Celebrating Schacht's 50th Anniversary

The Schacht 50th Anniversary celebration was last Friday, September 20, 2019. There was a full day of events - factory tours, shuttle races, a spin-in, demos, and more - to celebrate the occasion. My wheel is a Schacht Sidekick, and I’ve wanted to see where it was made since I moved to the area. Never got around to taking the tour in the last few years, and I’m happy to have finally gotten the chance.

The Schacht banner welcoming visitors to the festivities. Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Oliver the Corridale/Teeswater sheep. Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
One chicken from the flock named after Lord of the Rings Characters.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years

I was there a few minutes before the next tour ran so I took in the sights. There was Oliver, a personable Corridale/Teeswater sheep, and a whole flock of chickens named after Lord of the Rings characters. This is a naming theme I can stand behind.

Part of the Schacht Factory with verious saws, routers, and stacks of wood.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Assembled center wheels on a rack ready to go to finishing.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Interior of a router on display.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Stack of sheets of hard rock Maple labeled “Schacht Spindle”.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Stacked pieces of cut loom parts ready to be sanded.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
A step in the process in how the center wheels of a wooden spinning wheel is made.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Tour guide explaining the process of making the wooden wheel for a spinning wheel.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
The machine used for making wooden wheels, a table showing wheels at various steps in the process, and a finished wheel on display.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Rough edges of laminated and shaped wood beams for the Matchless Spinning Wheel.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Shelves in a storeroom for un-assembled parts.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Stacks of cut side pieces for the Sidekick spinning wheel.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
A view of the factory showing saws, sanders, and the vacuum ducts.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
A worker dipping parts in oil during the finishing process.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
A look at how the center hub for a spinning wheel is assembled.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
A stack of unfinished weaving shuttles.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Labeled drawers in the final assembly area of the factory.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years

The factory was really interesting. Our guide showed us the whole process from start to finish. We saw the CNC routers cutting down blanks to make looms and wheels. There were the jigs used to make pretty much everything. There was even a crash course in how the “wheel” part of wooden spinning wheels are made which was so cool to learn. We saw how the various pieces were sanded and finished with oil before heading off to assembly. I got a little thrill seeing the stacks of cut wood that would become Sidekick wheels.

It was really neat seeing where my wheel was made and the people that made it. As expected the whole place smelled like wood and saw dust which was nice. Though I didn’t expect how loud it would be, not due just to the various machines, but the factory wide vacuum system for controlling sawdust.

A table covered in decorated weaving shuttles waiting to be judged.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years

I wasn’t able to stick around as long after the tour as I wanted to. The heat and a crushing headache were not a good mix. I was able to find some neat fiber and project bags though. On the left is a fun bump from Hummingbird Moon and the right bump of fiber is the 50th anniversary colorway from Sweet Georgia.

Two 4 oz bumps of fiber bought from vendors at the 50th anniversary celebration.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years

I did pack up my wheel and some fiber for the spin-in, but just wasn’t up for sticking around. Same deal with the Try Out tent. I’ll try my hand at weaving one day. Headache aside, I enjoyed myself and the peek behind the scenes.

A warped inkle loom set up and ready for weaving with pink, yellow, and black thread.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years

A Day At The Estes Park Wool Market 2019

Learn how to shop at a fiber festival, and follow along with me for the day at Estes Park Wool Market 2019. | withwool.com  #fiberfestival #epwoolmarket #spinning #knitting #estespark

Last weekend I packed up the family and plenty of snacks to drive up to the Estes Park Wool Market. It’s a fun local wool festival that I enjoy visiting every year with a neat marketplace, classes, demos, and animals. Then when we’ve had our fill of the festival, we can head over to Rocky Mountain National Park which is always worth a visit. Since we had to skip the festival in 2018 (new baby + no sleep = so tired), I was really looking forward to going this year. Plus, it would be the Mini’s first fiber festival! How could we not go?

Learn how to shop at a fiber festival, and follow along with me for the day at Estes Park Wool Market 2019. | withwool.com  #fiberfestival #epwoolmarket #spinning #knitting #estespark

I wasn’t about to let precious knitting time go to waste and brought my Curve of a Boat shawl with me for the drive. The pattern was great for letting me knit and watch the scenery at the same time.

Learn how to shop at a fiber festival, and follow along with me for the day at Estes Park Wool Market 2019. | withwool.com  #fiberfestival #epwoolmarket #spinning #knitting #estespark
Learn how to shop at a fiber festival, and follow along with me for the day at Estes Park Wool Market 2019. | withwool.com  #fiberfestival #epwoolmarket #spinning #knitting #estespark

We started in the marketplace. Mini didn’t mind being pushed around in the stroller too much, but she definitely wanted to be carried around for a better view of all the yarn and excitement. Thankfully, she let me follow my usual festival shopping routine which looks like this.

  1. Go in with a list. I like to make a list of all the projects I’m shopping for and what materials I need. If the festival is going to be super crowded or huge, I check out the vendor list before hand and write down which ones I want to visit as well.

  2. Next I take a full circuit of the market place to see which ones catch my eye or might have something I want. Unless I see the absolute perfect yarn/fiber, I write down the vendor and their location so I can come back later. Admittedly, this is way easier to do at smaller festivals where backtracking isn’t so much of a hassle.

