The Sheep + Wool Report

This was my second trip to MD Sheep+Wool, my first being in 2005. In 2005 my goal was to try out some wheels so I could decide which one I wanted to buy.

kids spinning
I love watching the spinning competitions with kids

This year was a lot different for me — it was about having fun with my mom and aunt (and keeping them from getting too insane and overwhelmed) and for picking up a few things. I already feel like I have too much stash here, but MD is MD and it’s easy to forget about the full boxes at home when bombarded with gorgeous, soft, fuzzy fibers and yarns.

More behind the cut. Lots of pictures!

I love the curly hair in front best

I woke up at 6:15, showered, and headed up to my mom’s at 7. I arrived at Mom’s by 7:40 or so, and we headed out from her house at 8.

i think she liked me
I think she liked me

We got there shortly after 9 and met up with my aunt at the front entrance. Our first stop? The lamb booth to buy some meat!

angora goat
they have the longest eyelashes

After that, my mom wanted to pet the little Angora goats in the pen outside one of the barns (Kid Hollow Farm, from here in VA). Feed them and pet them she did!

mom feeding the goats grass
Mom feeding the goats grass

After this, my aunt and Mom each got a gyro. Yes, it was only 10, but they were hungry!

the concourse
mm food

Mom wanted to see a rug hooking demonstration in the main hall, so we started to go through the main hall. The benefit of the main hall is slightly better lighting than the barns and most aisle space between the vendors. I had a couple of vendors in the main hall to visit: Shadeyside Farm and Ellen’s 1/2 Pint Farm. Ellen’s booth was half the size it was two years ago and they didn’t seem to have that much stuff. Shadeyside had a bit more. I bought 5 silk caps from them in muted neutral colors with some green and pink.

silk caps
silk caps from Shadeyside Farm

I also found Grafton Fiber poofs in the main exhibition hall. They were not on my list, but I love Linda’s work, so I bought two batts:

purple and red
I hope to spin these up into 2ply sock yarn that slowly shifts in color

This is also where I spent a large amount of time in the Philosopher’s Wool booth loving on the sweaters and chatting with one of the women from Philosopher’s Wool. She was incredibly nice and friendly and made me want to buy a kit even more (I think it was Ann). I may buy a kit in the near future… I have always liked their patterns!

this guy was SO handsome while being shorn

After we survived the main booth, I grabbed some food and then we wandered through the animal barns.

who's a black sheep?
who’s a black sheep?

Then to Tess!

I did give in to the Tess sock yarn. I had planned to buy two hanks for myself (and two for someone else). I ended up picking up 5 initially… and then I went back [!] on our walk out and bought one more hank.

tess booth mobbed
the booth was totally mobbed!
tess sock yarn
but really, can you blame us? totally worth the mob

I also ran into Kelly (Kelp! Knits) in the booth, and I was completely surprised to have someone recognize me and say hi! She had some gorgeous Tess yarn in her arms… the booth had people packed shoulder-to-shoulder or I would have attempted to get a picture!

My mom and aunt also bought a lot of yarn at the Tess booth. My mom bought 4 hanks of the sock yarn for Thermal and my aunt bought yarn for a moebius and some socks!

i will never get enough
they are all so cute!

Around 1300, we happened to walk past The Fold’s booth. The Socks that Rock were just about sold out:

str in the background
see the str?

I was surprisingly not tempted by the STR as much as I love it. I was amazed there were a few hanks left, though!

what a cutie
what a cutie

Near the end of our day we stopped by Susan’s Fiber Shop to look at wheels and books. My aunt really wanted to try out a wheel and Susan’s is where I tried out wheels a few years ago, so both she and my mom sat down at a number of wheels and just treadled (no fiber). They ended up liking a Little Gem and the Lendrum folding (the very wheel I have)! Both my mom and aunt really liked playing with the wheels.

While I was watching my mom and aunt play with the wheels, someone came up to me and asked me about spinning. I think she was just trying to get an idea about the appeal of it and she had a lot of questions about prepared fiber versus unscoured fleece and about how the new spinning wheels are so much smaller than the older ones (I think she was thinking of what she was seeing vs. what she saw in fairy tales: Castle and uprights vs. Saxony, or possibly Great Wheels). Anyway, I think I may have talked her into getting a spindle and some wool. Enabling, that’s me!


