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Rebecca
Permanent Resident

USA
1119 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2002 :  3:51:34 PM  Show Profile Send Rebecca a Private Message
I'm sorry you can't come to the festival, Clara and Bess. I am very psyched about going and will meet other KRers on Saturday. Hopefully the weather will cooperate!
Take care,
Rebecca

...found easily in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia...
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Knitgirl
Warming Up

79 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2002 :  12:14:50 PM  Show Profile Send Knitgirl a Private Message
***Tomorrow is the MD Festival*** Can you see me dancing????

So do we have a place that people are meeting to meet???

Just want to know. I plan to be there by 10 or 11ish and will be able to stay until about 2.

Lauren

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Rebecca
Permanent Resident

USA
1119 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2002 :  1:30:34 PM  Show Profile Send Rebecca a Private Message
Maybe we can all try to meet up around 12 or 12:30 at the 4-H building. I want to see the sheep dog trials either at 11 or 1 tomorrow. The weather is going to be cool but no rain! yippee!!!

See you soon,
Rebecca

...found easily in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia...
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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2002 :  1:33:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
I want a complete report - esecially which hand spinners had the most exciting and beautiful yarns.

and who learned to spin?

have such a grand time guys.

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schoolmama
Permanent Resident

USA
2310 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2002 :  2:27:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit schoolmama's Homepage Send schoolmama a Private Message
Yeah, have fun everybody. I hear our turn comes in the fall in Taos and Denver! I'd love to visit the green places in this country, and before it gets so humid there! Barb

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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2002 :  3:28:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
Will anyone still be there later in the day? I won't be able to get into town until around 5pm...

I can say now I'll be wearing an EAGLE 97-7 Tee-shirt and Leopard print sunglasses, and I have longish dark-red hair. Don't know yet if I'll be back Sunday, but if so, I'll have on a green tee-shirt and the leopard print sunglasses... and barring any unexplainable disasters, still have longish dark-red hair.

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
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Clara
queen bee

USA
4406 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2002 :  4:50:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit Clara's Homepage Send Clara a Private Message
Have fun everybody!

Here's a humble request: Could someone possibly pick up an extra program booklet for the KR archives? They're free, but I can ply you with all sorts of rewards for your efforts...

Clara
Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher
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Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2002 :  5:45:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
Amie, I intend to be there until it closes at 6 - Can we all send a letter to your boss demanding that he/she let you leave early? I don't know if I can make it back there on Sunday, and I'm getting there at 9 on saturday, so I don't know how long my bones will hold up. I will be TOTALLY PISSED if I don't get to meet you!!!!!

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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2002 :  5:48:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
Ah... the boss... the whole story is long and complicated, but the short version is that no, I can't leave early, and I've got a 2+ hour drive ahead of me to get there.... if I speed gratuitously I could make it by 4:30 ish, I imagine...

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
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Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2002 :  5:51:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
I speed gratuitously as a matter of principle! I'll try really hard to wait for you, but my roommate, who's coming with me, is sick, and may demand to leave earlier...

Oh - check your personal messages....

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Patience
Permanent Resident

USA
1080 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2002 :  7:12:06 PM  Show Profile Send Patience a Private Message
Hi Everyone,

I'm sure feeling blue that I can't make it either! I had hoped to be there but family obligations have stepped in so I'll be thinking of you and knowing that those of you who attend will have a ball.

Please give us a full report on who met who, etc. and what yummy yarns you purchased. Can't wait to hear.

Warmest Regards, Patience
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Rebecca
Permanent Resident

USA
1119 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2002 :  03:47:46 AM  Show Profile Send Rebecca a Private Message
Clara,
I would be happy to pick up a booklet for you. KnittersReview has a full page display within the first half of the booklet, it looks good. Send me your address in Maine so that I can get it off to you on Monday.

Rebecca

...found easily in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia...
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n2rockwlls
Gabber Extraordinaire

395 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2002 :  08:50:53 AM  Show Profile Send n2rockwlls a Private Message
To all that were able to attend...

I wish I could've been there and met all my new friends. I hope everyone had a good time..

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Rebecca
Permanent Resident

USA
1119 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2002 :  05:29:23 AM  Show Profile Send Rebecca a Private Message
Here's my report on the Saturday we spent at the MD sheep and wool festival: there were thousands of people, there were hundreds of vendors in four buildings, the auction lasted three hours, the sheepdog demonstrations were amazing, the llamas, angora rabbits and jacob sheep were my favorites, the Mayan Backstrap Weavers were unforgettable and the lamb burger was delicious.

