Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Maryland Sheep and Wool

There was a rousing chorus of voices to show my Sheep and Wool purchases!!

So the truth about the "rousing chorus" is that it was one voice, DebD,. For me, it doesn't take more than one voice. I visited her blog, Deb On The Run. You should too. Very nice. Thanks Deb. I am thrilled you asked.

So here is the story and pictures.

I plan all year for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I make sure I keep the day free, I save my money (my birthday is in April so that works out well), and I have a list of what I am looking for. I usually attend with my cousins and my sister. This year I was going with my one cousin. I am happy to go by myself, but it is extra special to share it with others who love this event as much as I do.

Of course, all my plans changed quickly when my Mom got sick in April, was admitted to the hospital, and then a rehab stay. Mom was discharged from rehab the morning of the Fair. But luckily everything fell into place easily. I scheduled mom's discharge for 8:30 am. The ambulance arrived early (that was a surprise), and mom was home in her new living room chair by 9:15 am. It went like clock work.

My daughter was there to keep mom company while we went to the Fair. We still had to make a trip to the pharmacy on her behalf, but we were on the road by about 10:30 am. There were no backups on the roads - usually typical on Fair morning. We pulled into the large grassy field filled with cars as far as you could see. I took a quick turn to the right hoping for an early departer - and I was gifted exactly that. Someone pulled out and I pulled in. We were not far from the entrance. As we walked towards the gate, I was thankful that everything fell into place, including the beautiful weather, on this one day of the year I look forward to all year long.

I didn't have my camera with me (as I originally planned to do) nor a shopping list, but here are the snap shots of the things I got.

The first thing I purchased was one of the Fair's bags. It is a nice roomy canvas bag with their logo. In the back it had a nice outside pocket. I also purchased 2 Fair T shirts with the same logo.

Turns out this bag is pretty handy for my second purchase - my Rigid Hettle loom (that you can see peeking out of it).

I settled on a Kromski Harp Weaving loom. Here is a picture of it folded up. And sitting on its side, it fits pretty well in my new bag.

I love Kromski products. I also have a Kromski spinning wheel. This loom has nice features that make it pretty to look at compared to other looms. This is pretty typical of Kromski products. They take time to build some style into their products.

Here is the loom opened up and ready to weave. In fact you can see my first efforts.

My cousin spent time putting the loom together, getting it warped up and then instructing me on weaving. Everyone should have a cousin like her. Without her guiding hand, this would have taken me forever to put together and warp. The weaving was easier than I thought.

I have been using my free time to finish mom's shawl from my hand loom, and to complete my own scarf and matching hat from the left over yarns. Soon I will be working on my Kromski loom again.

I thought it might make sense to purchase some sort of instructional material for the loom. My cousin doesn't live close enough to "pop over" to help me when I get stuck.

I haven't had a chance to watch it, but I will. I did the same thing with my spinning wheel - got a DVD.

I find that I can absorb only so much in one sitting. I am sure I will re-discover a number of helpful hints when I watch this DVD ... probably stuff my cousin told me and it went right over my head.

Another fun purchase was a Yarn Bowl.

I am not actually sure that is what they call it. But it functions alot like a basket, but it is ceramic. It holds a ball of yarn and the yarn is fed through a slot as you need it. The advantage is that the yarn ball doesn't roll away as you are working with it. I have seen these bowls before, but never one so beautiful.

This maker not only put effort into surface decorations, she added another feature to the back.

She included a small place where you can hold knitting notions.

It took us quite a while to pick out one from all the many beautiful choices provided.

I also got 8 ounces of BFL and Silk for spinning. This picture doesn't do this justice. It is just beautiful. And, it is very soft to the touch.

I think I will hold on to this for awhile until I am a better spinner.

I also visited my favorite yarn vendor: Brooks Farm out of Lancaster, Texas. I purchase something from them every year.

This year they had a new product called Willow. It is composed of 70% Super Wash wool and 30% Bamboo in a worsted weight. I picked a brick red color that is variegated to a brownish dark red. Very nice. It isn't at all scratchy and has a very light feel to it. I had a picture, but my computer filed it away and I can't find it. I also purchase a few patterns from them.

Finally I purchased 2 hand crafted mugs from different vendors. I will show off these mugs in a different postings. And I got some bees wax skin cream for my daughter. It had a citrusy scent.
I think that pretty much sums up my purchases this year.

I want to thank my daughter again for staying with her grandmother while I attended the fair. I knew mom was in good hands with her. And it made my day pretty care free.

All in all, the day was perfect. The weather was just beautiful, my cousin was with me, I had mom home - in time for Mother's Day the next day, my mom was in my daughter's capable hands, and I got some really fun stuff at my favorite fair. It doesn't get much better than that.


  1. Looks like a great haul. I just coined a new word for are a speaver..(combination spinner/weaver) You deserved a nice day in the sun looking at all the things you enjoy.

  2. What great stuff. I've been thinking lately that I'm going to need to get a loom that I can travel with. I just hate being idle and sometimes a book isn't enough.

    Thanks for sharing your loot! ;) and thanks for the shout-out.

  3. It was a great day, part of a great weekend. I love your descriptions - LOL I finally posted a picture of what I purchased and that was pretty much it - a picture!

  4. Ahhh. We're not supposed to "envy", but...if I lived 100 miles closer.....

  5. Elaine - I had a fabulous time at the Sheep and Wool show! The weather was so perfect for the day! I bought some beautiful curly mohair and some novelty yarns for the nests - and also some dyed roving that I also use in the nests.

    I love your purchases - the bag is great - I wanted one - but just couldn't see the good necessity to make the purchase because I have so many bags - now of course I wish I HAD bought one!

    Love your yarn bowl - say those - think they are such a great and fun idea! Let me know how you like using it!

    OK - so NEXT year we will try to meet! (YOU know I bet I walked past you at the show and did not know it!)

    I am sending up prayers that your sweet Mom does well with her reovery!


  6. Vicki
    You know when I go to this Fair I don't put any brakes on what I buy. I, too, have a ton of bags, but this one looked great and I just snapped it up. It is how I approach all my purchases on this one day of the year. I am there, the item that catches my fancy is there, and we are one!! :-)

    I don't do that any other day of the year.

    And yes, we need to make it a date to connect next year. I so admire the work you do and I enjoy your blog a bunch, so a more leisurely visit with blog friends would be great.

    Next year's Fair is already on my calendar - and the I am saving my money again for that very special weekend.

  7. sounds like it was a much needed escape from the real world for you. :) you came home with lots of goodies!


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