I just returned home from visiting family and from the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I love this festival! I've been going for years. Here's one of the reasons why:
Beware, this is probably only the first of many sheep photos that I'll post here...I took a lot of sheep photos. I love visiting with sheep! This one is a Romney, and belongs to the Gavin Family in Michigan. Later today, I'm going out to visit with a local shepherd who kindly offers me wool each year. He raises colored Romney cross sheep, and I missed his shearing this week while I was away. He saved wool for me anyway..see? sheep people... so kind. It took all my self control not to buy up loads of fleece at this festival, but good things come to those who wait. I found out right after going to the festival about the wool waiting for me, and I even have a lead on fleece from a local flock of Icelandic sheep!
Next, here's a photo of the haul. In years past, I was really cautious about buying stuff at this festival. It's huge, something like 50,000 people attend each weekend day, and a girl on a budget could get out of hand, choosing from all the treasures available. This year, maybe I did:
That's black and blue sock yarn, green, orange, blue and brown silk yarn, a new spindle from Hatchtown, a bit of Cormo wool (thanks Elka and Liz!), some Irish linen, Muga silk from India, Yak from China, Cashmere, wool/hemp blend roving, Cormo roving, and some plastic needles for airplanes and ..I got some bamboo and linen yarns. I've already dispersed things around the house in small piles so it doesn't look like quite as big a haul. Oh, and I bought 5 or 6 great used books at a bookstore I love at Dupont Circle. Just for reference, I actually had to remove books from my suitcase so it was under 50 lbs. Yeah. I carried it, too. geez. What I do for special loot!
I saved the best for last. Caroline of Pink Tea
fame was kind enough to host us at her house for a fiber traditions get together. I wasn't coordinated enough to take photos of everyone (there were 20 people there, I think?) but here are some candid shots.
This is Elizabeth
speaking with Vicki
. You can see Pam to the left, in the background. These ladies are so gorgeous in person; please forgive the bad photo!
Standing up in the back of this photo is Roberta. She is lovely and my mother really enjoyed talking to her! Elka is in the foreground, then Dr. Laura (the real Dr. Laura!) and part of Sam. (Sorry Sam!)
Here is Vicki, speaking with Tina in the middle of the photo, and Sam. Again, I was so thrilled to meet everyone in person that I got overstimulated and forgot to actually shoot decent pictures. I was too busy talking, hugging everyone, eating pizza, helping folks learn to use spindles, and sometimes knitting to remember the camera. Oh well. Mel, Jen, Jen, Kerry, Mary, Liz, Pam, Tina, Georgina, Sam, Vicki, Laura, Robyn, Roberta, Elka, Elizabeth, Pam, Caroline and Emmy, I loved seeing all of y'all. Louise from France, it was great running into you at the festival. I'll take a picture of the yard soon--the grass is growing now, finally!
If I left someone out, forgive me. I was dazed by the incredible shawl show and tell, tiredness, and the intoxicating scent of sheep.