  3. Once I know which vendors I want to visit, I get down to shopping and trying not to get overwhelmed by all the pretty yarn. Knowing where I want to go helps me get exactly what I want for a project and not settle when the perfect thing might be in the next booth. And when I see a sample project that I like, I take a photo of the info so I can look it up later.

Once I know which vendors I want to visit, I get down to shopping and trying not to get overwhelmed by all the pretty yarn. Knowing where I want to go helps me get exactly what I want for a project and not settle when the perfect thing might be in the next booth. And when I see a sample project that I like, I take a photo of the info so I can look it up later.
Learn how to shop at a fiber festival, and follow along with me for the day at Estes Park Wool Market 2019. | withwool.com  #fiberfestival #epwoolmarket #spinning #knitting #estespark

My shopping list was pretty short this year. I only had two things on my list: a large, single skein gradient to knit Wingspan by Kyle Vey and fiber from Hummingbird Moon. I couldn’t find the colors I wanted for Wingspan but I did buy two very fun fiber bumps from Hummingbird Moon. The colors she dyes always spin up magically, and I can’t wait to see how these transform.

After finishing up in the marketplace, we took Mini on a walk to see all the animals. There were sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, and rabbits. I’m pretty sure she liked seeing all these new and interesting animals, but was much more interested in getting lunch.

Learn how to shop at a fiber festival, and follow along with me for the day at Estes Park Wool Market 2019. | withwool.com  #fiberfestival #epwoolmarket #spinning #knitting #estespark #navajochurro
Learn how to shop at a fiber festival, and follow along with me for the day at Estes Park Wool Market 2019. | withwool.com  #fiberfestival #epwoolmarket #spinning #knitting #estespark #alpaca
Learn how to shop at a fiber festival, and follow along with me for the day at Estes Park Wool Market 2019. | withwool.com  #fiberfestival #epwoolmarket #spinning #knitting #estespark #llama
Learn how to shop at a fiber festival, and follow along with me for the day at Estes Park Wool Market 2019. | withwool.com  #fiberfestival #epwoolmarket #spinning #knitting #estespark #goats

We left the festival and grabbed burgers before spending the rest of the day wandering around downtown Estes park. I picked up a few souvenirs and just the right amount of chocolate drizzled caramel corn. It was a nice surprise to come across the Estes Park Area Weaver’s Guild during our walk. Their space was filled with huge floor looms and a giant walking wheel. The wheel and been repaired and restored, and my fingers were itching to give it a spin. Maybe it’s finally time to get back to my own spinning wheel.

Learn how to shop at a fiber festival, and follow along with me for the day at Estes Park Wool Market 2019. | withwool.com  #fiberfestival #epwoolmarket #spinning #knitting #estespark #spinningwheel

All in all, it as a good trip and a nice family adventure. We all had fun and I’m sure we’ll be back next year for the festival. We didn’t make it to Rocky Mountain National Park this time, but now we have a reason to go back to Estes Park again soon.

Estes Park Wool Market

I went to the Estes Park Wool Market and had a great time with yarn, sheep, and border collies. | withwool.com

Early this year I started putting together a list of 100 things I wanted to do. There are small things like riding my bike around town and big things like taking a trip to Yellowstone. I am no where close to even having 100 things I want to do written down, let alone completed, but a big chunk of that list is fiber arts related. No surprise, right? Well, I wrote “Go to a fiber festival” and I was finally able to do just that on Saturday at the Estes Park Wool Market.

I went to the Estes Park Wool Market and had a great time with yarn, sheep, and border collies. | withwool.com
I went to the Estes Park Wool Market and had a great time with yarn, sheep, and border collies. | withwool.com

There were sheep, goats, llama, and alpacas. Some of them really hammed it up for the camera.  

I went to the Estes Park Wool Market and had a great time with yarn, sheep, and border collies. | withwool.com

I tempted the Bearded One to come with me with the promise of herding dogs. We were able to see amazing Border Collies at work, and then we got to pet them! They were such a sweet bunch too. This handsome guy’s name is Bruiser.

I went to the Estes Park Wool Market and had a great time with yarn, sheep, and border collies. | withwool.com
I went to the Estes Park Wool Market and had a great time with yarn, sheep, and border collies. | withwool.com

There were so many venders with beautiful yarn and fiber, and I couldn’t resist enhancing the stash. I fell hard for 200 yards of bulky 100% alpaca spun together with metallic thread. So soft and cuddly. Then I broke from my usual color scheme and bought a wild variegated skein of pinks mixed with dark, muted colors by Traci Bunkers. And I got an awesome wool/bison felt hat from The Buffalo Wool Co. It kept the sun out of my face for the rest of the day. Looks good too. 

I went to the Estes Park Wool Market and had a great time with yarn, sheep, and border collies. | withwool.com

The last thing I bought was an orifice hook for my wheel. I’ve only been trying to find one that would comfortably fit my hand for literally years. I found this one at Clemes & Clemes. It’s made of hand turned maple with a long hook and a spot to attach a charm or lanyard. Tried it out when I got home and it’s perfect. 

Wool Market was a great first fiber festival and I’m looking forward to going again next year. Hopefully, I’ll remember to sign up for a class or two before the deadline. I’m also thinking about submitting a skein or two to the handspun competition.     

Saturday also happened to be World Wide Knit In Public Day. I made sure to get my knit on during a side trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. 

I went to the Estes Park Wool Market and had a great time with yarn, sheep, and border collies. | withwool.com