So when it was all said and done I ended up with: lamb meat, 5 silk caps, 2 Grafton poofs, 4 hanks of Tess sock yarn (well 6, but 2 are not for me), and a book. Not so bad. I stayed within my budget and even found my mom a mother’s day gift!

Things I was very tempted by that I didn’t buy: a Philosopher’s Wool sweater kit (Colour Your Own — I think it was the Navajo colorway) and Brooks Farm yarn.

getting prepped
getting brushed and primped for the show

My aunt was surprised at the size of the festival — she had no idea it was so large and so close to her house!

lots of cars
there were a lot of people there — I wish I had my wide angle lens for this pic

Today Mom sent me an email saying how much fun she had despite the overwhelming nature of the festival and she said, “I should be ready to go again in a year!” Sweet!

15 Comments so far

  1. Dave Daniels on May 7th, 2007

    Thanks for the great report. It sounds like a fun trip for the three of you. I’ve got to say, though, that the photo of the endless parking lot makes me shudder! Yikes, NO thank you.

  2. Vera on May 7th, 2007

    All the sheep are so beautiful. Love the roving.

  3. Julie on May 7th, 2007

    I’m just glad I’m not the only one who can’t resist sock yarn. You little enabler you. Tess hunh? Looks lovely. Really REALLY lovely. ;o)

  4. kelp! on May 7th, 2007

    I would have never recognized you if I hadn’t seen your photo on this here blog a few days before the festival! It was cool running into you – I should have snagged a photo, too, but I was a bit overwhelmed at the Tess booth. I did some serious damage there!

  5. Kara on May 8th, 2007

    Oh the sheep!!! They are just too darling. It looks like you had so much fun. Yay!

  6. stacey on May 8th, 2007

    what a fun time!!! sounds like you saw and ate it all! :) too bad we missed each other…

  7. Sarah on May 8th, 2007

    The festival WAS fun this year…
    I LOVE your sheepy pictures!

  8. Andrea on May 8th, 2007

    Thanks for the report! Mmmmmmm! I *wish* I had been there with you!!! (Well, your excellent report is the next best thing, I suppose.) I *wish* I had bought some of those Grafton Fibers poofs while I was at Rhinebeck. *sigh* I think I had seen them at a New York City shop booth, and so figured I could get them any time. Now that I’m not headed back to NYC any time soon… *pout* It would have been nice had J warned me he was going to dump me before I had left NYC for the last time. ;)

    Hey… I don’t suppose you’d like some help converting your scrumptious sock yarn into socks for you? You send me the yarn, and I’ll return it as socks. :) Pleeeeeeease! ;)

  9. knittingphilistine on May 8th, 2007

    Aw, man! No sign of the Tess you nabbed for me! (Sneaky for not including it, missy). Soaps soon! Looks like you had a blast and a half!

  10. Jess on May 9th, 2007

    Looks like you had a great time! I’m going to our local sheep & wool festival this weekend, but it’s nowhere near as big as MD. I’m a little (or more than a little) envious!

    You got some great stuff and those pictures of the animals are awesome! Thank you for sharing them!

  11. Sara on May 9th, 2007

    Awesome pictures… it sounds like so much fun and I LOVE seeing the pictures of what you picked up!

  12. Betty on May 9th, 2007

    What a great trip report! I love looking at all the sheepy pictures. I agree with Dave Daniels – that parking lot makes me shudder. Is that a rolling suitcase I see?

  13. [...] Spinning is at the top of my list right now. I have been thinking about learning new techniques and trying new methods. Sheep+Wool just contributed to this — I’m surprised I didn’t come home with more fiber than I did! [...]

  14. [...] MD S+W 2007. MD S+W 2005. May 02nd 2008 Posted to festivals [...]

  15. [...] Maryland this year was a bit different for me. My first year (2005) I spent so much money on fiber and yarn — and I picked out a wheel! I still have some things from that year in stash. Last year (2007) was my second year, and I was a bit more subdued, but I actually have EVERYTHING in stash from last year still (groan!). [...]