Monday, May 9, 2011

Where have I been? 2011 MDSW!

I've been MIA for a few weeks; the moment we finished Passover, and then the county Special Olympics games, the only thoughts in my mind were the 38th Annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, held this last weekend in West Friendship, MD.  I took 2 classes with Charlene Schurch, both of them fantastic; the first was on Wednesday when she taught color theory and application (here are some of the samplers all we students made during class; I have been continuing mine to keep adding color combinations, some successful, some not, and eventually I can categorize and analyze all of them):
The next day, Thursday, was a class in Komi knitting patterns and their use, based on her book, "Mostly Mittens;" in the morning we learned about her studies of them and then practiced knitting some of the smaller (fewer row) patterns; in the afternoon, we began knitting hats.  I finished my first hat, the one begun in class:
and I've already cast on a second, in the hopes of using the colors and the patterns more (well the patterns in this one are fine because I just followed Charlene's written chart, but I'm using different color combinations and a different stitch set for the second hat).

Friday I bit my lip and entered 2 skeins of yarn and 2 shawls in the Skein and Garment Competition.

Well, then came Sunday, the big shopping--meeting--pickup--and everything else day.  Apparently Saturday was packed as always, but the shoppers then had left us plenty to choose from except in the case of Folkwear sewing patterns; all the ones that are specifically designed for hand-woven fabrics had sold out at EarthGuild (I should have called ahead and reserved what I wanted, live and learn).  That wasn't an issue really, though, because it's a standard sort of product, not one I really have to handle in person in order to choose.  So what did I get?  Ahem:

  • 2 fleeces, both incredible; an unbelievably long stapled and soft Corriedale, and a phenomenally long lustrous Clun Forest (they don't typically have any luster).  The former is huge and I have to share it so I hope someone wants some great local Corriedale roving in a few weeks; the Clun Forest was quite tiny and I'll be happy to keep it all.  I flaked out and didn't photograph them before I dropped them off with Singleton Fiber Processing, though.
  • Multiple one-of-a-kind beautiful spinning batts from various vendors.
  • A ball winder, to replace the broken-and-missing one (now I don't have to wind all my yarn at The Yarn Spot or off of Jeffrey's chair).
  • Brown-and-white and tan cotton top, organic, undyed, and wonderful.
  • Chinese cashmere roving.
  • 3 stick shuttles.
  • 2 high speed Schacht bobbins.
  • 8 oz of luscious longwool/angora top.  Sooooooo soft.
  • Wool scour.
  • A festival long sleeve t-shirt with last year's motif on it (which I like better than this year's) since they marked them down to $10 and the one I bought last year is ratty and stained at this point.
  • 3 skeins of Cherry Tree Hill lace yarn (Cherry Tree Hill yarn at $12/960 yards of beautiful lace weight!).
  • and I picked up the two fleeces I had dropped of previously at Singleton; one was just some Dorset from the rescue farm here, nothing special; but the second was my first-ever Black Welsh Mountain fleece:
You may now commence drooling.  Incredible, no?  It's from Desert Weyr, naturally, since they're pretty much the only ones selling BWM fleeces in the US.  I can't wait.

Oh, and you remember I mentioned above that I entered 4 items in the competition?  One shawl just had a note that they didn't like that I dyed it black and then didn't block it even more than I did (I think I blocked it as well as it could have been blocked, but oh well); one skein just had a note that the spinning was even and nice.  One skein took a fourth-place ribbon in a big category (the fine wools prepped by the spinner, probably one of the categories with the most entries), so that was nice especially with the other skein saying that even if I didn't win anything my spinning was good and didn't particularly need any improvement.  And my Faroese shawl won a blue ribbon!
So that was MDSW in 2011.  Today I went grocery shopping, because after I spent 4 out of 5 non-Sabbath days doing all of this, there was pretty much nothing left in the house except vegetable oil, ice cubes, and oatmeal.  See you all next year at the Howard County Fairgrounds!


galiah said...

good for you for "getting out" and doing something you love! your knittings that you worked on there look amazing-- i'm always amazed when i see your work that a person (not a machine) can do things like that... congratulations on your blue ribbon!!! the shawl IS gorgeous... then again, what have you made that ISN'T??!!!:):)

Liz said...

Cool! Congrats on your ribbon! And I am very jealous that you were able to attend classes AND the of these years I would LOVE to. I was one of the millions of folks there on Saturday, and yes, it was very crowded, but like you said, it doesn't seem to have hindering your take at all. And shoot, I meant to pick up a ball winder too (mine's been MIA in our storage space for more than a year--I think I've given hubby enough time to unearth it, don't you think?).