It is 6 PM as I am writing this and I am completely and utterly on sensory overlaod. We set off this morning at 8:15 to find a decent parking space (the Fair opened at 9 AM). Marylin’s experience has been that the parking lot could take upwards of 2 hours to get into if not 1) arrived at early enough and 2) if not approached from the proper direction. So instead of going her usual route, we took back roads. I have to say the Maryland is appealing on several fronts. There are gently rolling hills of TREES, tons and tons of wonderfully green farmland and lots of quaint, OLD towns. She lives in Westminster which is the county seat and therefore has more amenities than some of the smaller towns, but Westminster is no biggie itself, clocking in at about 20,000 residents. The driver over was wonderful.
She adopted my “adventurous” spirit by not using a map and going to the Festival in a new direction and she did a great job – no wrong turns – AND we arrived from the direction that had no lines of cars waiting to turn in, which was the intention. We parked and went in to the Fairgounds at about 8:45 and started wandering around. The Fesitval was not technically open until 9, but if the man on the loud speaker had not been informing us of this fact, you would have never known. (Clicking on any of the images will embiggen it.)
Right off the bat we passed by the sheep and alpaca pins where there was judging going on.
As cute as these guys are, we were really there for the shopping.
This is one of the “smaller” barns, of which there were 5. To put this into perstpective, at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival there are only 2 barns of about this size, perhaps a tad longer. At the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival there were 5 “smaller” barns, one huge barn (below) and an area of equal number of vendors as the long barn outside, effectively quintupling the size of WSWF, at least. We visited each of the barns, most of the outside vendors and I made it part way into the larg barn before I gave up and was too satiated for anything more. It took 7 hours. The worst part of the whole day was fighting the crowds – it was totally insane.
(Kate took this photo – she is tall and has long arms and therefore had a better view than me.)
Wondering what I purchased? I purchased 2 skeins of 350 yard sock weight marino yarn in a turquoise veriegated pattern, 2 skeins of a rust alpaca lace weight 875 yards each (pictured below), one yarn bowl (pictured below), one Fair t-shirt and one Fair bag/purse from a previous year (pictured below).
Notice that the bowl has this ridge cut out of it – this is so you can place your ball of yarn in the bowl and pull out the strand you are working with through the ridge and the ball won’t roll away. I’ve been eyeing these for a few years and this one was priced right so I bit the bullet. The Rusty Alpaca in the bowl was $12 a skein, 875 yards per skein. SCORE!