Conquering the Festival

This past weekend (May 1 - 3) was Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.  I had a blast and truly feel like I conquered the festival.

Day 1:
I started the adventure off by doing something I don't normally do. I took part in some festival workshop for the first time. I am so happy I did, too. I filled my Friday with two classes taught by Jacey Boggs Faulkner of Ply Magazine. I had the pleasure of taking both "Building Your Fiber Business"; and, "Plying and Ply Structures."  

Jacey lines up our samples to demonstrate how single softness impacts final yarn.
The only thing regret is that the classes weren't longer.  Both workshops were half-day and I can only imagine how much more I would have learned in full-day sessions. 

Day 2: 
With the cooler full of water, Diet Coke and Snacks, we loaded the car with teenagers and headed out early.  As my friend Tanya and I like to do, we drove through for breakfast and got there just before the festival was to open.

Busy at the gate already, by 9 am.
Out primary goal for Saturday is always to get to the fleece sale before they open.  Our timing was a little behind this year but we were still one of the first hundred to enter.  This is my fourth Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and the changes they made to the fleece sale are fantastic!  The first two year I attended the sale was in a very small and extremely crowded corner of the main vendor building.  It was a mad rush to get in and you could hardly move to browse the fleece.  It has since moves into it's own space in one of the smaller exhibition buildings.  It is so-------o much nicer.

Much less crowded in the new layout.  Still happy we made it in early.
We finished up in the fleece sale by 10 am and I walked out of there with two lovely fleece: Second-place coated Lincoln; Second-place coated Coopworth.

That, of course was just the start of the day.  Our usual plan of attack is to head to the from of the venue to start making our rounds from the beginning so we don't miss anything.  By noon, we were half-way through and the place was packed.  If you don't like people and crowds, mid-day on Saturday is not for you!  My only other scheduled stop for Saturday was the podcaster meet-up in the lower corral at 1 pm.  I always love the meet-up.  It is a great opportunity to run into old podcaster friends and meet new.  The best part is getting to meet listeners face-to-face.  I connect online line with people but it's just nice to exchange hugs.

We stayed at the festival on Saturday later than normal.  We were there until nearly 5 pm.  Usually we are done and exhausted by 3 pm.  Our plans to attend the spin-in that night were defeated my our fatigue.  Maybe next year.  Of course, that's what we say every year.

Day 3:
Because we live close, we like to go every day of the event.  The atmosphere on Sunday is quite different from Saturday.  It's mush calmer with fewer people and you can really just stroll through the event.  Most people who travel for the event have flights to catch or have to get back home in time for work Monday.

This is the day I took my time, wandered about and really go to shop for specific items that I didn't get to the day before.

In the end:
In the end, we saw everything we wanted to, I check off every item on my shopping list and seriously enhanced my stash.

The Haul.
I love Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, it is an adventure every time.  I is a great opportunity to out with people who share the same passions and obsessions I do.


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