Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Warm Fuzzies

I have a mental list of things I would like to do in my life. It isn't fancy and the list sometimes changes as I change. This past weekend I was able to check one of the items off my list. I went to the Maryland Wool and Sheep Festival. This may seem like a funny item to have on your list, but I have wanted to go for several years. This mythical event would pop up from time to time in my blog reading or ravelry searches. It sounded like such fun and possibly a bit dangerous for my wallet.

A couple weeks ago, I randomly checked to see when it is held. I think I squeaked a bit when I realized it was in just two weeks. EEeeeek! I could go. It is only an hour from where we live. I could go! I read all I could about preparing for the festival and decided to go on Sunday. Then I realized it was on our anniversary. Dave loves me to bits, but a fiber festival is not high on his mental bucket list. I stewed for a bit and with his encouragement, decided to go.
I dressed early on Sunday and set off. Of course, my outfit had to include a hand knit (my Multnomah shawl in TIG). I was lucky that the day was overcast with a bit of intermittent drizzle - perfect for wool. When I arrived, I was amazed. The event is huge. It is the size of a state fair devoted entirely to a single theme. I roamed the outdoor vendor stalls first looking at and touching all the yarn. I watched spinners and knitters enjoying their craft (not as many crocheters for some reason). I toyed with the idea of a drop spindle and then remembered my yarn stash. I don't need another obsession hobby, although the vendor and I joked that it could feed my current one.

I thought of my dad as I walked through sheep barns. He always took me to the Hillsdale County Fair as a kid, and we traditionally went to the barns first before all else. Inside the barns, there were so many different breeds both shorn and unshorn. I watched a reluctant sheep get shorn as well as a nonchalant one. The latter just let his handler shave away. She didn't bother with the sheep stand and strap to hold him. She just flopped him around as she quickly clipped. It was cool.

I even watched the sheepdog contest for a bit. Those dogs really know their stuff. I thought of Jacqui (a fellow Yarn Alonger) at home in her croft in Scotland with her husband training their sheepdog. The sheep would huddle together and move as one as the dog approached. They warily eyed each other. Those five sheep moved fluidly as a unit spurred by the dog's movements and the man's commands. It was interesting and gave me a greater appreciation of the word sheeple.

I did end up buying a couple items. I knew I didn't need any yarn, but a certain nine year old asked for green socks. I bought a gorgeous skein of Bugga in Greater Arid-Land Katydid from the Verdant Gryphon. I also stopped by the booth of Jenny the Potter. I have admired her yarn bowls and recognized her work immediately. I talked with her a bit and ended up with a beautiful yarn bowl and two sets of buttons.
Fiber enthusiasts are an amazing group of people. This event gave me such warm fuzzies. Everyone was kind and helpful. There were so many beautiful hand knits being worn. I saw patterns I want to knit, and those I have already made. I pet gorgeous yarn and touched new to me fibers. People exchanged compliments admiring each others' hand knits both the work and color. It was truly a hyacinth to my soul. I am so glad I went and hope to attend again soon.

(Oh, and in Yarn Along fashion, I am finishing up The Paris Wife. It is a bit slow, but I find the subject intriguing. It is more historical fiction. This time the subject is Ernest Hemingway's first wife Hadley. I have already begun googling to know more about this woman and the man to whom she was married) 

31 comments:

  1. It's so cool to be able to cross things off your list Heather, especially when they live up to your expectations and bring back happy memories too. It looks and sounds like it did. I understand the bit about your wallet...I was similarly tempted when I went to a knitting festival in Surrey a few months ago.

    The Paris Wife sounds interesting...I'll be checking up to see how you get on with it.
    Have a great day,
    Deb

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  2. We have a fiber frolic in Maine every year. http://fiberfrolic.com/ It is a lot of fun. I also enjoy all the fairs that we have in the late summer/fall. To see all these farmers and other people with common interests is so interesting to me. Plus, watching the ladies spin is so much fun!

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  3. That green skein there is gorgeous--I have a thing for greens! And I have yet to go to a fiber festival, but it seems like such fun!

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  4. Thank you for sharing your visit to the MSW festival. I have wanted to go for a couple of years and it was nice to see and read about it through your post. Your goodies are beautiful! I can't wait to read about what your cast on with the wool- the color is so vibrant!

