Yarn in my Travels

My Fourth Trip to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

 I planned this year’s adventure to the sheep and wool festival with great care.  I was determined to focus on the quality of my purchases and not the quantity of yarn and tools that I could buy.  I’ve spent a great deal of time and effort reducing my stash and I’m determined to reduce it down even further.  I haven’t purchased yarn without a purpose for at least a year.  Truth be told, I still have unused yarn that I purchased at my first 3 trips to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.
I arrived at the Festival at 9:45 a.m.  The traffic was light and I got a terrific parking space.  Since I now know the layout of the Festival, I went to the large barn first.  There are so many vendors and such a variety of yarn that it really is overwhelming.  The crowds were not too bad but it was difficult to really browse some of the vendor’s yarn.  I have two favorite vendors in the barn.  One is Spirit Trail Fiberworks and the other is Ellen’s Half Pint Farm.  I found lovely yarn at both booths but Spirit Trail was a little too crowded for me to really make any decisions. 
I took my time this year and looked at the vendors that didn’t carry yarn.  I was amazed at the assortment of tools, jewelry, and knitting and spinning items that I hadn’t noticed in prior visits.  There were wonderful Shaker style Yarn baskets.  They are on my list for next year.  I saw lots of beautiful buttons too. 
Leaving the barn, I decided to check out the area where the herding dogs were.  I enjoyed watching them.  I noticed a few vendors in the area and since I hadn’t been to that part of the fairgrounds before, I decided to check them out.  I’m so glad that I did.
I found this wonderful yarn bowl by Sue Henshaw.   Here work is magnificent.  The glaze and the artwork of sheep and the fence along the lower edge make it a true favorite.  Added to that is the side pocket for my tools and scissors.
 This is sitting in my living room proudly displayed on the table next to my knitting chair.
 While in that same area, I discovered Blossom Buddies by a local artist.  This cute little kit by Linda Minnick of Mid Valley Fibers is packaged with the directions to make the blossom buddies on Size 8 needles and enough yarn to make two of them.  These kits were $11 so I purchased one.
I made my usual stop to see the sheep.  These are my favorite photos of the day.

 As always the items in the garment competition were outstanding.  I hope to enter one of projects in the future.  I was fascinated by the stitch pattern in this hat.
And finally, after browsing many vendors, I decided that my yarn purchase would be at Ellen’s Half Pint Farm.  Last year I purchased yarn and the pattern for the Wildflower Jacket from her booth. The Wildflower Jacket is a shawl made of 5 equilateral triangles.  It drapes beautifully.   This shawl has become a wardrobe staple and I really wanted to make another one.  This lovely golden brown yarn is 1400 yards of a 50% Merino/50% Tencel mix.
It’s amazing how much I appreciate the yarn, having come home with only one skein.  I still wind my yarn the old fashioned way.  So I spent several evenings this week winding the yarn as the hank was supported on the back of two of my dining room chairs. 
So after much anticipation, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival has come and gone.  I have to wait a whole year for the next one.  I’m already planning my purchases for next year.  The Shaker Yarn basket is on top of my list.  And of course, if I can’t make it until next May, there’s always Rhinebeck in the Fall.

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