We arrived at 10:00 am after sitting in a long line to get parking. I tried to sign my daughter up for a children's workshop but all eight offerings were full by that time.

It was very crowded, so much, that when you wanted to look at yarn you had to wait for somebody to leave so you could squeeze into a vendor's booth. The yarns were handspun, brand names, and heavily dominated by hand paints. There was buckets of roving, natural and dyed for spinning. This year, it struck me that half of the offerings were roving and half spun yarns.

There was really great hammer dulcimer, banjo, and bluegrass music playing. Lots of food, a great festival type atmosphere, and the weather was gorgeous.

I bought 20 oz of purple wool from Nepal and about the same of a curly mohair blend in white. These were both festival bargains. Otherwise, most yarns were going for top dollar. Spinning wheels, looms, handmade buttons, books, patterns...it was all there.

The biggest disappointment was that I did not see any other KRers! It was so crowded, I looked and looked for mascots and red hair but did not see anyone that I was looking for. It was too bad and further supports the idea of a weekender somewhere with other knitters. The festival was just too BIG.

Hope this report paints a picture for you all,
Rebecca

...found easily in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia...
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Patience
Permanent Resident

USA
1080 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2002 :  08:38:39 AM  Show Profile Send Patience a Private Message
Rebecca,

It sounds like even though there was alot of things to see and participate in, the trick was to actually be ABLE to do so with the crowds. Also, not getting to meet any fellow KR's must have been the biggest disappointment. Sounds like I'm not too disappointed that I couldn't make it.....I'll save all my spending money for Stitches East and I can't wait. Thanks for the report.

Regards, Patience
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Alissa
Seriously Hooked

USA
632 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2002 :  10:52:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit Alissa's Homepage Send Alissa a Private Message
I am SO jealous! However, I have my confirmation for Stitches MidWest so maybe I will get to see some folks there?!

Glad you had fun, we were with you in spirit! (sure sounds better than 14 kids at Chuck E. Cheese's)


Alissa
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Knitgirl
Warming Up

79 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2002 :  11:56:40 AM  Show Profile Send Knitgirl a Private Message
Hi everyone:
This was my first attendance to the the festival and WOW! There were hundreds of vendors with yarn. There was lots of yarn with metalics intertwined, boucle, great colors both hand dying and painting, lots of natural wools and all kinds of neat extras. I am still thinking about a carpet bag that I saw and wish I had bought. It was really neat with a great clasp.

Of course, I did my share of spending. If anyone knows the women from Wool in the Woods, they are just the nicest and they were there. Their yarn and their color combinations for dying are just exceptional.

There were lots of wool for spinners and supplies for them and machine knitters as well. The sheep, goats, rabbits, llmas etc. were really neat to see and to read about the various types and the wool it produces. I know little about this and so it was a great introduction although, I just got a brief introduction on my go around.

I am glad that I arrived at 9:00am because by 11:00 it really got crowded. By then I got through most of the vendors, or at least I think I did.

I never saw a brochure!!?? I am not sure where they were handing them out because I missed it entirely.

I too was on the look out for KRs but missed seeing anyone. I was late getting to the 4-H Building so if anyone did go there I missed you and am sorry....but I was making purchase that took a little longer than I thought it would! If that is a good enough excuse!

I do know that this was a great event and a must do on my calendar for next year.
Lauren



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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2002 :  2:30:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
When allergies hit last month I decided to go with the flow and adapt to whatever changes came along. It ment missing out on the library directors meeting at Graves Mt. and another meeting and it really played havoc with the MD S&W festival. eh. things happen and you can choose your reaction. So yesterday around 10 when DH said ďwhat time do you want to leave?Ē I thought he ment going to look at fire damage at a nearby marina. Instead he ment when did I want to go to Maryland! so - about 2 p.m. we showed up at the Howard County Fair Grounds.

What a treat.

I didnít really know what to expect because we arenít livestock farmers and I donít spin or weave (yet). I had an idea, of course, but how does one prepare for such ashow for the first time. Especially when, once it looked like I wasnít going to attend, I indulged rather lavishly with my 10% at eKnitting and bought enough Brown Sheep handpaint for 2 sweaters. And since I wasnít expecting this trip I hadnít even cashed in my spend-it-like-a-man money and was sure not going to haul $100 in quarters and dimes around all day. Still, it was probably good that I did have a dollar limit and a satisfied stash - sort of like going grocery shopping on a full stomach.

DH asked what was the quest and I said ďI want to learn about spinning - get a drop spindle, some wool, and see the sheep.Ē That ended up being a good plan. Because I was already feeling surfeited with yarn I was able to admire without buying. I would have bought some yarn from Mostly Merino but I didnít see them.

