Sheep and wool - part 1 of several

The Mayland Sheep and Wool festival was amazing! There are so many vendors with great yarn, fleece, dyed roving, equipment, accessories, animals and tons more. It was not as nearly of a crazy time as I thought it would be, which is definitely good.

I originally intended getting there at 8:30 before the gates opened at 9 so I could get a semi-decent parking spot and rush to booths that I thought would have nothing left by the time I got to them. Well, that didn't happen...

Harlequin sheep

Isaac decided on Friday night to come with me and see the border collies and the sheep and then go hang out with a friend in Columbia until I was done. I am glad he came because he had a great time and so did I. We didn't get out of the house until 8:30 and didn't make it to the Howard County Fairgrounds until 11am (conveniently when the border collie sheep herding demo started). I fully admit that this is mostly my fault since I didn't make us get up earlier and forgot both the directions and the memory card for the camera. So, we had to stop in Columbia at Compusa and Target to find a cheapo memory card. Then while we were there, I went to JoAnn's next door to get thread for my new serger since I knew I probably wouldn't be stopping there again. So, with our new memory card, serger thread and Isaac having looked at a map at Border's for directions, we were off.

Blue faced leicester

The line of cars from 70 to get into the fairgrounds was quite long, but it moved really quickly. Those Boy Scout troop leaders sure know how to move traffic. We followed their directions and as we turned left into the first aisle a woman was leaving. Score! We got an excellent parking spot! (One of the things I had heard about was that if you got there too late, you would have to park up to a mile away) I guess if you show up late enough, the early birds are leaving by then.

Meat lambs :(

I dropped Isaac off at the sheep dog demo and started in the main building. I managed to see every vendor there (although not every sheep breed - the start to blend together after awhile). I did not find a long spinning, heavy drop spindle, niddy noddy (there were lots, just not any that really caught my eye) or sock yarn to dye for dye-o-rama, but I definitely spent plenty of money! Looking back, I should have bought some stuff for my backtack and dyeorama recipients, but I didn't. oops. I did manage to spend less than $200 (just barely!), which I think is pretty good. I also saw a lot more people that I recognized there than I expected - Holly from knit happens, one of the girls (the one that lives in DC) from Woolarina, two fiber crazy women that I took the vessel felting class with at Springwater (also the only 2 I said hi to since they're the only 2 that I felt comfortable saying hi to), one of my old ceramics teachers and Sharon Costello (who had her own booth and taught the vessel felting class - I saw lots of people walking around with her felting 'mats'). I didn't see Heidi though, which is too bad.

Jacob sheep

General festival observations:
  • I do not like lamb sausage - Isaac got one from the boy scouts and liked it, but I really, really did not like it at all, which is surprising, because I usually love to eat lamb
  • Sheep are waaayyyy cute!
  • When the baa they stick their tongues out!
  • I'm sure people sold out of stuff, but if they did, I didn't really notice - I never found the Noro ends booth and don't care, The Fold sold out of Socks That Rock yarn in the morning and again, I didn't really care.
  • I thought there would be more handmade spindles there, but there weren't.
  • The weather was gorgeous! A little windy (which meant lots of dust), but otherwise just great.
  • One long day there was plenty. I could probably go back there today, but I'd just end up spending more money...
  • The sheep dog thing is really just a demonstration of 3 border collies herding sheep - it's not a competition and the demo is the same all day
  • Boy scouts sell iced tea and lemonade for $1.50

The only sheep that came home with us! (from the Border Collie Rescue Group)

If you have any interest what so ever in fiber arts, I highly recommend you make the trip to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival sometime. It's completely worth it! I will definitely be going back next year (on Saturday around 11 am)!

Stay tuned this week for all of the goodies I brought home with me!


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