Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Maryland My Maryland

Oh life, you are so crazy. Right now, at this very moment in time, I am in New Orleans. Guys, I have never been to NOLA! I am still surprised by that. I have been as far away as Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, India, Peru, Australia. But I have never been to New Orleans. Heck, I spent 5 years in Texas going to school, and somehow I never got to New Orleans. I am taking pictures and banking memories for blogging.

But I have already digressed and we are only one paragraph in. What I WANTED to tell you about is Maryland Sheep and Wool. If you are a knitter or fiberist you may have heard of MDSW. If you haven't....

I am so sorry but we are going to talk fiber. And not the kind that is good for your diet and overall intestinal health. It isn't even fiber that is good for your budget. It is so NOT good for your budget. So, so, so not good.

So, almost a year ago, my friend Michelle for Crafty Flutterby Creations, who is also a KnitSib of long standing, asked if I wanted to help in her booth at Maryland Sheep and Wool. I thought about it for all of 5 seconds and said YES! I put that date right on the old calendar and periodically looked at it and contemplated fiber. I started saving a bit here and there so that I actually had a "fiber budget" to spend when I got a break. More on the fiber budget later. The first weekend in May found me in the car and on the way to the Howard Co. Fairgrounds in West Friendship, MD. Set up was Friday afternoon and it was hot, and windy and, well, it is on a fairgrounds where there is a lot of dust and straw and more dust and my allergies were all like, "Oh we are SO going to make you pay for this." They did make me pay for about a week after MDSW but I don't really care. All was set up and we had a fun time on Friday night with other knitters and then it was Saturday and back to the dusty, but thankfully cooler fairgrounds were I vended the heck out of myself. Sunday was pretty much the same thing with some rain thrown in. Lets just go to the pictures shall we.

There are two sorts of things that you are going to see at MDSW, other than the food, and that is yarn/fiber/crafting accoutrements....and sheep. Lots and lots of sheep. Barns and pens full of sheep of every description and color. 
This is Easter, so named because....she was born on Easter. Clever that. She is a Valais Blacknose sheep and I swear she knew how to pose for pictures. She was working the barn like Kim Kardashian. And her fleece! So soft and cuddly. If I thought it possible I might have tried to sneak her into my suitcase. 
And I also got to meet several women who I have known for a very long time but only on the Internetz. Cuz that is where ALL of the deep friendships reside right? But in reality Lola and Tina have been friends for a long time and I cannot tell you how excited I was to meet them in person. Please excuse my over abundant chinage. My wattle is genetic and must be born with grace and dignity. Who am I kidding, there are times when I look like a turkey right before Thanksgiving.
Also, I might have found my ornament for the annual Ornament Exchange. I was helping to set up the booth and looked down the row a bit to a booth that was two stalls down. And there it was. It is the only one that the woman made so it is one of a kind, because that is what "the only one the woman made" means. I am not showing it here but guys it is so stinkin' cute I just can't stand it. And now that I have actually put this up here I cannot then keep the ornament for myself. Sigh.
How did they know?? I needed another mug at Chez Knit like I needed a hole in my cranium. And yet, this came home with me because.....it called to me with it's siren song of pottery and I could not resist.
This is evidently a baby coffee plant. Someone walked by with it and said that she had bought it over in the plant area. She also told me that in about 5 years, if the plant lives, it should give her enough beans......for a cup of coffee. Somehow, the ROI on that doesn't seem all that appealing to me. I think I will stick with ordering my coffee from here.
Best. Yarn. Colorway. Ever. Dawn from Fairy Tale Knits is a genius. And she gifted me the skein so that is extra special. Now to think about what it wants to be. It has gone to live with the stash for a bit. Sometimes yarn needs to age, like a fine wine or Limburger cheese, in order to be all that it can be.

But let's be honest. Have you ever smelled, let alone tasted, Limburger cheese. There are not enough centuries left on this earth that will ever make that cheese palatable.

And do you remember, way up at the top of this long and rambling post, that I talked about my yarn budget that I had carefully planned for MDSW?
I blew that budget wide open in the first hour that I shopped. Yes, those bags of yarn represent ONE hour of shopping. One. Hour. And I went back the next day for a bit more shopping. Oh my stars and garters. Oh my aching pocketbook. Oh my smoking credit card.
I am not telling you how much I spent on this wool haul but just know that I brought back TWO sweater quantities of yarn plus various other skeins. When I started back to knitting almost 12 years ago I would have scoffed at the thought that I would pay $45 for ONE skein of yarn. I am not saying which of these skeins was $45 dollars but one of them might have had that price tag. My lips are sealed.

What is spent at Maryland Sheep and Wool STAYS at Maryland Sheep and Wool. It is just like Vegas, only it smells like a sheep.