Sunday, May 4, 2008

I am no longer a MDSW virgin

Yay! What a great weekend. I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Where to start? How about the beginning:

Heidi and I stopped at the gas station for gas and hangover coffee. This is her "I'm excited" dance.
My car knitting, the tilted duster sleeves.
There were a few other people there.

We more or less beelined to the Ravelry booth, without success. They ran out of buttons.
We then thanked some animals for their contribution to our (knitting) lives.

And we saw some of their contributions:

raw fleece
roving (processed and dyed, but not spun yet)yarn
and umm...lamburgers.
Ok, I'm not a vegetarian, but I just couldn't do this, seeing that the sheep were right across the way and were so nice to give us their fleece and all. But I heard these burgers are good.

We saw some spinning (my future hobby)

And go Amy! Her patterns were for sale at the Cloverhill booth.

Then we stopped and chilled for lunch and watched a sheep shearing demonstration.

Wow this girl was great. It was just her, the sheep, and the shears. She very gently and safely wrangled the sheep to the ground while shearing off the fleece at the same time.

All done!
This festival was not only for knitters and spinners. There were a lot of shepherd supplies too. I didn't realize they still used these hooks.
We saw some more animals,


and contributions,

then headed home.

When approaching the car, we laughed at how desperate we had been to park, that we did so in the ditch.
I was home long enough to photograph my souvenirs:

A $4 makeshift drop spindle.
Then I did a costume change and met Amy and her mom for dinner before heading back out to the Ravelry party. For those of you who are non-knitters or live under a rock, Ravelry is a revolutionary online knit/crochet community. OMG it was AWESOME! I was lucky enough to know an insider in the industry, Amy. On the way I naively asked if Jess and Casey(the founders) would be there. "Of course," she said, "it's their party!" They are like celebrities to me. I was star struck. We got there a little early and asked if we could help. We ended up both liking being behind the scenes. We passed out avatar stickers and drink/raffle tickets.
Here is the raffle prize table. They had 71 prizes thanks to wonderful sponsors. That is Jess AKA Mama Rav, with a massive picture of Ravelry's mascot, their dog Bob.
And here's Casey, Jess's husband, who created the site to originally simply meet Jess's knitting needs. "I wish there was a site that..." just over a year ago, and the rest was history. They had estimated 1000 users would be interested and now there are over 100,000. Enough said. This other woman was cool too. She was hilarious. She volunteered to be the bouncer for the prize table, and did a great job.
And Maryheather, the first staff member of Ravelry (in the middle).
There was a semi-open bar! My kind of party.
We had to move to the inside because it started raining.
I was this close to the raffle tickets.Also, this awesome yarn from I fondled it all night. The Bobfather, Jess, and Maryheather had some warm words for the partyers and gave out prizes. Really, we should have had the party for THEM. They have given us so much.
I took this pic after my third visit to the bar.We hung out a little more with some peeps. Amy's mom has a few glasses of wine and said some silly things. After this pic she said, "I'm going to be on so many blogs!" Later she cussed and we giggled. Her drunken response was "Dick Cheney allowed us to say 'fuck'...He said 'fuck you' to a senator, so shit, I can say it too...No, I think he said, 'go fuck yourself.'" We were laughing hysterically.
Amy and Casey...ok, i'll admit it. I have a don't-worry-I-realize-he's-married puppy crush on Casey. Who doesn't? So adorable!
The pic I wanted since we got there.My souvenirs from the Ravelry party:

For helping out

My new knitting bag!The ever-coveted button with avatar sticker.

And then I got home and crashed so that I could wake up and...

Do it all over again!!

This time with mom...
We saw yarnand pottery
and stopped for lunch.Do you think she likes the color purple?
I loved her bag and asked how she did the color changes. Seeing that I was at a sheep and wool festival, I should have anticipated the answer, which began with spinning and dyeing the fleece, as opposed where I'd start, on the WEBS yarn website. Props to her.

We saw animals
How cool are the ends of this one's hairs? Straight and then BAM, a teeny spiral.
We stood in line for t-shirts.
saw some merch like hand-felted animals
and witty t-shirts.
Saw a cool carding demonstration.

And silk cocoon boiling demonstration.

Some kids with kids.
Huge balls of roving. This one is about 3 feet in diameter.
And the raw fleece sale.
And I had some chocolate-dipped vanilla ice cream on our way out. yum.
My Sunday souvenirs:

An official t-shirt.
Practice roving for my new drop spindle.
Noro transitions for only $10 a skein!!! I'll make another drop-stitch blanket.
A Fiber Trends pattern for felted sheep, something I've been wanting to make for a while.
And this adorable 3D card. I think I'll put it in a shadow box.
So that's it! To be honest, I was terrified of doing this post because I saw so much. I took over 150 pictures. This post has taken me 2 hours!

So I achieved my goals for this weekend: expereince the MDSW for the first time more with my eyes than my wallet. I bought some stuff, but none of it was on impulse. Minimal yarn, some little cutesy things, and starter items for handspinning. And I had fun. Yay.

Happy knitting and spinning!


laura (knittinkitties) said...

those are some great pictures!!!

Lolly said...

WOW! amazing documentation! I did the same thing - even coming back Day 2 with my mom :) I saw you at the Rav party, and I love the tank you were wearing!

Suzanne said...

Thank you so much for helping out Saturday!! Suzanne17, from Ravelry.

ellen said...

Very nice! Hey, we had Emily shear our sheep this year (the girl in your photos). Yes, she's amazing!!! She's been shearing for years and she's only in her early 20's.

Cheryl (aka Btpsmom) said...

Love your pictures. I had a great time there too, but missed the rav party as I had to catch a bus to Pittsburgh!

Robin said...

WOW, what a post! Looks like you had the ULTIMATE "cherry poppin" experience! I have to say that I'm still an MDSW Virgin...
Your's is the first post I've read and someone's going to have to go a long way to beat yours!

knitfriendly said...

Great post! That really captures a lot of the festival and what many people experienced! My friend is the "purple lady." Her name is Lynn and she is a very talented spinner. She certainly LOVES purple!

Gina said...

What a great post...I actually feel like I was there with you. Sounds like you had an amazing experience...thanks for sharing it with us.

Long Ridge Farm said...

Thanks for the tour! Incredibly the bumper sticker I created is on a friend's car who happened to go to the show and you got a photo of it! Too cool!