Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Maryland Sheep & Wool Part 2: Vendors & More

Now that I have gone on and on about my wheel...  *grin* The rest of Maryland Sheep & Wool which is just as awesome!

Here is a pic that tells a lot of the story without words...  *grin*
Maryland Sheep & Wool Loot minus Gales Art Fiber

It was so terrific going with my SIL, her husband & their knitting daughter.  They were terrific & super patient with me as I scurried around trying to track down spinning wheels.  *laugh*  It was nice having the company.  And I am hoping next time I go, I can go with them.  Because I was so fixated on wheels, I didn't get to do as much shopping with them as I would have liked. 

I did get to share some funnel cake.  At 9:30 am!  Seems way decadent.  And a lot of fun.  *grin*

I was checking out the items for the used equip auction in the afternoon.  I almost bumped into Leslie from the Knitgirllls podcast INSERT LINKS .  She and Laura were checking out the items.  I told them how much I loved their podcast.  They were both really sweet.  Leslie took the time to ask if there was anything in particular I was looking for.  I told them I was looking for a wheel & was leaning heavily towards a Ladybug.  Laura said how much she loves hers.  They were great and all.  I have to admit that I was impressed by how much time they took to talk to me.  It was above & beyond.  So great.  They seemed as genuine as they are on the podcast which is terrific.  *smile*

I tried to hold off on any purchases until I made my decision on the wheel.  I had taken out cash to buy the wheel.  I figured it was a better thing as I couldn't overspend if I had the money in cash. 

The one booth I hit *before* buying a wheel was Loop!  I adore her stuff.  And getting to see so many lovely Bullseye Bumps & her Clouds up close & personal was amazing.  I hope I wasn't too fangirl with Steph from Loop.  I did tell her I adore her Bumps & had loved being in her club.  I told her how beautiful her work was.  And I hope I contained myself.  But she will probably make a sudden escape next time she sees me coming... *grin*

I limited myself to one Bump & 6 oz. of some Cloud.  I got the Cloud in hopes of pairing it with The Devil Made Me... Bump I bought already.  But the Cloud all has shimmer in it.  And on thinking more about it, I just don't think I want that with the Bump since it is red, grey & black. I am thinking about pairing it with something different instead.  I still have two other Bumps I haven't spun.  There is an Ultraviolet that my SIL got me the year I couldn't get to MD S&W.  That might pair nicely with it.  We shall see.

My SIL, her husband & daughter all headed off about 11.  Her hubby was kind enough to lend me his cell phone.  My battery was already in the 50% range.  And I had been trying to be kind with using it.  Some update recently has the battery dying by about 2-3 in the afternoon!  And I needed to be able to reach the two people selling their Ladybugs as well as call my husband to get a ride!

I grabbed some yummy lunch at a place that was making Middle Eastern food.  I had some tasty Moussaka along with some lamb sausage in pastry.  Yum!  They also had Moroccan mint tea!!  Perfect with the temperature climbing.  (One of the food trucks that used to come to my office area had it.  I miss it and haven't had it in ages!)

During lunch I texted the two people & made arrangements to meet up.  (See part 1 for more on that.  *grin*)

I finished up my wheel shopping about 1:30-2.  So it was kinda late in the day.  But since I came in below my budget, I was able to do some shopping!!

I got to check out several vendors the Knitgirllls have talked about in their podcast.  I had been wanting to check them out for a while. 

Into The Whirled had amazing stuff!  I love their colorways.  They were beautiful.  It was hard to limit my choices!  The funniest part was that I got some Pakokku Sock yarn & a Falkland Wool Carded Batt both in the Excursion colorway!  Don't know why, but that was the one talking to me.  *grin*

I hit the Hobbledehoy / Marigoldjen booth.  Though it was late in the day.  So I fear that it had been hit pretty hard already. 

I wanted to check out the Hobbledehoy batts in particular.  There were many lovelies.  And in retrospect, I wish I had grabbed a chunky, bumpy batt as it would have been fun so see how that spun up on the new wheel.  But I didn't.  There were some beauties.  But nothing said I needed to take it home.

On the other hand, I found the most *stunning* skein of Marigoldjen yarn.  *happy sigh*  It is on her Merino/Silk Sock base.  It is called Magic Potion & is marked a OOAK skein!  Too bad as I would kill for more!  Stunning!

I had some Superwash Merino/Nylon Sock Yarn that I knit up by her.  Love it.  So I know this will be lovely to knit.  Can't wait to see what it becomes.

The woman I met from Arizona who encouraged me to start spinning was there - Kathy Withers.  I was going to thank her for getting me to think I could spin.  But she was busy with a customer.  And it was late in the day & getting too hot to stand still!   Also, I wasn't sure when my DH was going to arrive to pick me up.  So I didn't speak with her. 

