Been home for a week and a half and still writing up the vacation. Of course, other things have happened--adopted the possums, started the new term, have been to a dyeing workshop, and caught a cold. And there's Bob's Major Room Overhaul. All those will come later.
The real reason for going to Maryland was to attend the Sheep and Wool Festival. It's been going on for 30-something years, always the first weekend in May. I've always wanted to go, and have always talked myself out of it--it's too far away, it's too expensive to go, I have all the fibers and tools I'll ever need, I don't like crowds . . . . . . all true. But the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is THE major festival of the fiber world, and I really just wanted to experience it.
It was, in a word, overwhelming. There were about 10 barns on the grounds--some packed with sheep, most packed with vendors. Tent cities had sprung up in open areas at each end to hold the vendors that couldn't fit in the barns (according to the brochure, there were about 200 vendors). And they were all being mobbed by the shoppers.
And we spent some more time wandering the sheep barns. Anyone who thinks a sheep is a sheep is a sheep would be amazed at the variety of sizes and shapes these wooly beasties come in.
Despite that in fiber I have reached the stage called SABLE (Stash Aquisition Beyond Life Expectancy) I did have to get at least a bit of swag for The Sherpa to carry. Tools: a set of wool combs (a medieval form of wool prep--these are called St. Blaise combs after the patron saint of wool combers--a bishop who was flayed to death by wool combs), an addition to my spindle collection (I love the spiral-carved hook) and a small loom for weaving narrow bands (it will make more sense when I put a warp on it)
So Maryland Sheep and Wool is off my bucket list. I've done it--and don't have to do it again. There will be other, smaller festivals to attend, but I'm glad to have experienced this one (and with a faithful Sherpa to encourage me)