Monday, May 13, 2013

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

The other weekend I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.  I'd been excited for this for over a year, ever since my friend told me about it, and I'd had the date marked on my calendar for a good 4 months.  Originally, a group of knitty friends were scheduled to come, but after a few last minute cancellations it ended up just being me and Mr. T.  I was able to lure him into coming by telling him he could pet sheep (never having been, I wasn't actually sure this would be possible, but thankfully it was!).

The Sheep and Wool Festival is really a two-fold event.  There's the animal husbandry side, with livestock and equipment for sale, as well as sheep shearing contests. And the other part is a fiber enthusiast's paradise, with countless stands selling yarn, fleece, spinning tools, etc.  A few weeks earlier I had watched a free lesson on Craftsy called "Know Your Wool," so I was excited to examine different sheep breeds and determine the length, crimp, etc. of their fleece.  I also was also hoping to buy hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn from someone who also raises the sheep, but in the end I was too overwhelmed by all the yarn and didn't buy anything.

The best part by far was the sheep dog demonstration.  It's amazing how well trained the dogs were, and how fast they can run!  They literally blurred as they sped by us going to collect the sheep.

All in all it was a cool experience, though I'm not sure I feel the need to go again.  If I did, I'd be sure to have another enthusiast with me.  As much as I love Mr. T, and as tolerant and patient as he is, I think it'd be slightly more fun to go with someone who understands the appeal of a room full of yarn.  Though it might be quite a bit tougher on my bank account...

And now, for photos! (I was a terrible photographer and didn't get any photos of the yarn...)

Bah bah black sheep, have you any wool?

This one was HUGE!

Clearly the weekend of excitement wore her out!

Mr. T waiting for the sheep dogs!
Corralling the sheep

Herding the sheep to the other end of the ring.
Shorn sheep! Missed the demonstration though : (
Very hairy ram
Little lambs. We were thinking about buying one. They were only $125!
Nom nom

This guy was pissed. He kept bleeting at us!

He looked feisty too. He had FOUR horns - two up and two down

Little goats - only $50! They were about the size of my cats.

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