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Sheepish

May 9, 2005
by

Maryland Sheep and Wool is over for another year. Despite how exhausted I am by the time it’s over, I am always ready to do it all over again within days. I’ve been four times, and every year it’s been new to me in some way because I’ve expanded my fiber repertoire. Last year I went as a spinner for the first time and this year I played among the fleeces for the first time. But the best thing about it is always the people.

My festival weekend got off to a great start Friday afternoon when this came to my door:

It’s a Kromski Mazurka that I got from Chris who was driving from Connecticut to MS&W and kindly drove it right to my door. It’s the cutest thing, fits right in the corner next to big-sister Symphony, and spins very smoothly.

In the small-world department, Chris happened to mention how hard it was to get through home-town traffic from her house to the highway, and it turns out she lives in the same town where I lived from age 5 to 11. How likely would you have supposed it to be, that you’d google for someone with the wheel you want for sale, and the one you found would turn out to be in your former home town?

I didn’t have time to play with it, because I needed to run to the airport with Emily to pick up Sam and Jen. We ate dinner and when we got done we found Melanie sitting on my doorstep calmly knitting while she waited for us. We stayed up way too late gabbing in our excitement.

Although I had this with me all day long on Saturday (felted two more times, it’s now the perfect size), I neglected to take my camera out of it even ONE time while at the fairgrounds. (UPDATE 5/10 – Luckily Helen took LOTS of great pictures! You can see them here.)

So not only are there no pictures of Emily with sheep (she was sleepy by the time we got to the sheep) but there are no pictures of Louise and Chloe, or Stephanie, who were unable to attend the evening festivities.

I didn’t get myself together to take pictures until dinnertime when the Fibertraditions contingent converged on my home for pizza and snacks and treats. I somehow managed to miss photographing Kerry and her traveling companion – sorry guys! I don’t know if you were just always in the other room from where I had the camera, or if you’d already left by the time I woke up and realized I needed to take pictures!

Helen (from New Hampshire) was knitting a baby blanket out of what I believe was her handspun yarn.

Helen’s friend Sherry and Tina’s mom Georgiana found a peaceful corner where no one would step on them.

In the dining room, we had: Lisa and Laura:

Melanie, trying out her new Hatchtown spindle with some Targhee she combed herself, while talking to Karen (and am I ever chagrined to realize this is the only photo I took of Karen! Sorry I didn’t catch your face!)

Tina, Jen, and Sam:

In the living room we found Liz and the other Jen:

Morgen knitted in the armchair after having delivered a pile of things for Ryan’s Dulaan Project:

Lisa’s husband Rod circulated around taking lots of pictures so I’d watch her blog in the next couple of days as he was much more on top of things than I was!

We had a couple of little fashion shows. Jen and Tina had both made Gyrid (from Elsebeth Lavold’s Viking designs book) in different shades of Silky Wool. It is very difficult to photograph this yarn – the textured patterns don’t show up well – but both of them turned out gorgeous.

Sam and Melanie and I all had our Siberian Winter shawls made out of Lisa’s garnet laceweight yarn, and showed them off.

And we finally dragged Lisa out to the kitchen to give the English combs a try! She left with her little nest of combed Targhee in her hands. Much as I’d like to give a hearty Bwahaha, I believe her assessment was, “How interesting but I don’t believe I’ll be doing that again…” Yeah, you may say that, ma’am, but every time I ran into you at the fair you had a bag of fleece in your hands, and it was never the same fleece twice

While all this was going on downstairs, Emmy and Karen’s daughter Alex were upstairs playing things such as dressup and doctor’s office (when we stopped up to see them they were weighing themselves).

It was a terrific party and somehow I ended up with more beer and wine in the house afterwards than I had before, and a net gain of $8 on the pizzas (how DID that happen? I couldn’t find anyone who felt they missed out on their change).

But what did I BUY, you ask. Although I felt as though I was saying, “I’ll take it” all day, in the end I was reasonably well behaved.

In this picture you see a little 2 ounce ball of Wensleydale that I got along with the gorgeous Hatchtown spindle that’s down front; a hank of sock yarn from Tess Yarn, a hank of Schaefer ‘Anne’ sock yarn, and an indescribably beautiful glass button made by Sheila Ernst (this will have to go on some felted bag, I’m thinking navy blue).

This is 26 ounces of Corriedale fleece from a 6-year-old ewe named Hope. Her owner (she came from Curry Farm in Indiana I believe) said this is the longest staple fleece she’s ever gotten from Hope, and that she finds a sheep’s best fleece is produced when they are around 4-6 years old.

Not shown are the somewhat boring but very important things I bought at the Woolery (an extra bobbin for the Mazurka, a bottle of wheel oil, and a cover for my Viking combs), and the lovely black wood hairsticks from Turnstyles, which I was wearing at the time.

So, not too bad, eh??

Emmy and I also got some unexpected presents brought to us – aren’t we lucky?

(Yes, that is 8 ounces of Lisa’s superfine merino top in the ‘Wild Things’ colorway, there in the back…)

Until next year!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 9, 2005 6:18 am

    Thanks Caroline! I love the pictures and seeing everyone’s faces! Looks like eveyone had a blast.

  2. May 9, 2005 6:54 am

    What fun….Maybe I’ll make it next year….

  3. Roi permalink
    May 9, 2005 7:12 am

    Thanks for sharing the fun Caroline – that picture of Emmy is so cute – turquoise is so her color!

  4. May 9, 2005 8:49 am

    You all look to have had a fantastic time.The best times a3re spent with people who share our passions.
    Fab !

  5. Angela permalink
    May 9, 2005 10:02 am

    Thanks for the photos, it makes me feel like I was almost there. Everyone looks so happy πŸ™‚

  6. Katie permalink
    May 9, 2005 11:19 am

    It looks like the party at your house was at least as much fun as the wool festival itself! Thanks for sharing…

  7. vanessa permalink
    May 9, 2005 5:58 pm

    great photos caroline!!! you got the corrie from the same lady i got that cormo that i just washed. isn’t she nice? and i also got some hair sticks from turnstyles. brilliant minds think alike! looks like y’all had some fun sat. night πŸ™‚

  8. sweatergirl permalink
    May 10, 2005 6:12 am

    A wonderfully fleecy time was had by all!

  9. May 11, 2005 10:38 am

    hi, i’ve recently bought a used kromski mazurka too. it is finished in walnut. πŸ™‚

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