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  5. That sounds like woolly heaven - amazing to be surrounded by so much gorgeous woolly goodness from the raw goods.
    Love the colour of your project and the bowl is gorgeous.
    Enjoy

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  6. Heather, I think we may have the same list! What a great time you had and I am so envious! One day I will make it to a fiber festival, I will!
    Have a fun day!

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  7. I went to Rhinebeck a few years ago----and immediately put Maryland on my "list" as well. Thanks for sort of taking me with you this year!!! (now I KNOW I want to go!!!!!) Very pretty purchases----and such restraint!!! Good job!

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    1. Rhinebeck was another one I wanted to attend. I was impressed with my restraint too :)

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  8. Wow! What a fun event. I think I would go broke there!

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  9. I was at the festival too! And it was my anniversary as well. Too funny.

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    1. That is quite the coincidence! Wasn't it fun?

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  10. Found you on Yarn Along and Oh my I would have been in heaven there. Have heard about the festival, there are woolly ones here in the UK too - I would love to tour the world to all the woolly festivals one day! I am a spinner by the way and your stash just grows even more - both of yarn and fibres, and spindles and wheels - I love it though!

    The yarn bowl is beautiful.

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  11. I think I'd get warm fuzzies too. What a wonderful time you had.

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  12. Thank you for sharing!! The yarn bowl is so, so pretty *sigh*

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  13. I have a good friend that named her daughter Hadley after her. Very cool. :-)

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  14. MD is on my bucket list as well. It's my anniversary on the 5th, so I feel kind of guilty leaving the hubby for a weekend (it't about an 8 hour drive from us).

    I bought my first drop spindle at NH Sheep and Wool and it was downhill from there...

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    1. I felt bad about it, but he wanted me to go. He knew it was a big deal for me. I knew just touching the spindle would have started a cascade of craziness.

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  15. That festival looks wonderful. There is one in my state that I have been wanting to get to for forever, but there is always something else going on at the same time. I am so happy you were able to go. The people sound so fun too, and great score on that bowl and yarn!

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  16. You lucky duck- that looks like a day well spent, I would love to visit.
    I used to go to the wool festival in Rhinebeck when I lived there. Beautiful images today- I am off to check your pattern.

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  17. wow! nice. maine has the "common grounds fair" and one area of it is a HUGE fiber tent. so many beautiful yarns and people working wool, and sheeps, goats and rabbits all over the place. sadly we only went once, since we only did one fall there.

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  18. I wish I could have been there! That bowl is beyond gorgeous :) Maybe one day I will get there. I need to talk someone into going with me though... Great photos of the day!

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  19. I have been wanting to go to Sheep and Wool for years! A friend goes every year and raves about it. Hopefully one day...
    Your yarn bowl is beautiful. And that green yarn looks wonderful. How could you pass it up? :)

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  20. I have heard there is a fiber festival where I live...googling it next to see when, I would love to go!

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  21. It has been years since I went to it, but I remember the MD Sheep and Wool with pleasure :) I came home with a rabbit that time LOL I think that is part of the reason DH doesn't take me again ;)

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    1. As a kid, I would beg for a rabbit every time we went to the fair. Now I think I can walk right by since I know how busy I am and what the care involves.

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  22. Heather, sooooo cool! You seem to have practiced very good restraint :) That green yarn is so pretty. Miss you all...Katherine wants to put on her calendar when Aine is coming back.

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    1. No definite date yet. Give her a hug for us.

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  23. ohh I am jealous of you going to the festival, glad to hear it was as good as you hoped! what restraint you showed!

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  24. How wonderful! it sounds like an amazing time. Now I'm going to google local to me fibre festivals...I don't think I'll find any but one can dream! I'm so glad you got to cross this off your bucket list (and I hope you get to cross it off again in years to come).
    That emerald wool is gorgeous, gorgeous. How I love green.

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  25. Oh I'm so jealous! I want to go to Rhinebeck, too, but our trips to NY never come at the right time.

    Were you ever at the Duck when Jen was there (the social worker)? There's a decent chance she was also at MDSW - it would've been small worldish of you to run into each other.

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    1. Rhinebeck was another one I fantasized about. I am horrible with names, but I don't think I ever met Jen.

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