I let my lust for new yarn rule my route at fiber festivals, but it wouldn't be the same without the sheep & alpaca. Not at all. Before I moved to Philly the only fiber "event" I had been to was Stitches Midwest and that was a completely different experience. Matt took me to Stitches a few weeks before I moved to Philly and, while I bought things (mama ain't no fool), it just wasn't fun. I felt rushed (slightly Matt's fault) and cramped (not Matt's fault) the whole time. Fiber festivals are something to look forward to with my homegirls, but they're definitely more enjoyable when outside. Y'know, in nature.
My outdoor fiber festival experiences experiences have traveled across three states now (MD - NJ - NY), but they all have the same kind of layout, excepting New Jersey Sheep and Wool. If you google New Jersey Alpaca farms you will find a lot of different farms. Alpaca ain't no joke in the Garden State and that festival was different from MD and NY in the fact that the animals were the true stars of that show. True, NJ State Sheep & Wool isn't the same level of *event* as NY or MD, but it still drew a crowd. And we still bought things. Many things. Like Light Brown Hare, a lovely designer located near the festival. Seriously. Check her out. She even offers hand dying advice on her youtube channel and is a genuinely delightful lady to talk to.
Maryland Sheep & Wool is set up like Rhinebeck in that there is yarn, there are animals. The yarn, fiber and fiberholic specialties are what the public flocks to see, but it's easy to spend the day enjoying the festival even if you aren't a knitter. I'm looking at you, husbands/boyfriends/SOs. And if you have small children? You'll make their day. Like wine and fine cheeses? Sorry, you'll have to go to Rhinebeck for that.
Events at Maryland Sheep and Wool include free demonstrations, pre-scheduled workshops and even competitions. Have you finally completed Jared Flood's Rock Island shawl after almost a year of letting it just sit there? You should enter it! Have you knit every sweater from Alice Starmore's Tudor Roses? Well, duh. And once you think you've spent all of your money on yarn you can sit in on an auction and see them offer up some truly interesting/weird things.
Seriously though. Go pet some sheep.
Some sheep lack the knowledge of "personal space"
And it wouldn't be a trip to Sheep & Wool without a stop in Baltimore!
|Crabs! Not mine.|