WINDSOR – Llamas, alpacas, sheep, goats, rabbits and their wool and fur starred at the 12th annual Maine Fiber Frolic, the state’s first agricultural fair of the season.

The animals and the fiber they produce brought breeders, spinners, vendors and other related tradespeople as well as those interested in learning more about the fibers to the Windsor Fairgrounds for the two-day event.

By 1 p.m. Saturday, more than 850 people had come through the main gate to visit the animals, view the crafts and maybe take some home.

The skies threatened rain but didn’t produce much until later Saturday, and all the displays and animals are safely under cover so the fair can continue today.

“There are over 80 vendors, and many of them are small farmers,” said Mary Williams, chairman of the fair committee as well as vendor coordinator.

She answered a slew of questions and made announcements of changes over the public address system from the administration building.

Today’s activities include performances by the Potluck String Band and a Maine Spinners’ Registry raffle of the winning “sheep to shawl” creation made Saturday. The raffle benefits a walker in the three-day, 60-mile Susan G. Komen Walk for a Cure.

In the rabbit area Saturday, Vivian Morissette of Pittston sat on a comfortable chair and worked on a primitive thistle hooked rug.

She is one of a dozen or so people who call themselves the rug-hooking sisters and meet each Tuesday at one another’s homes.

Her rug background was a mottled blue, the material made from a Pendleton pantsuit that Morissette found at a store run by Goodwill Industries and then cut into hundreds of thin strips, each some 14 to 18 inches long.

“One hundred percent wool is what you want,” she said. And recycled wool is less expensive than the $20 to $40 a yard it might cost new, said fellow rug hooker Julie Stewart of Litchfield.

Hooked rugs can be in primitive or traditional patterns, with the primitive rugs simpler.

“A traditional pattern is narrow-cut, shaded, hand-dyed and very detailed,” Morissette said.

Her rug was made to be walked on, and she planned to run braiding around the outside edges.

“I’ve taught children how to hook,” she said. “It’s that easy.”

On the other side of Morissette, Becky Foster of Morning Bright Farm in Harrison spun Creamsicle-colored yarn from a gossamer fiber mixture that was 60 percent angora, 30 percent wool and 10 percent Firestar nylon.

Eventually the yarn will be used for hats and sweaters, she said.

Judy and Bill Jannenga came from their Cape Elizabeth home Saturday to buy fabric for Judy — who recently retired — to spin.

“She spins it, cards it and cleans it,” said Bill Jannenga. His job, he said, is to repair the machines she uses.

It was their fourth or fifth year at the fair, they said.

In an open field nearby, border collies belonging to David Kennard of Wellscroft Farm of Chesham, N.H., leapt to catch soft flying disks, sometimes vaulting over the fencing to reach them.

They had just finished demonstrating how they herd a small flock of sheep and another of goats.

“You can play games with dogs,” Kennard told his admiring audience. “You always need to challenge their minds.”

Kennard is scheduled to offer three shows today as well.

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

[email protected]