Saturday, May 12, 2007

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival 2007 - A Fiber Tale

Once upon a time (May 5, 2007 to be exact), three lovely ladies made their way to the ever magical, ever fiberful, Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.

In the early morning, we arrived at the Howard County Fairgrounds. I wondered what the cops thought of all these fiber fanatics whose license plates showed they had driven far and wide to attend the festival.

We're here!!! (at 8:30 am)

Sean dropped us off at the back entrance, thus avoiding the parking clusterf*ck situation in the hay field parking lot. While I was extremely happy to have the Queen and Funky Duck come down for the festival, Sean was equally as happy. He was off the hook of accompanying me to the festival and he enjoyed his responsibility as chauffeur for the day.

As per the direction of the Queen, our first stop at the festival was The Fold booth. Good thing we did, as the line had already formed at 8:30 am.

Once the booth opened, it was actually an orderly process. Shoppers had time to look at all the yarn and no one was pushing. Once the yarn was selected, another line formed to pay. Passersby wondered why everyone was lined up in two lines while a few tried to cut in line. I don’t think any succeeded as those in line kept a keen eye out for such activities.

I think we must have waited in both lines for a total of 45 minutes. Was the waiting worth it?

HELL YA! Just look at the gorgeous yarn we bought!

And it was a good thing we started at The Fold. In the past, the booth has sold out the first day and in just hours. The same was true for this year…behold.

Here's the booth just before 9 am...

...and here's the booth just before 2 pm.

We continued through the barns at the festival. The crowds weren't too bad and for the most part, people were polite. It's just difficult to navigate your way through the booths along with lots of other people who are carrying big bags of yarn and fiber.

Two booths we wanted to see were listed in the program but they weren't at the festival. The Koigu booth and the Crochet Gypsy were no where to be found. And to echo the sentiments of some fellow crocheters over at Crochetville, crocheting was severely underrepresented at the festival. I may have to investigate how to enter one of the contests so I can try to win with a crocheted vs a knitted item.

We ate a fabulous lunch while we lounged in the shade of a tree. While we relaxed, we looked over our purchases. While the Queen was reading her new mittens pattern book, a small visitor stopped by to say hello.

After lunch we did some more shopping. At this point, the festival was quite crowded.

Here's the festival around 11:15 am.

And here it is just before 2 pm.

Some of the booths were overrun with people that you couldn't really look and compare yarns without getting in someones way or them getting in yours. We did have some success at the Brooks Farm booth, which will be a must-see at next year's festival as well.

After we had seen all the booths, we made our way over to to the herding dog exhibition. Here are some photos from that:

We were so shopped out and tired, we completely forgot about walking through the barns to see all the sheep. At least we saw some goats and alpacas near the vendors.

Hello, goat! Aren't you a cutie!

We called Sean to pick us up. We had time to get some ice cream and make a couple of last minute purchases. The weather started getting quite cool, so we were very happy when Sean arrived. He was so patient and even humored us when we would say "Feel this! Isn't it so soft?" or "Look at how beautiful this hand painted yarn is!" Oh, how I love that husband of mine.

Here's my haul from the festival:

From The Fold:
STR (Socks That Rock) yarn in "Fire On The Mountain" and "Crazy Lace Agate"

Who knows what I'll end up making with this since I don't knit socks. But I just couldn't pass up buying such beautiful, hand-dyed yarn.

From Pucker Brush Farm:
Off-white Mohair

The Queen had bought this yarn last year and after we got home, I had wished I had bought a hank, too. So when I saw it again this year, I had to have it. I envision this soft, beautiful yarn will become a lacy shawl.

Green cotton yarn

Something about this yarn made me have to buy it. Was it the color? The texture? The combination of both? I don't know. But I just love it. And I'm guessing that it, too, will become a summer shawl.

From Brooks Farm Yarn:
60% Super Wash Wool / 20% Silk / 20% Viscose

The tag didn't have a color name and the photo doesn't do justice to the loveliness of this yarn. I've already started a project using it - a basket weave scarf. Details on that in a future post.

That evening, Sean was out at a baseball game while we ladies ate pierogies, drank some cold amber beverages, and watched one of my all time favorite movies, Auntie Mame. I started winding balls of yarn from the hanks I bought, the Queen did some spinning, and Funky Duck started her dragon scarf. It was a wonderful and relaxing evening.

In the morning, we had a breakfast worthy of royalty. Pancakes, eggs, bacon, NY bagels, OJ, and coffee. I had also cut up strawberries and cantaloupe but completely forgot to put them out. D'oh!

Suddenly, it was time to drive the girls to the train station for their return trip to NYC. None of us wanted the weekend to end - how it had flown by so quickly. Hugs and air kisses goodbye and poof! The weekend had ended.

There are already plans for next year's festival. The accommodations will be upgraded as Sean and I will be in our new condo and I have already contacted KMP to let her know to plan to join us. Behold - the power of yarn!

Here's what the fridge looked like after the weekend. There was suddenly room for milk and OJ.


The Queen of the Snow Cows said...

Wow. Awesome post.

Did we really drink that much? Geez!

I was hald expecting the pic where we were doing the Auntie Mame!

Sam said...

I didn't have a chance to fix it up yet...YET. ;)