Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival May 05, 2015 13:51 1 Comment
This Sunday I attended the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival with some of my knitting friends. It was the perfect excuse to get out of town for the day and the weather couldn't have been better. We ate lots of delicious food while browsing booth upon booth of beautiful yarns and notions, taking a break about halfway through to sit and watch a sheep shearing demonstration.
I was mostly interested in finding locally grown wool and new yarns for the shop. It seems my tastes have shifted a lot over the years and the woman who was once obsessed with multi-colored hand dyes was now on the hunt for woolen spun neutrals. Compared to the past, I'd say this years haul was pretty conservative but the items I brought home, I knew I couldn't live without.
Shortly after we arrived, we wondering into the booth of the LLSBA (Leicester Longwool Sheep Breeders Association) I was immediately drawn to a silver heathered 2-ply yarn from Underhill Farm in Hollidaysburg, PA. The yarn was a blend of mohair and wool and listed on the label were the names of the animals who grew the fiber: Opal, Tulip, Frazier, Chrystal & Billy. I stood there for a few minutes and debated making such a big purchase so early in the day but it was just too beautiful to pass up. I bought two skeins.
Eventually I found the Bartlettyarns stand which I had been looking for since we arrived. Bartlettyarns are based in Harmony, ME and have been around since 1821. I purchased some of their sport weight yarn the previous year and was dying to get my hands on some of their Fisherman 2-ply, a woolen spun yarn that's been around since the 1800's! This yarn is spun with natural lanolin oils which makes it softer and weather resistant. It was so hard to only choose a few colors, but in the end I decided on three different shades of brown which will probably end up becoming a top down raglan or a giant shawl.
I left the festival feeling happy with my purchases and inspired to grow our yarn department. I've been dreaming about Rhinebeck already but that isn't until October, so if you need to get your fiber fix before then, here are a few upcoming festivals that are happening nearby:
May 16 & 17 Central PA Fiber Festival, Hughesville, PA
May 16 & 17 Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Festival, Waynesburg PA
Sept 12 & 13 Pennsylvania Endless Mountains Fiber Festival, Harford, PA
Sept 19 & 20 Pennsylvania Fiber Arts Fest, Huntingdon, PA