I was going to title this post "Maryland Sheep and Wool 2013." But then again..
When I lived in central Pennsylvania, I went on a bus excursion to the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival every year. It was, and still is, organized by Kim Bierly, I think for the Penns Valley knitters group. In the midst of opening a new yarn store, Kim organized the bus tour once again. Of course, as in the past 5 years, I was in San Antonio.
But, in the meantime, two very good friends had moved to Hyattsville, Md. So I spent a few days' vacation doing what I should almost always do with vacation time: I went to visit friends. I got to see D and G, celebrate their lovely new home, explore their great new neighborhood ... I have serious neighborhood envy ... and then on Saturday I went to the fairgrounds to meet up with Kim.
I went really early in an effort to avoid the loooong line to get into the parking lot, a plan that worked very well. I knew I was heading in the right direction when i saw the car in front of me.
A sign of my people.
I got in very early. And I began wandering. And before the bus from central PA even got there, I had found a skein of Trekking in the pastels I use only for socks:
And, behind it, is some rayon boucle to knit with. Because all that beautiful wool and mohair just is not in the cards for me in south Texas. I think that rayon is going to be a tee.
Wait, here is a better picture of the rayon, though the colors are better in the picture above. My digital camera sucks the warmth out of colors.
I took a deep breath, texted Kim, still on the road, who told me to sit tight til she got there. What are friends for? So I sat in the gorgeous gorgeous weather: brilliant sun, cool temperatures, and enjoyed being surrounded by knitters, spinners, weavers, all their equipment and supplies, and all the people who produce the equipment and supplies. And then Kim arrived and I got to spend a gorgeous day in that great setting with another very good friend. So it was probably the best of all possible weekends, except for that stomach thing on Sunday, but still... it was great. There was a moment of disorientation -- I kept hearing my name, and running into friends from central PA, some of whom came down on the bus with Kim. Folks from the library at Penn State, and Katherine, with whom I learned to weave, and her very interesting daughter Emily, who is off to do something interesting with sustainable development in Latin America.
I wasn't up to the pre-Raphaelite exhibit at the National Gallery on Sunday (that stomach thing), so D and G brought me back a gift for a textile lover:
That's a William Morris design. Here's a blurb from Wikipedia that explains why the phrase "William Morris design" means so much.
William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and libertarian socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and English Arts and Crafts Movement. He founded a design firm in partnership with the artist Edward Burne-Jones, and the poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti which profoundly influenced the decoration of churches and houses into the early 20th century. As an author, illustrator and medievalist, he helped to establish the modern fantasy genre, and was a direct influence on postwar authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien. He was also a major contributor to reviving traditional textile arts and methods of production, and one of the founders of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, now a statutory element in the preservation of historic buildings in the UK.
And that bag is so gorgeous.
It is sitting on my last yarn purchase at the festival. This is a three-stranded yarn. One strand is cotton, one is silk, and one is rayon. It is likely to drive me insane to knit with, but the plan is to make a loose lacy pullover to wear over all those sleeveless dresses they show. They are ALL sleeveless. Kim says she blames Michelle Obama. Anyway, my arms do not look like hers, so I like to put something over those dresses. Light, loose and lacy.
I had a wonderful weekend. And Maryland Sheep and Wool was nice too.