Thursday, May 29, 2008

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

The girls, my mom, and I headed over to the Sheep and Wool Festival in May, something I've been wanting to do for a few years. Now that we have our own sheep and the wool from a recent shearing, we were all motivated to go. Except the boys that is.

There were hundreds of vendors there and so many, many beautiful things. Really too much to take in in only one visit. The natural broom stall was a Harry Potter fan's dream, and the girls ooohed and ahhhed and wished they had the $60 to spend on one, especially those with the beautifully carved handles that Emily's admiring. We contented ourselves with photos and imagination in the end.

I could have spent at least another hour just looking at all the different breeds of sheep, several I'd never even heard of. Some of them were so huge that they looked more like miniature horses than sheep, like this Lincoln here in the background. I also got to see one of my favorite breeds, the Leicester Longwool and I fell in love with the Cotswolds. Something about those long curls just makes them irrisistable. Of course, I still adore my Navajo-Churros, especially their size! But mostly I love the range of natural color fiber they offer in lovely shades of browns and creams and blacks and grays. I spoke for a bit with one of the Dine who was there in the main showroom with some gorgeous (and fabulously expensive) Navajo rugs.

We had gone there looking for some tools to work our fiber, and unfortunately missed getting a Navajo spindle by about 2 minutes. The lady had just finished paying for it and felt so badly that we weren't going to get one that she offered to return it! I assured her that we could find another one or make one ourselves, but I thought it was a very sweet offer. We were able to pick up some wool carders and some felting needles, so we were pretty pleased. We also bought some of those lovely Cotswold curls dyed in a whole array of colors. Best part was that they were sold by a local farmer here in Maryland. The girls got to see lots of spinning and asked many questions, and we were all felting away into the night.

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