Monday, May 07, 2007

Maryland Sheep & Wool

Well, I made my first ever foray out to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival Saturday. Unlike my usual yarn forays, I tried to be a bit methodical this time. In preparation I pulled a bunch of patterns I had been thinking about and wrote down the yarn requirements, the idea being when a skein called to me I could buy it in appropriate quantities instead of ending up with a bunch of beautiful skeins suitable only for little scarves (not that there's anything wrong with that). I also made a budget. (I have accepted that I have no ability to stick to a budget when presented with pretty stuff, but I do better when I start with a budget than when I don't. Budgets are like patterns, they are guidelines.)
And then I arrived and experienced that overwhelming feeling where the first booth (okay, the second, the first didn't really speak to me) is filled with all this gorgeous stuff but you also know there are all these other booths and so while you could blow the whole budget right here, right now, wouldn't it suck if the really good stuff you can only find here was just around the corner, but would it suck more if this turned out to be the best booth and you were just lucky enough to hit it first and this is why shopping can be hard work people!
So I went to another booth and discovered for some reason ocean colorways in sock weight yarn seemed to be calling me. Except what was I going to make with that? I had a pattern on my list for some DK stuff, but the yardage made these pretty skeins a little too dear. So, I decided perhaps food was in order.
Except apparently so did all these other people, and the line was so long as to convince me checking one more booth would in no way slow me down. And then...I went into a booth - Brooks Farm Yarn (I left the tag at home - I promise to update the who later - they were from Texas). They had gorgeous skeins. Long skeins. Pretty skeins. Skinny skeins. Skeins with silk. And all of a sudden I was overcome by orange.

Orangey Yarn
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

And color ways with red, and orange and yellow. I pet many yarns, but managed to limit myself to some gorgeous wool/silk blend (Four Play) in the aforementioned color way as well as some straight orange.

Blue Yarn
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

I returned to my oceanic roots and grabbed some superwash (Solana)too. And really that was the end (or the start) of my budget. (More pics later, the superwash is already in action, on the needles.)
Then - lunch. I had some lamb - yes all the food seemed lamb-oriented which was thematic if not also a bit ironic.
And then I hit more booths including the All About Yarn booth. I hadn't yet made it to their shop, but it is now officially on my to do list. Oh, the pretty. (It was here, that overcome by the pretty, despite holding three skeins in my arms, I reached out and pet the yarn that someone else was holding. Fortunately, she understood.)
After serious color debate, I ended up with two skeins of silk and one of linen - all Claudia.

Silk and Linen Yarn
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

I'm not sure if they will work for the pattern they are theoretically intended, but they are so pretty. After leaving here, it was clear that I had done enough damage to the pocketbook for one day and needed to work my way back to my car.
I will have to plan better next year, because based on the list of vendors I missed some great stuff, but it was a great trip and for free admission, I think it was more than worth it.