Getting there late, I didnít have the wait for parking that Rebecca had, although I was all the way up by the highway. It was about a 3 hour drive from tidewater VA. the fairgrounds are just the right size for walking around and not missing anything - any bigger and one might skip an isle without realizing. Again, as Rebecca reported, there was a lot of wool, fleece, roving, etc. I actually counted 8 buildings with vendors plus another with the competition entries in spinning, sewing, knitting, weaving, etc. Wow - that was a sight to see. And I had a hard time picking my favorites. Of course, Iím not nearly knowledgeable enough to judge things yet, but I know what I like. There was an aran sweater in a tan yarn that I really flipped over, but it took only 2nd place. Now, it may have been a design from someone elseís pattern. I didnít read all of the entry info. I really liked it that most of the entries had both artistís description and comments from judges clearly visible. The hard part was not touching. Sometimes I had to stuff my hands in my pockets to keep from stroking. There was a machine knit jacket oh oh ... to die for ....one of the best of show winners and most deservedly so. hand died, done in a variegated blue, knit in a gorgeous shell pattern ... it was drop dead stunning. There were some beautiful yarns, lots of wonderful knitting. a good bit of felted work. and a loom set up for hands on weaving DH tried his hand at it.

I really did see some wonderful yarns and while they werenít bargains ... no, they were bargains, because they were selling at prices equal to high end machine spun and dyed yarn - in the $8.00 for 100-200 yard skeins range, but I always expect hand made to be more costly. So I would say, there were good buys. Certainly fair prices. Honestly, I felt a little guilty not buying some, because who knows when I will get another chance. But I really did have to limit my purchases. Evidently I also have a critical mass for stash owning comfort. But - if it was wool you wanted, boy were you in for a treat.

This led me to think about being a vendor at a show like this. The worst is to be right up front. And probably way in the back. One doesnít want to buy at the first booth or even the second, because one wants to see everything ... and yet after a while, the desire to buy hits too. Maybe after booth 8 or 10. By the end of course, one is over-stimulated and canít decide. The first booth had gorgeous painted roving ... oh so soft. Booth 2 had more roving and fleeces and some spun yarn. since Iím not yet but going to be soon a novice spinner I passed on the fleeces, all sorts, dyed, undyed, fascinating to touch. Most folk labeled everything well. It was an education in fiber to walk around and touch.

In the end I bought a drop spindle kit from Dream Ranch Designs/Marshall VA. I was utterly charmed by the young daughter, maybe 10 or so, spinning away, who told me she had been on the wheel since she was 5. Her mother gave me a lesson in spinning and assured me that the lumpy wad I created was what everybody started out with. The kit had a spindle, instructions and some lovely merino roving. yes yes. I know other wool is easier to spin but I am a sucker for soft.

I bought 1 lb. of lambswool/silk blend from Tom & Sunny Bixby of Liberty Ridge/Verona NY. bold of me, hmmm? Do I really think Iíll be ready to make my own yarn? Well - best jump in with both feet. and besides, I may never spin this at all, but put it on the bed and roll in it. And some silk caps I want to dye. Iíd seen these before and was already longing for some. at $2.50 a piece I can have some real fun. And Bob Kelly of Hunt Country Yarns (who was there btw) says it can be knitted unspun, just pull it out to desired thickness.

What I wish Iíd bought was a how to spin video. There were some on display, but I just didnít. Several vendors also had the more known yarns, lots of sock yarn - Opal in the Mexico colors, Regia in several versions. One vendor had Koigo out to touch and see all the colors and another had a sweater knitted in jacquard with the design in handpainted colors and the background in a solid. Iíve been thinking of designing something like that and it was good to see my idea confirmed in anotherís design. I didn't buy any though - I have 3 pair of socks on needles right now and enough yarn to make up 3 more pair.

Truth is - it was a massive visual and tactile rush.

Katherine Cobey was there, though I discovered her booth late in the day. Maine Fiber Arts I believe it was called (I never did get a program). I had seen her work in books and magazines - especially the wedding dress she designed, in close consultation with the bride, that was in the summer 2001 Interweave Knits magazine. I had really been taken with the article and it was a treat to meet the designer. She invited me to take a class this summer but alas, summer is my IN-Demand nobody takes time offĒ time at work - till August and then thatís when FAMILY shows up on the Rivah.

I got to the auction as the last spinning wheel was going up - it looked to have a broken pedal, but it went for $190 and considering most new wheels were in the $400 range, it might have been a very good buy.

