The good news: The Maryland Sheep and Wool festival was a blast. The bad news: In classic Daniel form, I brought my camera but forgot the memory card.
So imagine with me if you will – it’s an unseasonably sweltering 90 degrees and thousands of fiber fans are tromping through the stalls thinking wintry thoughts and browsing the wool. There are sheep and goats on display, and an astonishing auction of just about everything spinning and weaving related. To eat there’s deep fried everything, lemonade, fudge and kettle corn. In the heat of the afternoon I retreated to the shade to watch the border collies cajole sheep into a pen – always my favorite. I ran into some fiber-y friends I hadn’t seen in a while, including some of my students from Bedford and Pittsburgh, and Casey who promotes the New England Fiber Arts Retreat (more about that soon!).
So here, from the comfort of home, are a few snaps of my souvenirs.
Highlights of stash enhancement: I met Margaret Klein Wilson of Mostly Merino. I’m totally in love with her sport weight single-ply yarn. I’ll be making a sample Mirabilis out of this for Mostly Merino kits, and I’m totally excited to see how it turns out. I also fell under the spell of some Cotton Comfort by Green Mountain Spinnery – stay tuned to see what it turns into.
But there was way more than just yarn – I spent lots of time ogling the gorgeous handmade brooms in Justamere Tree Farm’s booth. And from our rest stop in Maryland – a Frank Zappa smashed Penny! It’s sitting on top of my new copy of Putting On the Dog, a how-to book about spinning dog fur into yarn. No, I don’t spin (well), and I don’t have a dog (yet), but I had this friend in high school whose mom made a sweater out of their Saint Bernard… I also picked up a fascinating self-published little gem, Paula Vester’s Textile History: A Timeline, which is absolutely cram packed with info.
At the booth for the Museum of the American Coverlet, I fell in love with weaving all over again – especially their book on weaving from Southern Appalachia – totally, brain-meltingly gorgeous woven designs, aka “The Quiet Work of Women.” And after ogling her work at Rhinebeck last fall, I came home with one of Peggy Hart’s Bedfellows Blankets.
As I was making room for the new stash in my cabinet this weekend, I realized how overdue I am for a stash-busting project that will use up all my scraps. I’ve got two shopping bags worth of bits too little to swatch with. I’m dreaming up something that will use them all up, but for now I’m just loving the visuals of all the different colors and textures side by side…
Meanwhile, on the front stoop…