Sunday, May 4, 2014

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2014

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Here we are (well, except me) about to enter the gates of the festival. We got there bright and early, a little before 9. The morning was chilly but that poses no difficulty for wool lovers. IMG_3179Something new this year: the fences and trees leading up to the gate had been yarn bombed. I don’t know who was behind the effort, but they really helped put the “festive” in the Festival!IMG_3174 This was Caitlin’s first time at the festival. It is always so fun to be with someone at their first MDSW. (For a blast from the past, revisit Judy’s first visit in 2011.) Here she is trying out the Signature needles (we didn’t buy any, but we were definitely intrigued).IMG_3185 Caitlin is a very discerning purchaser. By this time in our circuit around the Main Exhibition Hall, I had already bought a Miss Babs gradient set (to make the Spectral cowl), some Polwarth-silk fiber to spin from Three Waters Farm, and a couple of necklaces (one for me, one for a Mother’s Day gift for my mom).

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I also got some of Miss Babs’ Favorite Stitch Markers. If you’ve made a festival purchase from her before, you know that she gives you a single marker. Her favorite marker has become mine, too, in the past year. I tried to get some that I thought were similar on Etsy, but they’re just not the same. So I got more from the master herself.IMG_3228 Caitlin finally met her match at the Solitude booth, where she succumbed to the Dorset sock yarn (I have purchased a couple skeins of this in my time, as well). IMG_3187 I grabbed some basic but beautiful yarn for vanilla socks (I have remarkably little of this in stash)…IMG_3233

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…and then we headed to the Grassy Knoll for lunch. Caitlin’s first Lamb Burger!IMG_3188 IMG_3190 We were all thrilled that Jess decided to join us for lunch, too – we weren’t sure if she’d be up to the festival after a week of honeymooning at Disney World. But the call of the fiber was too strong and she decided to drive down. We’re so glad you did, Jess!

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We met up with our DC buddy Dave, too. This was a bittersweet meetup as he will be moving to Boston later this summer and probably won’t be at MDSW as regularly. We decided to have another DC yarn crawl before he goes, though, so this definitely wasn’t goodbye.

Although the Grassy Knoll is where much meeting happens, we somehow didn’t bump into Clara Parkes this year, so I have no annual Clara photo to share. :(IMG_3195After lunch, we checked out the sheep dog demonstration. It was particularly exciting this year, as the sheep actually escaped the corral! The dogs rounded them up in no time, though.

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At that point, we loaded up on kettle corn and went to wander the barns (both fiber and animal). I was really amused by this sign:IMG_3212

What a handsome Shetland ram he was, too:IMG_3215 The Display of Breeds barn is always so interesting, as there are informational displays (think “science fair”) to help you learn about the sheep. I was particularly taken by the fiber of the California Varigated Mutant. The sheep looks like this:

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And the fiber and yarn were really lovely!IMG_3219We finally dragged ourselves back to the parking area about 3:15, tired and dusty and content. It was another great year.

When I got home, I found an email Annette sent to the whole knitting group alerting us that Knitters’ Day Out registration is now open. So, from one event to the next! MDSW and KDO have become important markers in my year, like special, semi-private holidays in an unusual religion. Fiber is a most wonderful hobby.

1 comment:

Steven said...

It looks like you all had such a great time -- hello, everyone! I pouted to myself several times over the weekend knowing you were there and I wasn't. I'm really thinking about sneaking away for next year's MS&W.

And that California Variegated Mutant? Does it have special X-Sheep powers? It should.