Thursday, May 7, 2015

25 Years at Maryland Sheep & Wool

I find it hard to believe, but this past weekend was my 25th year as a vendor at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. I started this side business with my mother and many friends and family have helped over the years.  My sister Carolyn flew out from Kansas to help all weekend, my husband Peter pitched in with the set up and take down.  Sharon helped to hang yarn,  sister Sally and nephew Chris came Saturday to demonstrate puppets and sell.  On Sunday, Nancy & Kim helped by playing with puppets and Diane helped us pack up.

I owe special thanks to all my helpers and of course great appreciation to all our customers over the years.  I have so enjoyed helping the knitters to choose yarn for their projects, answering knitting questions, and watching families and folks of all ages play with the puppets.  It's been a lot of work and a tremendous amount of fun.

Sweater spotting is one of the best parts of any fiber festival!  These two ladies worked together to design their shawls.  One designed the crocheted flowers and one planned the knitted sections. 

So here is a parting shot of the 25th and final Peace Weavers booth.  I have decided that I am done with selling yarn and I am planning to do more making, teaching, singing (and wool waulking) and also playing with my first grandchild, who is expected in July!

The May meeting of the Waterford Weavers Guild is traditionally our annual Dye Day.  This year featured an indigo pot!

Here you see all the skeins I dyed sitting in a blue plastic bucket.  I dyed a variety of yarns from Henry's Attic - Texas (wool/mohair), Silky Locks (wool/mohair), Licorice Twist (all wool) and a cotton & linen blend sleeveless shirt.  I learned the hard way that mohair does not like this particular indigo bath - the mohair blend yarns are a beautiful color but they feel very rough.  I think the mohair got chemically fried and will never be soft again. 

But the Licorice Twist is lovely and soft, with a subtle striation and the shirt came out beautifully, too.

We bought a used car from a very nice fellow this January and learned that he and his brothers do carpentry on the side.  They refitted the old heavy garage door on my husband's wood shop, and they did such a nice job that we decided to go forward with another project.

They cleaned out the long unused hay loft in our barn and put in a new floor,

and they are building a deck type stair on the outside for better access.

I am going to be able to store all of my fiber stash up there!  The yarns and fabrics will all be in different types of plastic bins and the fleece will mostly be in metal trash cans, but it will be in one location for the first time and be organized and labeled. 

There is going to be quite a bit of destashing as I get everything reorganized!

I will leave you with the Flower of the Week.  This  stunning display is in several trees that grow beside the parking lot at my office, so I get to see it almost every day. 

We have had a lovely, cool and long lasting spring this year.  Some people have been complaining about the cooler temperatures but I love it when the weather is cool enough for spring to take its time and move more slowly from one bloom to the next.  The daffodils have finally faded and the redbud is just finishing up while the lilac comes on, the dogwood continues to bloom and this latest delight - wysteria.