Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Maryland Sheep and Wool!
If you haven't already, be sure to enter my Blogiversary Contest by Friday...
I had a great first trip to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival (even though I had, and still have, a bit of a cold)!
I rode down to Maryland on Friday with sunflowerfairyknits and missalicefaye (Hi, guys!). We spent some time spinning Friday evening (we brought our wheels!) and had a leisurely dinner before retiring. They were wonderful roommates and fellow festival-goers (and were good sports about my sheep photographing habit).
The hotel was pretty darn full. There were a number of groups there attending the festival, but the presence of an overly-tanned, very fit man in scandalously short, rather revealing running shorts (you know, the kind with the side "vents") at the check-in desk should have alerted us that there was a marathon going on in Frederick (we figured this out later).
After a continental breakfast at the hotel, we arrived at the fairgrounds around 9 am (opening time) on Saturday, and the parking area was already starting to fill up:
There was a lot of fair food (naturally), and swarms of people were everywhere:
My lunch on the first day consisted of a "pit lamb" sandwich, coleslaw, and potato salad with limeade to drink:
We wandered around, trying to visit every barn and outdoor vendor booth. There were all sorts of things to see in addition to yarn and fiber (don't worry, I'll get to that eventually).
Sheep were being trimmed in preparation for show and being sheared in demonstrations:
Sheep were being shown:
There was a fleece sale:
There were alpacas:
...and loads and loads of sheep:
There was plenty of human-sheep interaction going on:
This guy cracked me up, lounging in the pen with his critters:
This little lamb was very interested in the ewe next door:
All in all, an embarrassment of wooly riches!
Speaking of which, here are some close-ups for your textural enjoyment (click for bigger):
NOTE: Don't worry - I didn't make Heidi and Alice follow me around while I photographed sheep : )
So, I bet you're wondering what I bought. Mostly I went for a bunch of lovely spinning fiber:
1 2 3 4
5 6 7
1. Bamboo top (4 oz., "Caribbean") from Opalessence
2. Merino roving (4 oz., "Cassis") from Opalessence
3. Organic Long Staple Uplands Cotton combed top (8 oz., "Pima Cotton") from the Little Barn
4. Organic Cotton combed top (8 oz., "Mocha") from the Little Barn
5. Tussah Silk roving (8 oz., "Natural") from the Little Barn
6. Merino batt (3.5 oz.) - I don't remember the vendor (and, darn it, the receipt doesn't say)
7. Merino roving (4 oz., "Sunset Gold") from Gale's Art
8. Corriedale roving (7.1 oz., dyed with cochineal & iron) from Handspun by Stefania
I did buy some yarn -- one skein of Canopy (200 yards, 50 g, "Purple Passion," alpaca/merino/bamboo blend) from The Fibre Company (no I don't have a plan for it, but it's lovely yarn, and it was 50% off!) and three skeins of coral Solo Silk (400 yards, 4 oz. each, "SW," silk/wool blend) from Brooks Farm for a Printed Silk Cardigan:
Describing my Solo Silk purchase, I told Heidi and Alice that I "fell down" in the Brooks Farm booth. Heidi immediately expressed concern and wanted to know if I was alright - I guess my euphemism (I hadn't intended to buy any yarn) was a little ambiguous : )
Alice totally egged me on when I expressed interest in getting a Bosworth drop spindle. I came home with a beautiful Midi (1.02 oz., Canarywood) from Journey Wheel, shown here with some of the "Cassis" merino roving (#2, above) spun up on it:
Pretty good stuff!
Oh yes... I never showed you what I got at the Connecticut Sheep and Wool Festival. Here you go (click on photos for bigger pictures and info.):
Clearly I have enough fiber to keep me spinning for some time... now I just need to get to work on it : )