Every year the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival shows me a different aspect of all the people who contribute to my obsession with fiber, spinning, dyeing, weaving and knitting. One year I only took photos of crowds. I was completely appalled that the festival was so crowded that you couldn’t easily walk through the pathways between the barns, much less get into the barns and booths….
This year the word ‘devoted’ kept running through my mind. We the spectators were willing to schlep through mud and muck (of course the shepherds are always willing to do that!), willing to be patient in the face of huge crowds, willing to be inspired by the devotion of our heroes who raise the animals, clean and process the fibers, dye the amazing colorways, and create such finished works of beauty that we’ll spend the last of our savings on handwoven, hand felted, hand knitted and hand spun items. The whole festival was a feast of inspiration that stemmed from devotion to a calling.
I am in awe of the shepherds, processors, dyers, designers, and artists who laid their wares before us. I spent a lot of money that I can’t really afford, but if it helps the economy of fiber farmers and fiber artists to continue their devotion then it’s entirely worthwhile!