Laura Ricketts Designs

"She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands..."

Laura Ricketts Designs is a personal and business website for Laura Ricketts, hand-knitwear designer, author, teacher, crafter, mother and wife.

Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival

I must say, I love the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival.


It’s only 4 - 5 hours away (depending on Chicago traffic), and it is full of wonderful crafters, artisans, wool lovers and cool people in general.

It’s a real honor to teach there! This year, I taught two classes with wonderful students. Since the first class was Saturday afternoon, I packed up early and hit the road so I could walk through the vending barns before class.


Okay, so this first picture is out of focus and crooked, but it sends the right feel for the moment. With all that wool and yarn (and a limited budget and time on the clock), one’s heart races a bit and one finds oneself racing through the barn.

There were two vending barns this year, and, I don’t know — sixty vendors? Yarn of every color and fiber, roving, wheels and tools, patterns, art, cards, made clothing — it was all there.

Check out this picture from a wool artist’s booth:


Pretty cool three-dimensionality, huh?

My classes were incredibly fun. Fiber students are the best.

I combine history and culture, fiber teaching and even music. Here are some picture from my first class, and Introduction to Twined Knitting.

Twined knitting samplers.

Twined knitting samplers.

Twined knitting samplers with the students

Twined knitting samplers with the students

Twined knitting is very time intensive and thus, the samples are never very big by the end of three hours. I was very proud of my students, though, for trying a new skill with an open mind and enthusiasm.

In my second class, we explored a traditional mitten from Karesuando, Sweden.

Making a four-stranded, round braid

Making a four-stranded, round braid

Again — I really love the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival, both the venue and the classroom. I’d love to go back and teach anytime!

Besides the class and vendor area, I had the opportunity to meet my first silk moth! I believe it is a bombyx silk moth (please, correct me, if I am wrong).

Slyvestra, the bombyx silk moth

Slyvestra, the bombyx silk moth

I named her Slyvestra. She was in the last day of her 7 day life of a moth. She may have been laying eggs on me as I took the picture. Gross.

Of course, this is the only moth I will willingly let touch me.