Maryland Sheep & Wool Recap

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.


As usual, Phoenix was not happy I was going somewhere. I had to bribe him with doggie treats to get him back in the house.

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.


Spirit Trail all set up and ready to go! Pothos, Anne Hanson’s beautiful new design, is the blue shawl hanging front and center, while Laura Nelkin’s La Jefa sweater is the front left and Ann Podlesak’s Datura is in pink on the right. 


Another shot, showing Kathleen Dames beautiful new cabled hoodie, Patchwork Princess (upper right, next to Pothos), along with Miriam Felton’s Rivel and Jen Geigley’s GAP-tastic Cowl and Susanna IC’s Romance shawl (in green).


On the left, Elfe by Astrid Schramm and Ravello by Isabell Kraemer

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).


Clara Parkes in my booth, with the second printing of her Knitlandia, complete with New York Times Bestseller stamp! (I had to snag her photo because, alas, my phone was tied up all day Saturday, and Saturday night … we were all too tired to even think about photos).

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.


Anne Hanson and me ~ she is wearing her new design, Illas Cies, which debuted at MDSW and is part of her new Spring Ensemble, which was just published this morning (seriously, I wish I had 6 arms and a Harry Potter Time Turner. I want to Knit All the Things!!). I am totally going to knit this sweater for myself, and soon! I’m in my Grandpa Cardigan, designed by Joji Locatelli.

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:


Karen showing off her gorgeous handspan, hand knit shawl. She spun the yarn from an STF club fiber, merino/cashmere/silk top. The pattern is A Hap for Harriet, but Kate Davies.


Kathy‘s beautiful shawl, knit in an OOAK Nona, Celaeno, is designed by Romi Hill

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).


Laura Nelkin, wearing her La Jefa, with the Spirit Trail La Jefa behind us.

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!


I love that Laura has no problem being silly, and having silly photos posted online for all eternity heh heh. Here she is getting yarn for our next collaboration.


Kay Gardiner, of Mason-Dixon Knitting

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.


Phoenix was super-happy to have me home on Sunday night, but I was too tired to take a photo of his happy-dancing shenanigans. By Monday morning, he was back to his cool, stubborn self (refusing to pose for photos, so I had to settle for this cute profile).






7 thoughts on “Maryland Sheep & Wool Recap

  1. I’m so glad the weather cooperated for everyone. Wish I could’ve been there 😦

    The more I look at Illas Cies (sp?) the more I want to knit it! In handspun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know! I really love that new sweater design! Handspun would be awesome. I’m not sure what I’m going to knit it in. It calls for Sport, so I might just knit it in Eir (my new sport BFL), or else I’ll fiddle with the gauge on Brigantia instead …


  2. So great to see your photos and your smiling face. Almost like being there myself. I am trying to work out a day at Rhinebeck :fingers_crossed: since it will be my only chance this year to see your booth in person. It looks like you had a great time. xoxo


  3. i miss you guys, i wonder if i’ll ever get to see you all again?
    rhinebeck is so not happening with bernie working nights/weekends

    Liked by 1 person

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