I am not a fiber festival novice; I have been to Black Sheep Gathering, Oregon Flock and Fiber and Sock Summit but nothing prepared me for Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Jolene, from Cloverhill Yarn in Catonsville and Bob, from Hunt Country Yarns, tried to warn me but nothing prepares you for 60,000 yarn crazed knitters in one place. Add a 45 min to 2 hour traffic jam depending on when you arrived and 90 degree heat. It was a day for only the true believers. My sister came along on this trip, and I'm afraid that she now believes I am certifiable because I thought it was a “fun” day ….!
Cloverhill had the Shibuiknits franchise at the show, and I tried three times to get a picture of the booth by holding my I phone up above my head and shooting. Every time I tried this maneuver I was slammed by another wave of knitters on a mission, and every picture was a blur of humanity. The good news is that they were heading for Shibui yarn.
Shibui has a line of yarn called RAW that we market to independent dyers and we will also help you develop your own line of yarn. Finding the dyers can be a little difficult because they work out of homes, barns and studios and only come out at festivals like Maryland. So. I went to Maryland, and I found many great dyers. I left info where I could (sometimes the booths were so packed you couldn't get in) and others I will follow up on later. In a few places ,I bought a skein or two so I could get to the register and give my 20 second intro to Shibui. I shipped a box of yarn home and I have been petting my purchases as I write.
Growing up, I was a 4-Her and still love going out to the barns. If you are like me and enjoy the animals, then Maryland is a must do. They have all sorts of rare breeds including the flocks from Mount Vernon and Williamsburg. There is nothing cuter than Jacob lambs, except there was this little brown and cream merino that was so gorgeous that I almost bid for the fleece and I don't spin. My sister provided the voice of sanity on this point. The rock stars were the rams, which had long locks to rival Fabio's, and as you can see from the picture, they didn't like the paparazzi either. They placed 1 and 2 in there breed and they knew it.
I tried to capture some of the unique and interesting sights but the orange knitted shorts were moving to fast through the crowd. I did get some cute lamb photos. I am a country girl at heart so I keep a few lambies on my I phone to make the commute less tiresome. The photo my sister wanted me to get was of the Navy guy on his day off waiting at parade rest for his wife to get over her case of yarn hysteria. I wanted to ask if he had a brother in Oregon I could date.