Thursday, May 6, 2010

In which the Rabbit, and Mr. Rabbit, go to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

IMG_2424Along with a lot of other people!

So last weekend the Rabbit and the ever-stalwart Mr. Rabbit got in their car and headed south to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.  The Rabbit was so excited she could hardly contain herself.

I used to live in Baltimore, you see, and I love the city and miss it terribly.  So this trip meant not only unparalleled fiber-y shopping opportunities, but also a chance to eat the best crab cakes in the universe—Faidley's, in Lexington Market, below, hands down—drive by my old house in Charles Village (no pics, sorry).


Then we went to the Baltimore Museum of Art, and generally hung out in the city on Saturday.  At the Market we were even treated to some live music by a fabulous blues band, which afforded me a chance to dance (and sing!) with total strangers.  Fabulous.  And in the BMA sculpture garden we even found a lagomorph!


Then, after a nice dinner in Canton, we went home to bed so that we could head to the festival early Sunday morning.

I knew from my study of the Maryland Sheep and Wool group on Ravelry that Sundays at the festival are generally less crowded than Saturdays, so we opted for Sunday and boy oh boy was I glad we did!  Apparently the crowds and traffic on Saturday were insane.  Sunday was managable, but still blistering hot.  All the animals were panting.  So were we, at times.

We saw some Alpaca.  Mr. Rabbit said that they look like Dr. Seuss characters, and, as usual, he's right:


We also saw  tons of sheep breeds in person that I'd only read about, and a blade shearing competition.


While we were watching the competition, Heather Ordover of CraftLit happened by and struck up a conversation about lamb sausage.  I knew it was Heather Ordover because a) I recognized her voice from the podcast and b) she was helpfully wearing a CraftLit tee-shirt.  We had a nice chat about Dracula, among other things.  She is lovely.

I picked up an absolutely gorgeous Corriedale fleece that I had selected a couple of weeks earlier, sight unseen, from Ruppert's Corriedales.  I wish I had thought to take its picture before I handed it, and the nine-pound (!) black Cormo-Corriedale cross fleece I bought at the festival's fleece sale, off to Ozark Carding Mill for processing.  (Added bonus: in the Ozark booth I met spinning guru Maggie Casey, whose classes I'll be taking next month at The Spinning Loft.) You'll just have to take my word for the fact that the Ruppert's fleece was stunning.  And the black fleece was also pretty lovely.

Aside from the two big fleeces, I was pretty restrained.  I bought some lovely silk and merino painted top from Cloverleaf Farms in their "Autumn" colorway.


And two skeins of worsted, minimally-processed Polwarth yarn, dyed in seawater, from Seacolors Yarn (they don't have much of a web presence, but they're profiled in the book Shear Spirit).  I've been wanting to see this yarn in person since reading about it, and it didn't disappoint.  One skein for me, one for my friend Aara.


Last, but not least, I was able to visit the Three Waters Farm booth, meet Mary Ann Pagano, and see her beautiful hand-dyed yarn and fiber in person.  Wow.  Just . . . wow.  The pictures on her website are impressive—I've been stalking this fiber online for a while now; the color palette is so rich and original I couldn't decide which I wanted—but they really don't do the fiber justice.  My pictures don't either (my camera seems a bit vague and unfocused today), but they give a hint.



It was so hot that we actually left the festival around 2.  I know I didn't see everything, but that just means more discoveries next year, right?  We drove back Monday.  It was pretty much a perfect weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment