Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2015

When I moved to Northern Virginia a couple of years ago, I had no idea that the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival even existed.  I knew I was closer to some wool festivals, and I was really hopeful that I'd find my way to Rheinbeck one of these years, but I didn't know what was almost in my backyard.

I was innocently knitting away in the Apple store one day (while my daughter took an animation class) when a fellow knitter spotted me and came over for a chat.  She told me about a few of the festivals in the area, including MS&W, which I had just missed.  DARN!  Well, I told myself, I'll make it next year, and put in on the calendar a year ahead of time.

The festival was great.  I had a terrible time protecting one Saturday all for myself.  Hubby was gone camping with one son and the scouts (as always), and I had to enlist help to find rides and care for the other kids.  But I made it!

I set out thinking that I would peruse the entire festival, pick out my favorite things to buy, then go back for my favorites.  I'm very limited in budget, and have to be careful.  It didn't take me too long to realize that there is NO WAY to see everything.  It wasn't until that night at the spin-in that I was told this is the biggest sheep and wool festival in the United States.  I believe it.

One of 5 or 6 huge indoor barns, plus there were scad of outdoor vendors.

I also loved the sheepdog demos.  I love animals, and I find the way sheep flock together fun and crazy to watch.  They almost look like a school of fish on land.  And man those dogs are smart!

The day ended with a spin-in, which was a blast!  Basically, I got to sit and spin, meet people, compete to make the bumpiest yarn in 3 minutes (I came in second!), and enjoy the many many prizes they were giving away.  I won a beautiful shawl pin.

I loved this image of the woman spinning next to me.  You can tell what colors she likes: her spinning wheel, fiber, and the single sock she just finished all match.

What I didn't realize a year ago is that I needed to keep checking the website for when the new classes were listed so that I could sign up quick.  By the time I looked, they were ALL FULL.  Maggie Casey (whose book taught me to spin) was here, and Judith MacKenzieCarol Bodin and Jaycee Boggs Faulkner.  How did I miss these women coming right to me?  Well, next time I won't miss out.  I've put "sign up for MS&W Workshops" on my calendar a year ahead.  And I'm saving my pennies.  See you all next year!

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