I stopped by Susan's to do some shopping for other things & to see if they had a bottle of oil.  Of course I can't find mine!  I swear I should by a case of the things.  *laugh*

I had picked out three lovely things, two fiber & one yarn.  All in amazing reds.  Then I looked at the line!!  It was *really* long.  And there was only one person at the register.  So I put them back and headed elsewhere.  Too bad as I *really* want some more reds.  But alas, it wasn't to be. 

The funniest thing was that the line that had been out the door & half way down the walkway outside for the Miss Babs booth was only a few people!  I almost did some looking as I have heard good things about Miss Babs yarns.  But I also figured why get addicted to something so popular unless I really wanted it?  *laugh* 

I also stopped at Gale's Art.  I recall the Knitgirllls mentioned her stuff.  And she had sock blanks!  I love them but don't see them often.  Problem was, I didn't look close & grabbed the Special Secret Sock Blank instead of the double sock blank.  But I suspect I will just snip a stitch at the center & do my normal routine of two socks at a time.  They won't match but that doesn't bother me.  The colors are similar throughout the blank.  So I think I will really like them.  *smile*

I also got a skein of Wonder Sock in the Misty colorway.  Purples & pretty. 

I also picked up a braid of alpaca/silk fiber.  The tag says chocolate alpaca 70% / silk 30%.  Though the Ravelry listing says 80% Alpaca / 20% Silk so this seems to be a slightly different blend.  It really does glow with the silk content.  And is super soft. 

I skipped Fiber Optic.  Not because I didn't want to go.  But it was nearly 3 & it was still jam packed!  I just wasn't up for dealing with so many people.  I was all peopled out by that point.  Mind you, the timing was perfect as my husband called right about then. 

I stopped off at the vendor with the Ashford wheels & got my bottle of oil.  Hooray!  So I have oil again.  Hoping that means I find my other bottle.  *laugh*  Wish I recall who that was.  The woman at the register was super nice & tracked it down for me.  *smile*

So it was a llloooonnnnngggg day, but really wonderful. 

I am not sure why I decided that the Gale's art needed to be first on the wheel.  It is kinda a funny choice given normally you would want something to play with, that you didn't care if it turned out right. But I needed fiber.  And it was sooo lovely...  On the end, I think it was a perfect choice.  It is really highlighting just how wonderfully & consistently I can spin with my new darling.  She spins like a dream and it feels amazing.  Also, it is allowing me to test things out.  And I working on making a three ply with it.  Since it is a rich color without a lot of variation, it means it really will highlight the spinning even more than the colorway.  So that is kinda perfect. 

I am really hoping it will become something with which I can make a shawl/ette with some design to it.  I am not certain it will.  But it is a nice idea.  Most of the time with handspun, I stick to simple patterns.  In part because there is too much variation in my finished yarn's WPI.  And in part because the colorways I tend to like are too busy for much pattern.  Most ornate designs would just be lost in the work.  But I am hoping that won't be the case with this one.  Though given it is only 4 oz. & a three ply, I probably won't get a lot of yardage from it.  But still...

On a spinning wheel note that I forgot to add, it was *such* a good idea to bring my own fiber.  It meant I was familiar with the fiber when I was testing out wheels.  And that told me a whole lot about the wheel.  Since I knew the pull of it, I could gauge what was the fiber & what was the wheel.  I would recommend that to anyone buying a second wheel.

Though I suspect as per usual, my route to a second wheel isn't the same as most peoples.  I know a lot of people go to guilds or have friends with other wheels.  I don't.  So the fiber festival was the best way for me to test them out.  So very glad I did.  I think I found the perfect wheel for me.  And I also got some amazing fiber & yarn. 

I also realize I really miss this.  It had been too long. It helps that I had saved to make the trip possible.  So that helped a lot.  But I am hoping I can get back to NY S&W too.  Don't know if this will be the year that happens.  It is always anyone's guess about that!  Depends on if the family is well.  Though the beauty of NY S&W at this point is that so long as *I* am not sick and none of the kids are too bad off, I can daytrip there.  So it is less pricey. 

But NY has also gotten a bit crazy as it is so large.  People come from all over the country at this point.  So it is a bit insane.  MD seems more manageable.  Mind you, I don't know how much of that is about the fact that other than that the last time I went was 2008!  My first Rhinebeck & my first fiber festival was 2007!  So it was all overwhelming.

I tried to go again in 2011.  But I mistakenly thought my husband & kids should come.  I really don't know what I was thinking...  We got there at about 10:30 to 11.  The parking lot was a *mile* away from the grounds.  We would have had to take a bus to get to the grounds.  With two kids & a stroller.  Uggh.  No way. 

We will see what comes.

I am grateful I got to Maryland Sheep & Wool this year.  It was a great day all around.  I left wiped out, but also so excited.  It is amazing to see all the lovely fiber & all.  It reminds me why I love knitting & spinning.

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