bit much for me.

    Funny – I bought some stuff for MY roving swap person too 😉

    As for your son – it must be heartbreaking. From my perspective (about a million miles away) I can see that you need to let him make his own mistakes and feel the consequences — but if it was one of my kids…well, I just don’t know what I’d do. Probably lots of therapy.

  5. Susan says:

    Jeanne, It sounds like the festival was a lot of fun. I half expected to read that a rabbit came home with you. I am sorry to hear about the problems your son is having. It’s hard to know when we as moms are helping and when we are hurting. Trust your judgement. Good luck with the new job!

  6. Yarngirl says:


    Lovely fiber finds – alpaca is so nice to work with and soooo warm. I’m so sorry about the difficulties your having with your son – sometimes taking the tough love stance is harder on you than the child, but it sounds like you are doing the right thing. At some point, no matter how much we want to help or take care of them, they have to figure out how to do it themselves.

  7. lobstah says:

    Aww, I wish there was some bunny pictures! I’ve heard they are a lot of work though.
    Sorry to hear about the problems you are having with your son. No advice, just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you.

  8. victoria says:

    Dang, it’s tough being a parent! I guess it never really ends, does it? My thoughts are with you….

  9. LindaB says:

    Sooo glad you & Larry went to the festival. Sounds like you 2 needed some fun time together. Does you new position start this week? You can probably guess how I will react to your latest dilemma with Dan. He appears to have a serious void where a sense of responsibility should reside. Larry’s point about being a grown man’s safety net makes sense. At this stage of Dan’s life, I don’t see how you can infuse him with a sense of responsibility. You’ve tried every approach except the one that’s hardest on a parent. As long as he sees himself as a victim won’t he keep believing someone will take care of his needs? My journey w/A. has been my most difficult chapter yet, but thanks to loving, wise encouragement from friends & family like you, I am getting better at standing up to my sad sack child & letting her know she must ‘fly right’ now. I will not, & cannot continue to support or live with an adult who takes advantage of every good bone in my body. I pray for Dan,(you, Larry,& his siblings, too) that he’ll choose to take charge of his life because no one else can or will. Courage my friend, Linda

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