Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival - pt. 2

Sunday, May 4, 2008
So today, I was ready for the swarm. I had it all planned out. If Route 32 was backed up 3 miles, I knew of a shortcut that I could take to get me in faster - and it would work too! But also in the back of my mind I knew it was supposed to have rained Saturday night into Sunday morning and that didn't happen. So I thought perhaps that a lot of people went on Saturday because of this? Yes. This is exactly what happened. There was no traffic. The parking lot was only a quarter full. I could breathe today. I could talk to the vendors. Yippee!!! This was going to be a wonderful day. And it was.

First stop - the ATM.

Second stop - a little yarn shop (don't remember the name). They were selling Rowan Plaid for $5 a ball!!! What? And I missed this yesterday? Aw, shucks. All the great colors were gone! This stuff usually sells up to $15 a ball. Webs has it for $8.50 a ball (I currently have 30 balls, 3 different shades, 10 balls each, still waiting to be knit into soft squishy sweaters - I'll get to it - I promise!). I decided I didn't need anymore, so I walked away thinking if I remember to go back later in the day and they still have some, I'd then use that as my 'okay, it's okay' to buy more. Tee he he he...

Back to what I needed. I didn't want to get lost in the excitement and forget I needed things, so I wrote it down this time: new bobbins / belt for drum carder / heddles / fringe twister. I went right to The Mannings booth in the main exibition hall. I found Thomas Knisely (who may be my weaving instructor later this summer) and he was able to help me with some of what I wanted. The drum carder was still the problem - it needs a new belt. I found a place whos store is right down the street from where I live. So, I was done with what I needed and now I could play some more...

I found Alpacas. LIVE Alpacas.

My nose is so soft!
Where were they yesterday? In the same place but I couldn't see them for all the people. But the difference today was that I would be able to speak with the breeders and get some valuable information. You see, I have this dream of living on a farm and raising/selling Alpacas. Who knows? It could not hurt to ask questions and all of the people I spoke with were so friendly and helpful. I now have many invitations to visit their farms in Northern Maryland. Imagine that!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

Saturday, May 3, 2008
Okay so this was a total surprise to me. I have never been. I only knew about it from my friend Maria. What a show! Seriously, it was like Madonna had come to the Howard County Fair. Too bad my camera battery was exhausted...

Cars for days. People everywhere. It was overwhelming, but I had so much fun!

On Saturday I decided to just let myself run wild. I had no plan. I just knew I needed new bobbins, a belt for a drum carder, heddles and a fringe twister. I went from vendor to vendor, looking, absorbing, thinking... What? What do I want? What do I need? Need? I couldn't even remember what I needed. So, I went with what I wanted. My first purchase was very small. Just four fiber samples to spin:

Merino/Silk (80/20)

Dyed Soysilk

Corn Fiber

and Bamboo

Next on the list came some lovely merino/silk (70/30) from Delly's Delights Farm, in Trappe, Maryland. The color is a soft lettuce green, with streaks of brown, orange, blue, red... When I got home later in the afternoon, I started spinning this right away. I'm loving the outcome so far...

Sweet Spun

Next I just walked around a lot in a daze. So many people. So much yarn. I went through the barns where all the sheep were and then I headed over to the main exibition hall. More venders from all over. So many people. Back outside! Use the restroom? Hungry? Forget it. I was not going to wait in line for either of these basic needs.
Walking around more, I wound up purchasing a pound of Shetland roving for $18.00. Not sure if that's a good deal or not, but the wool is very soft. Finally I wound up back where I started. Eyeing some very colorful roving from Persimmon Tree Farm. It was nice because hanging on each of the baskets of roving, they had a skein of yarn so you'd know what it 'could' look like after spinning... I decided on two colors to play with before heading home.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Spun Kool-Aid

Played around a bit - tried dying wool with Kool-Aid. I was amazed how fast this wool gobbled up the color from the water. The wool was purchased from Vulcan's Rest Fibers in the little historic town of Chesapeake City MD. What a great little place the town is. Too bad I didn't have any time to check it out - so that means another trip for the whole day is planned soon. I hung the fiber to dry, spun it (new to this) and then plied it with undyed spun wool. Here is the outcome... Quite fun!

A little fuzzy it is. Not sure if this is due to my inexperience with wool (felting?) or my inexperience with spinning. In either case I'm sure I'll learn from it and future skeins will be picture perfect!

--- Popsiclelicious ---

Oh by the way - this weekend is the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. I can't wait to go! I'll fill you in on my adventures!