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Maryland Sheep & Wool Recap & Video

I look forward to this annual event every spring. We've made it a "sisters & nieces" roadtrip pretty consistently for over 20 years now and every year it is, ironically, both reassuringly "the same" and yet always " new & different"! The best "difference" this year was that they finally had enough port-a-potties that the lines for the ladies rooms weren't terribly long.

The "reassuringly the same" things include the energy and enthusiasm of the vendors and attendees who travel from far and wide to this fair each year. The abundance of quality fleeces in the fleece sale and breadth of beautiful fibers, the array of colors is always exciting. Crowds are a given....I think they estimate about 40,000 people attend each year! Running into old acquaintences is expected and looked forward to.

This year, I bought a couple pair of the new circular needles by Signature for our Yarn and Needle Tasting May 22nd (see Events for more info). I also prearranged to purchase about 80 pounds of fleece at the show which will be spun into yarn for the store, and of course, bought many additional pounds of fleece, which I will be busy washing and dyeing these next few weeks, to restock both our "locks" supply and the popular Finn Felting Batts I ran out of last year.

vermont wheelFor yet another year, The Vermont Wheels sold out at Maryland Sheep & Wool. Maybe I should start including this in my "reassuringly the same" column! Wheelright Patrick Russo makes a small number of wheels a year. Each wheel is handcrafted and no two are alike. Some are inlay, some carved, some have a brass filigree inset. Oak, cherry, mahogany. All are incredibly well made and spin like good dark chocolate melts in your mouth. I usually have one of them here in the store for sale so if you're in the market you should be sure to check these wheels out!

This year I spent quite a bit of time with the sheep themselves! Watching some of the shows and meandering the many barns early in the morning to the sheep before the crowds. I learned quite a bit listening to the judges reviews and drew a greater appreciation for certain breeds that I'd overlooked before. Here is a little video of some of the activities, less typical sheep breeds which were on display there, and a few views of my sister's booth, which always draws a crowd with the silk reeling demonstrations!