Monday, May 4, 2009


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!

Here’s a taste:
SheepMD SandW May 2009 004

MD SandW May 2009 006Husband and wife busily grooming their Border Leicester before going into the ring.

MD SandW May 2009 013First place Corriedale with proud teenage owner sitting nearby. The mother told me that her two teenage sons are entirely responsible for the care of this champion sheep!

MD SandW May 2009 003

MD SandW May 2009 012

MD SandW May 2009 011MD SandW May 2009 020

My new Golding spindle lying cozily on a pillow of hand-painted Corriedale top from Misty Mountain.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you had a good time. I missed going this year, but I had my loom to keep me company. Now that you've brought me over to the weaving way I'm going to have to ask you to teach me how to braid.


Sue said...

oh, my. I have serious spindle and corriedale red envy. Those are both gorgeous. The first fleece I spun was corriedale and it is wonderful. Also am sorry I did not make more effort to wade through the muck and mud at Friendship this year. Being a Maryland native, that wonderful weekend makes me nostalgic for all things Maryland.

OzWeaver said...


Oh, boy! I even have extra maru dai, so we're all set when you're ready to braid! I rather miss it, so I'll be quite eager to help you!

Let me know how the second warp goes!

OzWeaver said...


I did not know you are a Maryland native! That part of MD is certainly beautiful with its rolling hills and gentle green-ness. I loved in Montgomery Cnty for a couple of years in my early teens. The high school overlooked corn fields, and that was a big distraction for me....

OzWeaver said...

Ha! I meant I 'lived' in Montgomery Cnty...but I guess I loved it too!


Jennifer said...

That is wonderful! I always love to take a class or go to a show to appreciate what I am receiving from other's hard work. Thanks for sharing!

Vee said...

I was right there in the muck and the mud and enjoyed every minute of it ( especially when the sun finally came out in the afternoon )

Glad you enjoyed yourself. I'm looking forward to the Rhinebeck festival in October for more of the same :-)

OzWeaver said...


Well, I'll see you in Rhinebeck then! We are so lucky to live withing range of both festivals!