Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Maryland Sheep and Wool!

IMG_4108.jpg IMG_3928.jpg IMG_4057.jpg
IMG_3868.jpg IMG_4047.jpg IMG_4135.jpg

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:
IMG_4058.jpg
IMG_4061.jpg

There was a lot of fair food (naturally), and swarms of people were everywhere:
IMG_4083.jpg

My lunch on the first day consisted of a "pit lamb" sandwich, coleslaw, and potato salad with limeade to drink:
IMG_4057.jpg

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:
IMG_3808.jpg
IMG_3807.jpg Nice hooves...
IMG_3994.jpg
IMG_3786.jpg
IMG_4075.jpg

Sheep were being shown:
IMG_3783.jpg

There was a fleece sale:
IMG_4081.jpg

There were alpacas:
IMG_4051.jpg

...and llamas:
IMG_4088.jpg
IMG_4093.jpg

...and goats:
IMG_4068.jpg

...and loads and loads of sheep:
IMG_4004.jpg
IMG_3882.jpg
IMG_4029.jpg
IMG_4043.jpg
IMG_3860.jpg
IMG_4035.jpg
IMG_3868.jpg
IMG_3963.jpg
IMG_3929.jpg
IMG_3996.jpg
IMG_4007.jpg
IMG_3907.jpg
IMG_3984.jpg
IMG_4003.jpg
IMG_4042.jpg
IMG_3842.jpg
IMG_3884.jpg
IMG_3955.jpg
IMG_3876.jpg

There was plenty of human-sheep interaction going on:
IMG_4018.jpg
IMG_3788.jpg
IMG_3822.jpg

This guy cracked me up, lounging in the pen with his critters:
IMG_3873.jpg

This little lamb was very interested in the ewe next door:
IMG_3798.jpg

All in all, an embarrassment of wooly riches!

Speaking of which, here are some close-ups for your textural enjoyment (click for bigger):
IMG_4087.jpgIMG_3784.jpgIMG_4039.jpgIMG_4047.jpg
IMG_3944.jpgIMG_3843.jpgIMG_3849.jpgIMG_3966.jpg
IMG_3997.jpgIMG_3940.jpgIMG_3813.jpgIMG_3809.jpg

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:

1IMG_4107.jpg 2IMG_4104.jpg 3IMG_4138.jpg 4IMG_4137.jpg
5IMG_4139.jpg 6IMG_4121.jpg 7IMG_4108.jpg
8IMG_4101.jpg

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:
IMG_4114.jpg IMG_4115.jpg

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:
IMG_4135.jpg
IMG_4127.jpg

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.):
IMG_3699.jpgIMG_3698-2.jpgIMG_3694.jpg
IMG_3697.jpgIMG_3696.jpg

Clearly I have enough fiber to keep me spinning for some time... now I just need to get to work on it : )

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just love your sheep photos. Such little personalities!

Emily said...

I hate it when I hit enter when I'm reaching for shift! It sends the comment when I'm just trying to write my name.... oh well, I love the sheep photos enough to say it twice!

Rosina said...

Yea fiber! Your lendrum will be so happy :)
The wool texture photos are so fun. As a spinner I have enjoyed getting to play with different fibers and see how they work. The types of wool alone could keep me occupied for years...

soknitpicky said...

So so jealous! Sigh. I'm anxious to see how the Brooks Farm yarn works for that cardi.

anphoe said...

So jealous you got to go the festival. Looks like you had lots of fun and bought some amazing stuff.

Thanks for sharing the pictures. I always enjoy looking at your pictures. The fiber ones are very interesting.

YarnSnob said...

looks like you had so much fun at the festival, the sheep photos made me giggle.....so many!!! I hear your love for sheep :)

Angie said...

"Clearly I have enough fiber to keep me spinning for some time... "

All I'll say is "ha!"... there's not such thing as "enough fiber" ... I'm still spinning stuff I got at Mass Sheep & Wool last spring... but you don't really think that's going to stop me from returning there in a few weeks, do you? ;)

SJ said...

I can see that you're going to have many enjoyable hours of spinning!

I love all the shots of the animals, especially those adorable sheep all bundled up! Did they just have a spa treatment?

wendy g said...

What beautiful pictures as usual! Sounds like you had a great time and I love all of the roving anf yarn you purchased.

Mel said...

Great photos as always. I especially love the sheep in sheets...

missalicefaye said...

Great furry animal pictures! :) I hope you love your spindle!

Lauren said...

Thank you for sharing all those pictures! I love getting to see the sheep and alpacas, and the close up of the fiber textures is great!

elizabeth said...

Ahhh! I've got festival envy!!!

Irie said...

Love the photos of sheep and wool texture... and that is a beautiful new spindle! I don't spin but I can appreciate the handiwork. Nice photography. :)

Nonnahs said...

My oh my, look at all the goodies!! I swear, I need to go to MDSW one of these years. I love your new spindle-it's beautiful!

Emily said...

I love all your sheep photos! But I think my favorite is the sheared alpaca with the very fuzzy neck and head! I need to go to one of these big festivals some day...

The A.D.D. Knitter said...

I agree, that alpaca pic is my fave! Glad you had a rousing good time, and now I'm bitter that I missed the potato salad!

Sunflowerfairy said...

Girl, you better get on the spinning wheel.

I don't think I realized how much fiber you bought.

And that spindle. I should of "fell down" on that one.

LisaB said...

Wow, I am in awe! That looks like so much fun.

Beautiful new additions. Can't wait to see some it spun. :)

Oiyi said...

Oh, I am so jealous that you got to go. Thanks for all the photos.

emma said...

What fun. I'm going to a wool event tommorrow, and this peek is just making me more excited to go. All your fleece looks really lice. That blue bamboo would look especially nice as the rings on an octopus!

alltangledup said...

i am so jealous!!!!!!!! Maryland is a great show and the best that I've been to

Knittymuggins said...

Fantastic photos! Thanks so much for sharing and glad you had so much fun :)

knittymuggins

Beth said...

All your photographs are truly exquisite, but the man lying with his critters -- that gave me a good chuckle. What a beautiful haul you chose. Someday I'm just going to treat myself like that!

mel said...

Thanks so much for the sheep & wool review and tour - I enjoyed all your pictures so much, I almost feel like I was there, sigh! It looks like you had an excellent time!!