Sunday, May 8, 2011

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

I wish I had a million dollars. My apartment would be overflowing with fiber if that was the case.

My mom and I celebrated Mother's Day by going to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. This is one of the many, many reasons she's an amazing mom. She knit a scarf about two years ago and knit on a machine some when I was very small (small enough that I don't remember her ever knitting), but so far as I know that is the extent of her fiber fondness. Nonetheless, she happily accompanied to the festival today and even bought me a funnel cake while we were there.

The funnel cake was pretty fabulous, but that's not what you're here to read about, is it?

I didn't go into the fest with any detailed plans on what I wanted to buy. I knew that I couldn't spend a lot and I knew that I wanted to get some non-wool fibers. Here's what I walked away with:

My first purchase was this gorgeous blue-green roving. It's hand dyed Blue-Faced Leicester from Bullen's Wullens. Out of the three vendors I purchased from, Pat Bullen was the only one without a website. Complete contact info for the three vendors can be found at the bottom of this post. I'm pretty sure that Pat was the woman I spent most of my time interacting with at this booth. I had the conundrum of being sure I wanted to buy roving from her, but not being able to decide which color I wanted. She gave me just the right amount of attention as I stood there staring and stroking the wool. I wish that she did have a website because I would definitely buy from her again.

Next up were two small purchases, silk caps and an ounce of bamboo top. These were both from Shadeyside Fibers. A man was working at this booth and he patiently explained the difference between silk caps and silk hankies to me. Honestly, I'm still not too sure what the difference is other than the shape, but he was very friendly and patient with me.

Finally, I bought this amazing superwash merino from Fiber Optic Yarns. I'm so in love with this colorway, called "Polkadots and Moonbeams", that I'm understanding other people's fear of spinning pretty roving. It's so pretty just as it is...what if I mess it up when I spin it?

Everyone I interacted with was very friendly and helpful. My favorite was the woman who raises corgi and was wearing a shirt with a picture of sheep driving a convertible with a corgi in the backseat and "Corgis are back sheep drivers" across the top.

We checked out the animals and the working sheep dog show too.

The entire festival was wonderful. If you're in the DC metro area, I would definitely suggest it. If you're interested, here's the contact info for the three vendors that I purchased from. All of them were helpful and come with my recommendation.

Bullen's Wullens
Pat Bullen

Shadeyside Fibers LLC
109 Brown Road
Oxford, NY 13830

Fiber Optic Yarns
Kimber Baldwin Designs
PO Box 42782
Cincinnati, OH 45242-0782

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