Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

I started spinning while I lived in Slovakia and got my first spinning wheel when we lived in Norway. Nice countries both, with vibrant handicraft and knitting traditions, but spinning is very rare both places. It is fun to finally live somewhere where there are actual fiber guilds and wool festivals.

I’ve recently joined the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild, which has its own spinning study group. And this last weekend, I took the family to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. After these three years spinning in complete solitude, it is a little thrilling and also a little terrifying to find a whole huge festival of people who know the difference between roving and top, and who have definitive opinions on the merits of double-treadle versus single-treadle spinning wheels.

We only spent a couple of hours at the festival, but I got to see some of the nice things about a wool festival.

Sheep to Shawl – three of the teams (I’m sorry I neglected to note their names!)
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(this one seemed to have a pirate theme going. Okay, then!)

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I kind of regret not buying a flicker when I see this picture. It looks deceptively quick and easy.

While I was browsing the shops, my family looked at the sheep dog demonstration. Those are some impressive (and slightly scary) dogs. No wonder the sheep haul ass, with those dogs coming at top speed, then suddenly crawling towards them with that hunting grin.

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The loot:

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I’ve wanted a new spinning wheel for a long time, and this wheel is ideal for taking to guild and study group meetings. It is also significantly easier to spin on than my old Traddy. I love, love the double treadling and the ball bearings. The fiber I bought is from Hobbledehoy Fibers – the braid is SW merino/bamboo/nylon (60/30/10) in colour Strawberry Jam, picked by my daughter for a scarf for her. The bag is something called a Ply Pack, whatever that is, of 50/50 merino/tencel in colour Cherry Jam.  We’re jam people, clearly.

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Did I mention that I love my new wheel?

PS! This is my 200th post! Woo!

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