May 10

Came. Saw. Conquered.

Posted by Nanc

And I’ve got the ball cap to prove it!

Chris, Petra (aka Good Girl Purl), and I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this past weekend. We had a hoot, many laughs, and lots of wool. Come check it out!

The girls and I and our socks flew EARLY Friday morning. And despite the hour and the turbulence, we were giddy as… well, giddy things when we landed. Like Chris said, it wasn’t until we were at BWI that we weren’t sure we’d actually make it.

During the flights, though, the sock knitting came out in force! Here, I’m knitting on my Kool-Aid dyed Knit Picks yarn, which was striping fabulously. In fact, better than I ever could expect! Petra is working on some Socks That Rock (STR) in Tigers Eye (and they are awesome). As you can see, Petra and I are nearly at the same place on our socks – just started. Chris was working down the foot of her Trekking sock – and those colors are wonderful! It looks nothing like the skein. Crazy.

As soon as we landed in Baltimore, we headed down to the Inner Harbor for some grub (Cheesecake Factory) and sightseeing (aquarium). However, since none of us really slept the night before and “woke” at 3:30am, once we had put food in our bellies we were overcome with exhaustion and headed to our home away from home – my brother’s house.

Saturday morning dawned bright and early… and warm already! So we headed out to the festival. My brother might have mocked us and thought us crazy for going to a ‘sheep festival’, but he would have a lot of other folks to mock as well, for the crowds were amazing! There was a huge line of traffic into the fairgrounds. (And let me tell you – knitters are polite… to other knitters.)

As soon as we got in, we joined the ‘thundering hordes’ (in the words of Ina) and rioted at The Fold’s booth. Toni might have been a little overwhelmed by the quickness of which she sold out of 800 skeins (90 minutes) of STR, but how could she be anything but happy?

Without knowing it, we apparently followed the hordes to the Koigu mill ends booth and looted what we could get our grubby lil’ paws on (and then paid by the gram). After all that hustle and bustle, we needed a break and went down to watch the sheep dogs strut their stuff. It was quite amazing to see – they’re so intelligent!

We headed back into the masses for some food: potatoes and, er… lamb gyros. It might be bad, but I think the baaaa’ing from the show ring next to us gave the food a “fresher” taste.

Once our batteries were recharged, we headed down for the Knit Bloggers’ meet up on the grassy knoll. (Do other folks not from Dallas cringe at the use of “grassy knoll”?) And may I simply say… OH MY LANDS! There were easily over 100 knit bloggers gathered on the lawn. And I know that some didn’t make it.

It was so overwhelming, in fact, that the three of us were a bit gob smacked. We sat together and knit, mostly watching all the interactions around us. Occasionally, we’d lean in and mumble some knit blogger’s name that we caught a glimpse of.

I brought some blog cards and Knit Revolution buttons that I made the night before we left. All of the buttons were handed out that day and a good portion of my cards. So some one, some where may now be looking in their knitting bag wondering what that scrap of paper is for. Hopefully, they’re not looking for something to wrap their used gum in.

We did meet a lot of great knit bloggers, some of which I had read their site and some who were new to me and now I’m happily lurking about. Especially nice is Teri, who hung out a little longer when the crowds were starting to disperse, and took a great picture of the three of us. So I totally stole it from her site. (Ok, really I asked permission first.)

Can you imagine? The three of us knit bloggers all with perfectly good digital cameras, heck- we even had extra batteries just in case, and for three full days no pictures of each other. I think we might have failed in some way.
We did get plenty of pictures of sheep, llamas, alpacas, and angora bunnies.

Once we came out of our self-induced comas, we headed over to the merchandise booth (WOW!) and to Brooks Farm. There’s a bit of beef with the Brooks Farm folks. See, they’re only 30 miles or so from where we live in TX, but you can only buy their yarns at festivals. (Note: they *just* started selling online, too.) But they don’t want us showing up on their door step, even with cash in hand.

But their yarns are lovely, soft, and vibrant. So for all our belly aching, we were more than happy to buy some up right there, right then.

We took our leave after this, having bought more than expected and in a state of shock over it all. We had dinner with Chris’ (and now our) friend, Kim, and then headed home for some shut eye.

Sunday was quite a bit cooler, but still sunny and beautiful. But the crowds and the atmosphere was much different. This worked to our advantage, as the quest for Sunday was to relax, enjoy, and pet some sheep. The Sheep-to-Shawl contest was amazing.

This also gave Chris a moment to catch her breath and remember that she wanted to check out the Karakul sheep. She’s got heritage in that breed, and learned some exciting things about her family. Hopefully, she’ll post that story soon. (Hint, hint)

We met up with a couple knit bloggers on Sunday, too, but it was much less pressure. We paled around with Kathy for a bit before meeting Erica to finish up the festival.

And Erica must be a good luck charm. Because despite tooling around the fair and the Main Hall what seemed like a few hundred times, it wasn’t until we were walking through on our last pass (just before they all closed up) that we spotted Morehouse Farm. Oh, their merino lace yarn is so incredibly yummy. And yes. I did say the L word. (Er,… lace.)

So we left the fairgrounds, full of yarns and kettle corn. (YUM – why didn’t some one tell me about this delicious treat before?) We headed home, and then back to TX in the morning.

We got a treat on the last leg of our journey: our captain was retiring and this was his last flight. He had family and friends on board, and all the passengers received champagne to toast him. There were sentimental speeches and much cheering. And upon landing into Love Field, two fire trucks met us at the gate for the celebratory “washing” of the plane. (The two truck make arcs of water for the pilot to drive through.) Thanks, Captain Jeff, for the great flight. It was a heck of a return for us, too.

9 Responses to “Came. Saw. Conquered.”

  1. chris Says:

    As always, well said! You remember a lot more than I do about the order of when we did what. And I’m with ya — I can’t believe how few pics I took . . . I didn’t even get a pic of us with Kim or anything! Durrr.

    I will indeed post a story about the Karakul sheep and what my connection to them is . . . once I can gather my thoughts a bit! :)

  2. P-) Says:

    Wonderful!!! Makes me wish all the more that I could have been with y’all. But I am truly happy that you three got to go!

  3. Kathy Says:

    hoooolllleeeee…. You have a wee Koigu problem, don’t you? And I didn’t even get a chance to *touch* the stuff.

    hmpfh.

  4. Rach Says:

    Ya know I don’t knit, but that petting zoo looked right up my alley :)
    The yarn you got is gorgeous. I can’t wait to see what you turn it into.
    -R

  5. jen da purse ho Says:

    OMG>…..i’m JEALOUS of your koigu stash. I would have lost control as well!! glad y’all had fun. :D it looked like a blast!!

  6. Jody Says:

    Wow – you sure went nuts on the Koigu! And I’m totally jealous about the STR you scored. I got there at 10:15 and there was only one color left. What’s the bowling pin lookin thing for??

  7. Bot Gurl Says:

    You went totally yarn crazy! What could you possibly do with all that Koigu?!! What am I saying? Looks like you had a great time!

  8. Teri S. Says:

    Wow…what a great time you all had. It almost makes me wish I lived farther away so I could justify two full days at MDS$W. And I’m quite impressed with your stash enhancements. It makes mine look, well, a bit meager. Thanks for sharing your adventures!

  9. Julia Says:

    Waaaah! Major stash envy!
    But my, that little angora bunny- doesn’t it hurt him to get his hair pulled out like that?

    I just wanted to check in and hear if you’re okay- on the Knit2BeTied podcast, I heard you had a tornado in your area last week. Hope that wasn’t too close to your home.

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