Thursday, May 08, 2008


I was terribly disheartened to hear of this. The short version? There was theft and vandalism, including the release of animals, at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival this year. In a world full of terrible natural disasters and war, I've found these festivals to be almost an oasis of kindness. I attended a dozen or so events last year to do research for my new book, Fiber Gathering, and attended many others in past years. I'm teaching at a festival in just a couple of weeks. People I've met were overwhelmingly generous and friendly. The animals slept safe in their temporary barns. The vendors occasionally had losses--due to wind or rain...but not theft. This is something we, in the fiber arts community, would not expect to hear.

So, ok, why am I posting about this? The sheep or goat has left the barn, so to speak...and maybe this was just an isolated event? I hope so, but, well, here's the thing. There are dozens more festivals this year. There are literally millions of us who might attend one. We don't want even one vendor or farmer or participant to stay home because of these incidents of vandalism or theft..we want all our fiber festival friends to feel safe! I'm asking everyone to keep your eyes open. Take care, and take care of those around you. Pretend every festival is your village, and be outspoken and loving in your protection of what we care about. People, farm animals, children, precious yarn and fiber supplies? We want everyone to feel safe, welcome and appreciated at their local festival. A watchful crowd really matters in terms of everyone's well-being. Spread the word.
Please link to this blog post. Promote safety for our animals, vendors, and friends at festivals. Thank you.


Blogger The WoolWytch said...

Hey there - just read this and linked from my own blog.

It's a shame to read about that - hopefully it's an isolated incident and the community can pull together and watch over eachother to prevent it from happening again.

May 8, 2008 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Thank you for your lovely post about this, woolwytch!

May 8, 2008 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger annmarie said...

What a shame to hear about this and, yes, I also hope it's an isolated thing and doesn't start happening at more fiber festivals. At Rhinebeck this past year, I loved how it was so open and never got the feeling that vendors felt that they had to 'hover' over me as I visited their booths. :(

May 8, 2008 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Romi said...

How sad. :(

Hugs to you!

May 8, 2008 at 4:16 PM  
Blogger Romi said...

I've tagged you! Come on over and see the instructions. :)

May 9, 2008 at 12:18 AM  
Anonymous AlisonH said...

I notice they put it on the homepage of Ravelry yesterday or so. That should definitely get the word out.

May 10, 2008 at 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

When I was a kid in hs, showing at our large fair, we had some incidents like this. They are usually isolated. At our fair it happened a couple of times. One of the goat breeders finally set up a cot inside the pens and it turned out to be some drunks feeding the goats and leaving gates open. I did not hear of it happening again for several years after that.

Let's hope that is the case here, too.

May 11, 2008 at 6:29 PM  

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