The theme of the Montana Association of Weavers and Spinners (MAWS) 2012 Conference held in Missoula, MT, was a Carousel of Color. For our guild booth we each chose to create something inspired by one the the carousel ponies in Missoula's carousel. I chose Dispatch, a dappled gray Pony Express Pony (left).
I wanted to use Montana-grown fibers for this Montana conference, and I had a lovely silver Cormo top, a deep black merino, and a medium-grey merino that fit the bill. I happily spun the soft fibers with a fairly firm twist so he would survive the loving play of so-far-non-existant-grandchildren.
I knit my puppet using the Estonian Sheep puppet pattern by Anu Kotli and Carol Huebscher Rhoades from Spin-Off, Spring 2008 with modifications to the head. The dappled grey effect of the Fair Isle pattern came out exactly as I hoped. He was a rather odd-looking pony until I added the mane, when suddenly he came to life. You can see another view of Dispatch, the Puppet, in the Gallery.
The Missoula Weavers Guild hosted the conference, and arranged an evening party at the Carousel including free rides on the Ponies. We learned that A Carousel for Missoula is known to be one of the fastest carousel rides in the country. I wish you could have seen all the weavers and spinners riding those ponies, grey hair streaming, huge smiles. I managed to ride Dispatch. It was a memorable evening!
Later that summer, I entered my Dispatch Puppet in the Ravalli County Fair in Hamilton, MT, and won Grand Champion!