Yesterday morning, grey and early, L and I scooted off to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Last year it was bright and sunny, and L and I had a great time and bought lots of stuff. This year was grey and rainy, and neither L nor I was in a particularly spendy mood. We wanted to go for fun, obviously, and to see what there was to be seen, and in my case, to meet up with a bunch of people from the Wollmeise groups over on Ravelry.
On the drive up, we saw one of those classic church signs: "Stop, drop, and roll won't work in Hell."
We saw adorable little goats. I really wanted to take one home with me:
We went into the tent that had all the prize entries, where I spied the Rainey Sisters, justifiably proud that the gorgeous Bohus sweater featured on their blog won Best in Show :) I love looking at all the prize entries, seeing everyone's beautiful work and amazing creativity, like the following great entries:
These felted vases (?) were really beautiful in person, but look kinda blobby in my pics. There were some great felted cuties, too:
There was a wall hanging made to look sort of like a stained glass window that was gorgeous but I forgot to get a picture. Unfortunately, a lot of the shawls were not displayed so that you could actually see what they looked like, so I don't have pictures of the knitted objects.
For the most part, I didn't buy that much. My purchases may even have been evenly split between yarn/fiber and non-knitty things. I got a couple of skeins of Malabrigo sock, because I haven't tried that yet:
The skein on the left is lettuce, the one on the right is a multi with just a number.
I also got some laceweight from Spirit Trail Fiberworks:
And some more sock yarn from Creatively Dyed:
The skein on the top is her Tradewinds base, which is remarkably similar to the Wollmeise 80/20 base:
Don't know if you can see it that well in the photo, but it's very similar looking. I don't know when I'll get around to knitting with this, but when I do, I'll report back.
I did get some alpaca fiber to spin, too. It's been combed but very minimally processed. Opening the bag lets out quite the barnyard smell :)
In non-yarny purchases, I got this great little decorative piece from Bershire Basketry. They had some gorgeous baskets, which I don't need, but I really liked this little snowflake:
No picture, but I got a great moisturizer from Rose Spring Farm. It's made with goat's milk and is the only completely non-greasy hand lotion I've ever experienced. I can use it and knit without having to wash my hands first.
I got some fresh, locally made raspberry honey and honey almond soap from a local Virginia booth. There's no info on the receipt and I didn't get a card, so I can't direct you to them :(
My favorite purchase of the day was a jacket. It's going to replace my shoddy old green barn jacket. It's hand woven and felted, with a contrasting fabric lining the edges, hood, and cuffs, with a matching scarf. It's a great loden green. I'm kicking myself for throwing away the bag I had it in, because there are no tags on the jacket, thus I have no way of giving this beautiful artisan credit for her work. She had a number of different jackets, in different colors and different contrasting fabrics. I could have bought three or four of these, that's how nice they all were. Anyway, here's a crappy picture:
And a closer-up view:
Finally, after all that shopping, L and I went over to the Rabbit building to meet up with the Wollmeise crew. There was quite a nice turnout, with Tanya and her lovely mother, Sewwhatsports, Kurokids, Catspawlace, knittingleftie, susies22, smurfie, LadyinLotus, decadentdelusion and LeeMiller, knitandknag... I'm sure I'm forgetting someone, so please forgive me! Anna (knitandknag) was wearing her Mystic Roses shawl, which was unbelieveably beautiful in person. Susan (decadentdelusion) was wearing her Mitternacht Clapotis and Catspawlace was wearing hers in Paul. Mary Ann (knittingleftie) looks amazing in pink -- now I know why she was so hot to get her hands on WM's fuchsia.
I was getting great reports from Lyn (LadyinLotus) about Sanguine Gryphon's retreat... so jealous! I hope we see lots of pictures from that soon.
We all ate bagels that Mary Ann brought from NY and chocolate that I brought from exotic Arlington. Everyone was really great; I just wished we had more time to hang out.
The gang's (almost) all here:
In the back, left to right: Tanya, Smurfie, and LadyInLotus. In the front, right to left: LeeMiller, decadentdelusion, Sewwhatsports, and Susies22. More pictures with more of us are in the Wollmeiseaholics Anonymous group on Ravelry.
This year the festival seemed a little bit smaller and less-attended than last year. The lower attendance could have been a function of the economy or the weather, or both. That's not to say that the place was empty by any means. The line at the Fold for Socks that Rock was as long as ever, and the buildings were certainly crowded. It did seem that there were fewer vendors, however.
I hope (fervently) that Sanguine Gryphon manages to make it in as a vendor next year.
And when I got home, there was more yarn -- some Madeline Tosh sock yarn that I ordered earlier this week:
This is very nice sock yarn... very nice. I particularly like the skein of Spice, on the left.
Coming soon... Yarn Chef and Vampy, oh my!