------------------------------- ------------------------------------ On and Off The Needles

Monday, May 07, 2007

Best One Ever

I really have to say, this year was the best time I've ever had at Sheep and Wool. The first year it was overwhelming - I didn't get much of anything and walked around in a daze. Last year was better - I had a plan and bought a bunch but didn't really meet too many people. This year was all about the people. I had a short list of things I wanted to look for, but most of all I wanted to connect with my fellow knitbloggers - people who I've been emailing with forever, but we've never met face to face. The Stockings made me easy to find and I loved that people came running up to me to say hi! Crazy socks may be an annual event for me - my signature festival attire.

So, on to the good stuff. Colleen was nice enough to host a get together breakfast at her place - filled with yummy food and lots of friends, it was the perfect way to fuel up for the day to come. Sarah, Jody, Jolene,Suzanne, Jen and Diane were all there (sorry if I forgot anyone - I only had one coffee!) We all headed out and re-grouped at the fair. Jody was nice enough to bring along her husband to stand in the T-shirt line for us. We all placed our orders and were free to wander the fair while he so nicely stood in line! How great of a guy!!!

MD Vendor Guide
My Bible for the day
I met Nova, her nice husband and adorable son while getting the shirt order organized.
Nova and I
We've been emailing for a bit now, and it was really nice to be able to put a name and blog with a face!

We arrived a little past the opening, but I was in no rush. By the time we wandered over to The Fold, most of the yarn was gone.
The Fold
No big deal - I was on the hunt for other things, and even with no STR around, I still found it there. (see the full wall of yarn straight ahead in the picture?)
Gypsy Yarn
This is Gypsy Girl Creations sock yarn. Her colors are pretty amazing. She had some neon (literally - they were so bright!) that I had a hard time putting down. The two colors I got were Blackberry Bramble and Flame. It was really hard to choose. The two together are going to be (I think) a Chevron Scarf. The skeins are 200 yds each, so I may make it a bit skinnier. The colors are amazing though. Soft, tightly spun and truly variegated looking.

I caught up with Kristy and Jessica when we stopped to sit for a lunch break.
Kristy Me Jess
Kristy had her beautiful sweater on - the colors were really muted and beautiful. Jessica and I missed each other when I was in New York for Westminster so I'm really glad we met up this weekend.

Speaking of lunch, on our quest for Ribbon chips, we passed by this interesting vendor.
Root Beer Barrels
The concept was quite interesting - root beer and other sodas straight from the tap. You bought this huge mug and they would give you refills. (Nice outfit, huh?)
And, while waiting in the long Ribbon chip line, we looked across and saw someone spinning. Not too unusual at a fiber festival, but then I saw something on her lap.
Spinning from Bunny
I thought it was a pile of fiber. Turns out it was. Still attached to the animal.
Spinning Bunny
She was spinning angora right off the rabbit! All I could picture was the yarn somehow twisting up and getting caught and the bunny getting sucked into the wheel! (sick, I know, but I just couldn't get the image out of my head!)

Ann and Elspeth were also in the Ribbon Chip line and spotted me.
Ann Elspeth Me
I have been emailing with Ann and reading her blog for what seems like years. It was so nice to finally meet in person!

Kelly was another mid day meet up.
Kelly and I
She is another "blog friend" who I feel like I've been corresponding with for years.

Back to the yarn. Tess was going to be a definite stop this year. I have already knit one pair of socks from her yummy sock yarn, and have two skeins in my stash. My sister will be the recipient of original designed fair isle socks, so we went to Tess for some color choices. We picked this amazing sherberty orange.
Tess Orange
I think it will go very well with one of the blue skeins I have in my stash. Nice contrast and the slight variegation in the orange will make some neat effects. We have the pattern all picked out, now I just have to put pen to paper and design it.

While waiting in line, someone ahead of me paid and started to leave. Her hair was the greatest color - just the color I loved - a little red, a little brown - a great balance. I commented that I really liked her hair color, and it turns out it was Jodi!
Me and Jodi
You meet people everywhere.....

The main building had a huge number of vendors. The Mannings (I will get there in person someday) is always one of my favorite places for books. They have everything. A copy of Folk Knitting In Estonia along with a locking stitch row counter jumped into my bag. My Nancy Bush collection is now complete. (yay!)

Another big book score of the day was Mostly Mittens by Charlene Schurch. I spied two copies on the shelf of one of the barn vendors, and snatched them. One went home with Sarah and one with me.
Mostly Mitts and FKIE
Not only did I find this rare out of print book, but I got it for 50% off the cover price because it was a bit dirty and worn! As you can see from the Amazon link. This book is going for a pretty penny. I think this was my find of the day. I would have gladly paid full price for it. Now, if I could only find Fancy Feet.....

Spirit Trail Fiberworks was also in the main building. She didn't have much yarn left, but I did find a skein of beautiful burgundy.
Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sock yarn
I am a huge fan of almost solids. This one is stunning.

We also managed to catch some of the Border Collies in action over at the sheepherding area.
I love watching working dogs in action. They are amazing.

The socks held up really well. I did have to use hair elastics to hold them up as they started to slouch. By the end of the day, I ended up taking them off as the elastics were cutting off my circulation! Some elastic thread was purchased and will be woven into the socks to make them a bit more, well, elastic. They need a good washing! Also good news to report on the clear clogs. They were really comfortable and I was able to wear them all day without a problem. I had some minor fogging issues at the toes, but a bit of an air out and they were good to go again.

By the end of the day, we were tired, a bit sheepy smelling but happy and yarn and fiber rich. For sure, my best festival so far. Thanks for a great day girls!!
Sarah and I at the end of the Day
MD Gang Me Sarah Jody Jolene

Only 363 days until Maryland 2008!