We drove up on Friday and spent the night in Colombia, just 20 minutes from the Howard county fairground, in Friendsville, MD. We drove the next morning to the fair ground, and I dropped my daughter off close to the entrance so that she could make it to her booth at the far end of the fairground, then I proceeded to park with the help of a local boy scout troop. In my car there were 2 great wheels that needed to be delivered to 2 separate people. I had their phone numbers already in my phone, and within a few minutes had made contact with one of them that was just a few rows over from where I had parked. We quickly loaded her wheel into her car, and she went on to the entrance while I waited for person #2. 30 minutes later, I was moving the last great wheel to her car, and loading up 2 flax wheels into my car! One of these was a flax wheel that had belonged to the Joan Cummer collection, and then to the ATHM until it closed late last year.
This is the first picture that I saw of the wheel, and since it was for sale, I gladly purchased it. As our plans for MDSW developed, it was decided that the wheel swap would happen there.
Here it a shot of the flyer with the darker brown single
my first few minutes of spinning when I got the wheel home
and set up.
This is the second time that my Daughter was invited to work this booth, and I again tagged along for the ride. :) Unlike last year, when I purchased nothing, I quickly purchased 3 braids of spinning fiber 50% Merino, 25% Bamboo, 25% Silk, from "Hobbledehoy", one of my favorite high end fiber dyers. (which happens to be the booth my daughter helps to man) I had intended to replace one braid that I had spun and "accidentally" sold last fall, but I couldn't decide between the three closest braids and had to get all of them. (I don't know why the picture is reversed!)
Leaving those beautiful braids with my daughter, I went directly to the fleece room. I was looking for a light brown Shetland fleece to add to my stash for making blankets. Sadly I didn't find one that I could afford, but I spent the next hour going around and looking at the fleeces and adding to my knowledge of the breeds I had not yet seen in person. There was some super soft Merino, but when I saw the price per pound, ( $47) I slowly backed away, way too high for my pocketbook. (almost a $200 fleece) I also looked at the Finn fleeces, hoping to find a small one, since it is on my bucket list of fleeces to try, but with no luck as the prices there were again high for me. I left the fleece room, with the plan to come back the next day when a lot of the nicer fleeces would be gone and some great deals can be found.
I toured the sheep barns by myself and then when my daughter was free for lunch, we ate together and then toured the huge yarn and prepped fiber barns, and then the tented booths. The only other thing I picked up was 2 ounces of a Yak/Silk blend that I had been wanting to get for several years, and never did. When I got tired I sat down and knitted, there were lots of places where knitters gathered in pic-nic style with chairs and blankets, it was relaxing.
On Sunday, I went straight back to the fleece room, this time, I looked at each and every fleece. I almost picked up a Finn Cross, but decided that I didn't want a cross, unless I knew what it was crossed with. There were far fewer fleeces than the day before, so it didn't take long to go through them all. Towards the end of my hunt I happened across a Finn fleece that had not been coated, and I believe it is the filthiest fleece I have seen to date, however, it was only $6 a pound!
I was impressed with the length of the locks and the softness of the fibers, and I am not afraid of dirt!
Lots and lots of dirt!
Which washes right out to leave a beautifully soft white fleece. I was sold, and quickly made my purchase.
I dropped the fleece off behind my daughters booth and went to the lecture, on "the history of Warp Weighted looms in the Shetland Islands" which I found fascinating!
Once the lecture was completed, I met my daughter again for lunch and a quick tour of some more of the booths. When she went back to work, I made sure that I had seen all of the sheep that were on the fair grounds, and then went back to her booth and bought 3 more braids! I decided that it was time to take a trip back to the car with my purchases so that they would not be in the way while we packed up the booth. On my way to the car I decided to get another 2 ounces of the Yak/ Silk blend, just because 2 ounces is not enough to do any real project.
5pm rolled around and we quickly broke the booth down and loaded it into the van. Then it was hugs all around, until next time. We spent the night with friends who live in the area, and early Monday morning we were happily on our way home. I have decided that it was the best trip ever! Who knows maybe we will get to go next year too!
Until next time, Happy Spinning, Tina