What a fun festival this year’s Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival was! The weather was mainly cooperative ~ despite ridiculous pouring rain all day Friday, the weather cleared by the Friday evening into a perfect weekend.
We arrived at the fairgrounds bright and early Friday morning, only to find the lights in the Main Exhibition Hall had decided to take a day off. It’s dark in that building! Our awesome friends and booth neighbors, Gregg and Deirdre of Still River Fiber Mill, set up their bright strobe lights ~ one for their booth and one for ours, so we weren’t in complete dusk while unloading the trailer. Luckily, the light magicians worked their magic and the lights turned on about an hour after we arrived.
I always mean to take more photos than I do. This time around, I forgot (again) to take photos as we were setting up, but I did remember to take some right after we had finished.
Saturday was a busy, hectic and fun day. No photos (one draw back of those credit card apps is my phone is in use all day).
Happily, Clara made it to the Festival and sent me some copies of Knitlandia for the booth. She had an informal meet-up and book signing on the hill outside the Main Exhibition Hall on Saturday. It’s always fun being at shows with Clara, she’s a great friend, smart, kind, and hilarious.
Sunday was, as Sundays usually are, a slower-paced and slightly less crowded day. This year, being a Mother’s Day year at the Festival, there were lots of families with children in tow.
One of my favorite memories of this year’s Festival (really, one of the best from all the festivals I’ve attended over the past 13 years) was on Sunday, when a father who came in the booth with his two young daughters (perhaps 4 and 6 years old?) to pick out yarn for their Mom. They left with a deep purple skein of Birte and a bright yellow skein of Decima. In two separate bags, of course, so they could each carry the yarn they chose. They were so adorable! I hope their Mom likes what they chose!
Throughout the weekend, knitters brought their projects knit in Spirit Trail yarns to show me, and this is truly one of my most favorite parts of having a booth. I tend to work in a bubble and, although I see photos of projects on line, there’s nothing like seeing them in person.
On Sunday, I managed to grab my phone for some candid shots:
Sunday is the day most vendors find a chance to do a quick walk around the fair. I didn’t buy much (some honey, beeswax candles, goat cheese), but I did succumb and purchase several pairs of recycled cashmere sweater arm warmers from my new neighbor, Range of Emotion (one for me, and a couple for gifts). They were so neat, and feel SO GOOD, I couldn’t resist.
On Sunday, there was a bit more time to hang out and laugh with Laura Nelkin, who I met last Fall at the Knitter’s Review Retreat. She is an amazing designer, with the added bonus of also being an awesome person, really funny and kind (and we share the joys of each having a 16 year old daughter) (sorry, again, Laura, for teaching your girl one of my girl’s mean teenage-tricks-to-torment-your-mother).
I had loads of fun collaborating with her on La Jefa. We have another collaboration cooked up for this year’s New York Sheep & Wool Festival, so stay tuned!
On Sunday I also got to meet Kay Gardiner who, along with Ann Shayne, writes the popular and long-running Mason-Dixon Knitting blog. I’ve read their blog for years, and it was great to finally meet one of these awesome ladies. They have some exciting things in store for the knitting world, and I can’t wait to see what they’re up to.
I met up with a few other designers, Anna Dalvi of Knit & Knag Designs and Simone of Owl Cat Designs, who each took yarn for future collaborations. And a few knit store owners who may start selling STF yarns in their shops (and may also hold some STF trunk shows). So, more fun things in the works!
Now I’m home, getting back to normal. Working on my May club yarn and fiber, which is due to ship next week. I have more Nona and other yarns on order, in hopes I can get them in quickly and get more dyed up for the website. Looking forward to attending my first TNNA, and then on to NYSW, my next big event. There may be some smaller events, trunk shows and so on, in between as well.