Wow - what a day! Yesterday my friends Kathy, Michelle, Patti, and I all went down to West Friendship (love that name!) to participate in the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival for the first time. First, I was absolutely baffled at the sheer numbers of people there. It was so much larger than Stitches East - I told Kathy that the only thing I could think to compare it to was the PNE that I used to go to growing up in British Columbia. Except it was all sheep. And llamas. And rabbits. Okay, and maybe some goats, too. It was amazing! I tried to get a picture of all the people on the hill near the entrance and the multitudes of cars parked on the opposite field, but this idjit in the red shirt parked himself right in my view and wouldn't move. So, here is Michelle in front of the idjit blocking my view:
And some sheared llamas:
I'm not sure if these guys were full-grown or not - they were only about my height (about 5 feet tall) and were pretty tame. A teenage girl took them on occasional walks through the crowds so people could pet them.
There were so many people in this place that I didn't have much of an opportunity to snap pictures in many stalls, but in the main exhibition center there was a man who had some gorgeous carved spinning wheels - like this one with the sheeps heads all around it:
I am so going to get myself a spinning wheel! As soon as I manage to save up $600 that doesn't need to be used somewhere else... sigh. It just looked so cool! There were a few vendors that allowed people to test-drive the wheels, but there were such long lines that I didn't get a chance. And Dad, I did find some plans for hand-making wheels, but quite honestly, they might as well have been printed in Ancient Chinese for all the sense they made. I'll see what else I can find you...
And I got to meet bloggers! Cristi of Turtlegirl76, Pam of Katydidknits and I managed to exchange cell numbers beforehand and meet up on the grassy area outside the main exhibition hall in the afternoon.
I met Stariel as well and it was funny - she didn't recognize me (or my name) despite being someone who has commented on my blog a few times. It's amusing to still have that unexpected level of anonymity. It was also odd to introduce youself to people as 'Wildpeculiarjoy' - I guess if I identify as anything, it is as my Knitty name, not my blog name. And Frecklegirl came by as well to promote her new community website, Ravelry. I had a wonderful time - and I can't wait until next year!
I did have some bad (tee hee hee) news later that day - my digital camera finally died! Yay! Oh, wait - did I say that out loud? This was the last picture taken with that camera:
Forgive me - I had consumed a very large margarita by this point. It was Cinquo de Mayo, you know!
Anyway, all subsequent pics have been taken with the new camera - a Nikon Coolpix L10 - still not an expensive camera, but with definitely more bells and whistles than the Vivitar 3915 we had. And now to the goodies! Kathy, Michelle, and I all bought the same drop spindle - we figure we are all going to sink or swim together on this project. Underneath my new spindle is the oh-so soft Merino roving I bought to play with:
You know there are going be some trials and errors with a new camera - this next picture is a better representation of the colour:
And sock yarn! I saw the line up for the Socks That Rock booth and decided I had other things I wanted to look at. That line nearly rivalled that of the one for the festival t-shirts. And why on Earth are people standing in line for hours to pay $25 for a bloody t-shirt? Is there some status thing I am just not getting? I did get some sock yarn - this from Ellen's Half Pint Farm. I can definitely see myself buying more of her stuff in the future.
I'm going to have to edit this post later - this next bunch is some merino/cotton blend stuff that will be nice for a baby sweater. The two large hanks were 2 for $12, and the little bits were $2/ounce and I have about 250 - 300 yards of chunky stuff altogether:
This lime-green stuff is some Brown sheep merino/mohair blend that I see for a "can't lose me in a snowstorm" hat - and it is lovely soft to boot:
Oh, and before I forget... Bezzie won my Second Blogiversary contest! Bezzie, if you will shoot me an email or PM on Knitty, I will get some Claudia Handpaints sock yarn off to you quickly!