Maryland Sheep and Wool: Reporting Back


Last Sunday, my nephew (a sergeant in the US Army), our best friend, and my partner Scott and I drove out to the Howard County Fairgrounds for the 2010 Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival (yes, it's true - it was fun to drive up and have a car load of guys tumble out at the gate!). We had a blast. This year I went with a shopping list with some very specific things in mind - but even with that, it was a little overwhelming! Had a great time talking with Kevin Hansen of HansenCrafts about his miniSpinner (I want one - and Bill, he remembered you and says Hi back!) and got the wool, silk, and alpaca that I was looking for, and the Wensleydale fleece I wasn't looking for but had to get (LOVE Wensleydale). Here are a few pics from the day.

Jonathan in DC

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Bill's picture

That first creature is magnificent! is it a kind of sheep?
Glad you saw the MiniSpinner...I think Kevin has designed a winner.

asbrigida's picture

I was there too. Had a great time. I fell in love with Alpacas.

I went on Saturday which was a 3 hour drive from NJ. The traffic going in was awful! it was my first time and it was a really interesting experience. I do more weaving than knitting and I was probably the only person at the whole festival who was more focused on looking for cotton yarns than wool...haha. I did leave with a backpack full of new yarns, shuttles and spindles. Also a new yarn swift.

I was also rushing through the whole event because I didn't want to keep my brother waiting too long in the car (the festival honestly "wasn't his sorta thing" lol...but he was nice enough to drive me). I missed the main hall, and a lot of the vendors I wanted to see.

It's also the first time I've seen a sheep up close...they all looked like they were going to die from the heat.

WillyG's picture

What a kind brother! I feel a little better knowing the vendors carrying non-knitting stuff had some business ;) I covered the wool for ya, haha.

I also went on Saturday, and never even got around to seeing the sheep in their pens, although several times I watched them being pulled less-than-willingly down one of the back paths, bleating all the way.

I think the only guy I recognized was Thor at Socks that Rock. Poor fella had been misled into thinking it would be cold during the festival!

MMario's picture

I liked the one with the dreads;

and the horn on the one in the second picture looks like tortoiseshell! BEautiful!!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Is the one in the fourth picture a Wensleydale?

potterdc's picture

You know, I'm not sure. There was very little signage, but the fleece does kind of look like Wensleydale.


Think less, enjoy it more.

I think it's a Wensleydale shearling as it still has its dreadlocks, but the curls are very short. I have 12 generations of my family back to Wensleydale.

bkeith's picture

I was there too, and overwhelming is right. I'd never gone before and didn't really know what to expect. When I saw how big the event was, my brain glazed over. Plus the day was pretty warm, and that made me want to think of things other than wool.

Still, though, with only a couple hours to spend there, I still came away with some nice yarn. I also now know what to expect next year, so I'll go in with projects in mind, an empty car, and a full bank account. ;)

MMario's picture

I can symppathize with the glazing over part. I enjoyed Rhinebeck last fall; but it was just too much overload for me. Which is why I spent very little time inside; especially the second day. I just don't care to fight my way through crowds....even if they do tend to part befoee me...

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

potterdc's picture

Hi Keith,

Yeah, it's overwhelming alright. I have to say though, in the past I've gone on Saturdays and it's packed and I invariably feel pressured to hurry up and shop which adds to the feeling of overwhelm. This year, we left DC at 10 and got there at 11 on a Sunday - and I was surprised at the difference, especially in the main covered shopping area. You could actually move around and breath! Next year I'm going to do the same. I have friends who actually go on Saturday, window shop, then return on Sunday to make purchases.


Think less, enjoy it more.

Think less, enjoy it more.

Tom Hart's picture

I heard the same thing about Stitches West out here in California a few months back: a total zoo and way, way too crowded on Saturday and completely mellow, kind and roomy on Sunday.