Missed all the dog trials too, but I got to see some of the sheep judging and to pet the cutest ram I ever saw. He wagged his tail when you scratched his side and he was Mr. Personality with the crowd. His owners said, a bit ruefully, that it was too bad he had not behaved so well in the ring. He was for sale as were so many angora bunnies and, oh! the wonderful Romney sheep that look like teddy bears. The most fun of all was to watch the young children taking care of their animals.

I had on my Opal socks and a scarf pin made of the same yarn, but I can see why KRís were likely to miss each other. It was so crowded, and then your eyes are so pulled by the sights - you are always looking down or at shelves of yarn or racks of books. I knew I was too late to meet up with anybody anyway. But, Rebecca, if you saw a lady in a black hat and blue socks, - that was yours truly. And you are so right about putting together a vacation. Itís too hard to meet in such a crowd. to iffy. Iíll have something to post about G. Mt. Ldge on Tuesday or Wednesday.

About the only thing I would do differently another time, would be to plan on spending the night and going back on Sunday. Itís too long a drive for me to go up and back twice but with so much stimulation, itís awfully hard to decide what you want to do or buy. And I would have liked to watch more of the animal events. But for sure, itís a great event and I have spent the whole day thinking about it. And smiling.


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Clara
queen bee

USA
4406 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2002 :  6:47:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit Clara's Homepage Send Clara a Private Message
I'm SO GLAD you got to go after all, Bess! Three - OK four - cheers for your thoughtful DH. And an extra cheer for the drop spindle investment. Don't fret about beginning with merino. I even had a cashmere/merino blend in my first learn-to-spin stash. Part of the joys of spinning are simply having an excuse to buy big wads of marvelous, soft fiber. Who cares if you never actually get around to spinning it.

And DON'T fret about the initial lumps in your spinning. If you keep at it (which I know you will), you'll be amazed at how quickly your spinning improves. What a rush when you hold that first skein in your hands! You may never buy over-the-counter yarn again.

Everyone who went will probably need a few days to recover from the sensory overload. I'm delighted to know it was crowded, from a business standpoint, but it must've made things a little stressful. Definitely resume discussion about smaller, KR-related gatherings. Perhaps we can even rent a few sheep for the occasion!

Clara
Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher
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Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2002 :  6:48:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
Llamas and lambies and sheep - OH MY!OOOOOH! AAAAAHHHH! I went BOTH days, 'cause I was DETERMINED to meet Amie (RoseByAny) and she had to work on Saturday. Boy, was that worth the second trip - she's every bit as fab in person as she is on the Forum: bright, warm, outgoing, sweet. We had an absolute ball (Pun intended...), and later in the afternoon, we sat under a tree and she taught me to knit continentally on some outrageously gorgeous cotton hand-dyed I bought. What a doll! We both lamented not spotting anyone else (crowded on Saturday is an understatement), and totally bummed that you weren't there, Clara. Amie picked up a program book for you, though.

My waterloo was finding a bargain box FULL of Tahki cotton with descending prices: 1-9 balls were 3.25 each, 10-22 were 2.75 each and 23+ were 2.25 each. (pause) I bought 45 balls. In brilliant red, vibrant turquoise, and a lovely variegated (shades of gray/blue and white). Enough to make a red and a turquoise short sleeve top, and a long-sleeve variegated tunic. All for $106 INCLUDING TAX! I've been wanting to try knitting with cotton - I love cotton sweaters. I sure hope I like it!

And then, there were the fingering-weight mill end skeins: 4400 yards for $13. I can triple it and still have enough for a short sleeve tunic. The $10 Plymought Encore hooded baby sweater kit will make a fine gift for my friend's newborn (Amie got a kit too). Oh, and the I Wish I Were Knitting license plate frame....
My mortgage company is gonna understand, right? (color intentional)

We met the female half of Philosopher's Wool, and I introduced Amie to Leslye Soloman, who was THRILLED to find out about the positive feedback her "knitting for the size you are" article received on the forums. She's an absolute doll, and will be emceeing a fashion show at the DC Knit-Out and Crochet on September 22. I declined to attend the "watch us butcher a lamb, cook it, and serve it to you for lunch" demo. I'm an unrepentant carnivore, but I want to live in the fantasy that meat just...appears... in it's final form. I have no interest in eating someone I was nuzzling a few minutes ago (hmmm, perhaps I should rethink that, as regards a couple of ex-boyfriends - carve 'em up and serve 'em to me well done!)

I second Rebecca's assessment (I was SO hoping to meet you!) that at least half of the fiber was roving. I wasn't expecting bargains, having been forwarned by veterans, but I was delighted to find the deals I did.


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