Yesterday I went to Lambtown U.S.A. in Dixon, CA, and all I got was this lousy alpaca:

Where I am today

Just kidding. I wasn’t allowed to take it home. It’s also definitely not lousy, but rather very fluffy and friendly. This was the alpaca in the petting zoo.

I had to go to the farmers’ market in the morning so I wasn’t able to leave as early as I liked. Still, I got there at 11:30 and hoped to see at least another hour of sheepdog trials which were scheduled to go until 1pm. So very wrong; they were over by the time I got there so I wandered over to the barns where I saw alpacas of various colors:

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and Jacob sheep with their two-color fleeces and multiple horns:

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and Icelandic sheep.:

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The owner showed me how two Icelandics standing side-by-side looked to be the same color on top (sheep white) but were different colors underneath the outer layer (one was white, one was gray). Interesting feature of the breed.

I went to the petting zoo pen where they had the alpaca pictured above plus 8 piglets, lots of pretty chickens, rabbits, kittens, ducks, and a very handsome rooster with black-and-white feathers and a punk hairdo on top. Oh, and kids, of course (I mean children, but they had goats, too).

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I saw activity over in the sheepdog arena so went there and learned that novice sheepdogs were coming later (woohoo!) and someone was trying to drum up enough knitters to beat a record of highest number of knitters in one place. Since I always have knitting in my bag, I was able to join in. Not much of a crowd:

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I heard we didn’t even come close to the record, which is some 1200+ knitters, and we were maybe 300. While sitting there, someone was leading a novice sheepdog around the arena.

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Sudden excitement when one of the piglets from the petting zoo came racing around the corner and into the field, followed by a young lady who couldn’t catch it. Dog ignored piglet (sheep far more interesting), piglet approached sheep and turned around when it noticed how large those sheep are, then just ran back and forth along long lengths of the field. More people got involved at one point and managed to capture the escapee. I imagine it went down for a nap after that; that’s one big field for those tiny legs.

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(Click for big version and my notes so you can see the piglet, which is that little dark speck on the grass between the dog and the man in the blue t-shirt.)

I thought the novice sheepdogs did very well, even more so when I later learned that the sheep were uncooperative after having been herded hither and thither by professional sheepdogs all morning long. It’s amazing to watch the dog go left or right, lie down, crouch, crawl toward the sheep, etc., all in the effort of moving sheep around. The shepherd gives the dog directions but the sheep looked like they ignored the human completely.

I left a little money in Solano county:

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That’s a Lincoln and Corriedale blend with a red bamboo thread through it from Morro Fleece Works, an alpaca braid from Lassen View Alpacas, a Cormo and silk blend and a bamboo and merino blend from Sincere Sheep, and a merino and silk blend from Opulent Fibers. My wheel calls to me although I should be working on my niece’s sweater:

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The little brown bit of knitting you see is for her Barbie doll; she got several for her birthday so I figured I’d make a matching sweater so she and her Barbie can go out in style.

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