Almost Heaven

The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival has come and gone and what a heavenly time it was. The fun began Friday night when Gryphon and Lia came for a sheepy sleep-over. The lovely husband (more to come about his loveliness) grilled dinner for us, my offspring entertained Lia with their silliness, and, then, we put Gryphon to work teaching the girlie to spin. I donated some leftover roving and my Lendrum to the cause and stepped back. Despite the fact that it was 9 at night, my girl child took to it like a duck (or should I say a spider?) Gryphon, multi-tasking as usual, pronounced her a "natural".

I couldn't be prouder, and the added bonus is that it all happened without carrying on of any sort.

MDSW itself was a lovely blur of people, animals, and, of course, fiber of evry kind. After saving money for 6 months just to blow at the fest, and talking with people, and carefully planning purchases, I immediately threw everything to the winds. Not being caught by the sock addiction, I managed to fondle many skeins of STR, Koigu, Claudia Hand-painted, and Jitterbug, as well as fabulous indie yarns, and not buy them.

After wandering in a daze, I made it to the fleece sale where I did some serious damage. My camera is not cooperating, so I can't show you the lovely black Rambouillet with bleached tips that will make a scrumptious chocolate roving and yarn. Nor can I share with you the plush Jacob from Laughing Stock farm in Virginia. I was finished with fleeces (I also have one from Rising Moon farm that I'm having processed at The Wooly Knob Fiber Mill ) And then there is Pinhead, all seven pounds of him:)

I did manage to card all seven pounds of Pinhead before the weekend began so I could return Gryphon's drumcarder. Unfortunately, now I was hooked. What was I going to do, go back to my hand cards? This is where the lovely husband, during one of many long distance phone calls lately, made my dreams come true. I asked him to make me a drum carder, and he announced his plans to buy one as anniversary gift. (Our anniversary occurs conveniently in the first week of May). He never could keep a secret.

I met many great people at the blogger meet-up and wandering around with Gryphon. I tell you, she's a rock star in the making. Highlights were meeting Eunny, new editor of our favorite knitting magazine and Erin, dye genius and knit blogger extraordinaire. Also thanks to Gryphon, I met owner of Tilli Thomas yarns Tracey Robinson. Sweet lady, GORGEOUS yarns. And, although the yarns were priced way down for the fest, I have to say was more interestd in making them than in buying them. But do check out the baby hat on her page - totally adorable. See?

You may have figured out with all this rambling that I hve no pictures of the actual event. It's true, I took my camera wiuth me but was too overwhelmed to use it. When I'd had enough of crowds and wandering, I sat down in the grass and bid on drum carders and cool tools at the auction. Who knew they would have so many wheels? And knitting machines? I won some baskets (I am container-challenged) and a device to fasten fleece combs to the table. For my imaginary fleece combs (I missed that part of the auction, but you can bet I'll be there next year!)

The best part of the whole weekend was sharing the fest with my daughter. Now a spinner, she was just as interested as I was (well almost:) She waded through the throngs with me, groped all manner of fiber, compared colors, and picked out her own silk sari bits, no doubt to card her own girlie batts. She even patiently sat through most of a lecture on wool and the US Military so we could sit up front for the legendary J Mac's free lecture on production dyeing (come to think of it, I met her too!) Fabulous woman, terrific teacher. Of course, my princess picked out her own hand-dyed bfl roving to spin from Clover Leaf Farm.

I treated myself to some Mamma E fiber. Merino/tencel top in lovely green shades

and on the bobbin. Sorry about the lousy picture, too lazy to carry the wheel outside to capture natural light.

There may have been some silk caps, dyed and un-, and a few bags of sari silk to go with my amazing and wonderful new toy. Pictures another day.

I leave you with some color inspiration.