Okay, here is my review of MDS&W this year. Way too crowded, changeable weather, more and more yarn shops there.
The crowds were much larger this year and made me think of the county fair on the monster truck night. And that place is packed that night. There are more and more buses bringing people in and that would account for more people. I have heard that the traffic backup on I-70 and onto MD 144 was quite big at some points, at least on Saturday. Luckily, I live within 30 minutes of the fairgrounds and I know a different way into the fairgrounds. And no, I will not share it because it only works if you are coming from the west.
The weather in Maryland is always changeable so there that was nothing new to me. It was humid on Saturday and windy and cool on Sunday.
As to more yarn shops. Well, it just seemed like there were not as many indie people there this year. The yarn shops m ay have been there before but it just seemed like I noticed them this year. I do not go to MDS&W expecting to see Noro and Cascade. I am looking for stuff I can not find in a normal yarn store.
Now for the fun part. I was able to wander the show with friends and find new goodies. One major advantage of living so close was that I could get there early. And that meant I could get some plants before they were picked over. And I was in line early at the Tess booth. And there is always a line there. But while I was standing in line, I got to meet a fantastic young male knitter names Louis. He was there with his Aunt, his sister, and grandmother. And he was buying sock yarn to make another pair of socks for himself. And his aunt and he were one of the runner up winners in the contest and his aunt was nice enough to let him get the yarn. He will be surprised.
I was starting to wander down to the main building when Teri called me and we met up. We both wanted to go to Ellen’s Half Pint Farm booth for sock yarn. And I am happy that we did this early because later on, the booth was hit hard. We both had things to buy for swaps so were were able to pick up a few items while we shopped together. I also got to watch Teri look at a loom. It seems that a number of knitters are also spinners and weavers.
We both had other friends to meet so we parted about an hour later. That is the point when I met up with Miss Kitty Kitty and Meow Girl. Priscilla brought her husband along and he demonstrated being a supportive husband. He had his iPod with him and he was happy to stand in line for us as well.
MG thought that it would be funny to see Priscilla and I egg each other on with our purchases. So we did try to make her happy by staging a few egging on situations. Our merry group wandered almost the entire fair grounds. M was nice enough to stand in line when we got the the STR booth. Two of us got Sheep to Shawl kits. And some yarn.
We spent quite a bit of time looking at spinning wheels. And I got to see MG try to convince Priscilla that she really wanted the Great Wheel. I still think she needs it. And there was time spent at a loom. MG kept trying out all of the spinning wheels we came to. I think she is secretly lusting after another wheel.
And at lunchtime, MG taught me to draft fiber. I had taken a drop spindle class from Judith MacKenzie McCuin a few years ago and learned to draft but I still had problems. But I have finally learned how to draft. Thank you MG!!!
I did get to meet Andrea and she came to dinner with us. We all went out for dinner and I think M had fun since he ate almost the entire platter. He was happy at that point.
I went back Sunday morning bright and early. Again my first stop was for plants. Just like yarn, there is no such thing as too many plants. And I am rebuilding my garden remember. From there, I sort of just wandered. My mission was to look for fiber. MG had me looking for fiber that was nice and soft and had a nice long length the to fiber. Because if you do not like the fiber you will not spin it. Or that is what I was told. So I did pet the fibers and I did buy some. And we will not tlak about the two spindles that followed me home.
But one of the spindles is a Bosworth and Sheila B. looked at what I had spun the previous day and told me that I was on my way. And that is something that is really nice to hear. I am planning on taking some spinning lessons from one of two fairly local shops.
For more photos of the festival head over to Flickr and look at the photos. And yes, Kermit did visit MDS&W and behaved. Although trying to get Kermit away from the alpaca fleece was hard. Kermit just didn’t understand that I am not quite ready to spin alpaca yet.