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Sheep + Wool Recap
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Sheep + Wool Recap

It is easy to take it for granted that one of the premiere North American fiber festivals happens in my “back yard” (well, about 20 minutes away, but same county, nonetheless)… The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is a highlight of my year, and often means the beginning of summer for me.  This year, I switched it up a bit with the intention of only going one day (instead of the two)  and not having particular plans when I got there.  It was nice to roam the stalls and see more of the animals this year, and walk through more of the barns at a leisurely pace.

While I had nothing on my shopping list, I did come home with some things:

Haul: New bag + Goodies Inside

A vintage fabric refashioned into a hobo-style bag…
filled with some other goodies:

My Haul

That is 11 skeins of yarn (7 of the dark purple) and a pack of sheepy pun notecards.
Not too shabby.

Looking over these skeins, it appears that I am into deep saturated colorways right now (with the exception of the light mint green). I spent some time on Ravelry looking at some different patterns.  I tend to get overwhelmed easily by the sheer number of patterns, and I also like finding great patterns that few people have knit.  Sure, I get why some patterns “go viral” but once that happens, the likelihood of me casting on sharply decreases. (With the notable exception of the Lacy Baktus and the Textured Shawl, interestingly enough… want to make both even though thousands of others already have) so I tend to look for those *undercurrent* patterns and relish in them… or write my own!  The search continues – I’d love to hear about a pattern that you know of (or have made) that doesn’t have a lot of project pages…

I met up with some dear long-time friends at the festival – people I “see” online everyday on Twitter, and it is so great to just continue the conversation in real life.  That transition still amazes me!  We met up on the grass hill outside the main barn and sat out in the sun for a bit (this is where I got the sunburn on my face and shoulders, no doubt…)

Twitter meetup

…And then I spent some quality time with some of the four-legged cuties…




A beautiful & relaxing day with good people and animals
and a wonderful way to usher in spring in Maryland!

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23 Responses

  1. pia

    I’m pretty much convinced by all photos taken, that I was making crazy faces the whole time I sat on that hill. Such a nice day!

  2. Alex

    I’m SO sad that I missed out on this.

  3. Anna

    The way I get around the headache of such huge numbers of patterns on Ravelry is to have a really large queue. It sounds sort of backwards but by adding anything that I see that I like (from blogs, Ravelry ads or the occasional broad search) when I find a yarn I want to use I can search my queue for something to make with it. As I’m vegan and don’t use animal fibre I tend to almost always have to substitute so I can search my queue by guage and needle size confident that I will like every pattern that comes up and not have the dull chore of going through 47 pages of things I’d never ever knit.

    I’m knitting this scarf at the moment which doesn’t have many projects yet. http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Anna/link I only noticed that it didn’t have many projects as I was actually the first person to cast on for it! I don’t tend to care about how many people have made something, I’m pretty set in my own tastes so popularity doesn’t sway me one way or the other!

  4. Kathy

    What a beautiful bag and pretty yarns you bought! I’ve never been to a fiber festival but hope to someday.

    I never search Ravelry to find patterns. Instead I find them in magazines, books, pamphlets at the yarn store, blogs, or friend activity on Ravelry. I find I have my own ideas of what I want to make and I could care less if it’s a popular pattern or not.

    Once I decide on a pattern, I do enjoy seeing how others (few or many) interpreted it. I love looking at the project pages on Ravelry for that.

  5. Seanna Lea

    I don’t have any pattern suggestions for you. I tend to decide I want to make a pattern or a variation on a pattern somewhere in the huge swatch of looking at stuff on Ravelry. Of course, right now I’m in garter stitch land. It would be a godsend for me to go back to work on at least one pattern that involved purling or shaping.

  6. Beverly

    Love your new bag! Great colors, too.

    One of these years, I will make it to MDS&W! It looks so fun!

  7. Laura

    It was good to see you, even briefly — maybe we’ll get to chat next year!

  8. Kristyn

    I want that bag!

  9. Peaceful Knitter

    Looks lovely! I often shy away from the really popular patterns as well, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. They are popular for a good reason, often times!

  10. Jenna

    It looks like you had an amazing time and got away with some great goodies and good friend time. I’m glad you had an amazing time, I wish I could have been there :( xo

  11. Brenda

    I admit that I’ve made some popular patterns, but usually love them (I’ve made five or six pairs of monkeys and at least as many pairs of fetchings for gifts). I’ve also made the textured shawl and love it.
    My new way to search the multitude of patterns on Raverly is to either search by yarn type and see what people have made from the same yarn I’m using, or to search by very specific pattern type ( top down cardigan in Aran weight with color work, for example). I then add anything interesting to my queue so I can find it later. I’ve found some lesser known patterns with these methods.

  12. Reeja

    Wow! Great blog! That yarn you bought is gorgeous – I’ve been obsessed with really saturated colors lately too. Although, I never thought to look at the number of people who have made a certain pattern – I just make what’s pretty. I guess any reason to make something you’re drawn to is a legitimate reason.

  13. Chandler

    I *love* that bag! One of these days I’ll make it to MDSW…and Rhinebeck! Someday, someday.

    You know, even with Ravelry, I’m often clueless about the popularity of a pattern. I usually pick something I like, and them am totally oblivious about how popular it is, until someone stops me on the street and says, “Is that…?” It cracks me up. So the jury is still out on that one—I need to pay more attention!

  14. Christina

    Have you found the “Obscuriousity” group on Ravelry yet? It’s fun.

  15. Rae

    That bag is beautiful. I can’t wait to see what you finally decide to make.

  16. Sarah

    Lolly, I am now kicking myself for not saying hello to you on Saturday. I was sitting right by that group of people in the photo (in fact, that may be my arm on the far right). I wasn’t sure it if was you and I’m shy enough that I didn’t want to make an ass of myself if it wasn’t, so I didn’t say anything. Next year, I’ll get over it and say hello!

  17. felinemagnet

    It was such a beautiful day on Saturday, wasn’t it? Usually we seem to run into each other at the festival without even planning to, so I’m sorry I missed you this time. It was all spindles and fiber for me this year!

  18. JoAnna

    It was my first EVER Sheep and Wool Festival. It was amazing having something so awesome so very close to DC. I’m not going to lie: I left with way too much fibery goodness. Glad you had a good time, too!

  19. Hege

    Beautiful yarn you have bought! Looking forward to see what you’ll knit with it :)
    I so wish I could make a trip to one of those great wool/yarn festivals you have in the states. We don’t have any in that size here in Norway…

    I too try to avoid those very populare patterns, but sometimes I have to make one of them ;)

  20. Jen

    This is the first year that I didn’t see a lot of chatter about the festival online with the people I follow on twitter! I will have to remember and go next year. I love that festival!

  21. gray la gran

    oh! i think we finally me *in person* one year at maryland wool festival. i’m so jealous! i can’t travel like i use to … but, i can sure appreciate meeting all our *virtual* friends =)

  22. gray la gran

    oh~ this won’t let me ‘fix’ my post?! …. “meet”, not “me” … dang blogs !!! ;)

  23. Sandra

    I’m sort of all over the place on whether I choose popular or obscure patterns…as I branch out w/ my knitting (I’m a fairly new knitter), I will say, however, that it’s helpful for me to knit something that has a bit of a “track record” w/ the helpful Ravelry community…I just finished Aidez and the forum posts really saved me a couple of times w/ sizing. Loved your photos :) . I was at the festival on Sat w/ knitterly friends–had a ball & just posted my pics too…totally drawn to the saturated colorways as well. Love your bag & your goodies!!

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