Posted by: jinniver | May 4, 2010

Maryland Sheep and Wool 2010, part 1

I’d like to do this again. Who’s free next weekend?

Ok, ok–I’ll have to wait until 2011.  And frankly, that’s a good thing…because while I am nearly recovered, my wallet isn’t, quite.  But we’ll get to that later.

I’d been looking forward to MDSW ’10 since about March of ’09.  That’s when I learned that the timing of Steve’s Navy assignment and transfer were such that we weren’t not going to be in the area in time for me to attend MDSW ’09 like I thought I would a few months earlier.  I was disappointed, but since that meant Steve wasn’t going to be out of the country for several months without us, that more than made up for not going to a fiber festival.

However, we were in the area in more than enough time for me to attend Rhinebeck last year.  It was my first fiber festival, and I had a really great time.  I met up with a couple friends from Ravelry whom I hadn’t met in real life previously, and the four of us enjoyed the whole weekend.  I also did some pretty awesome shopping.  In fact, one of my friends was getting a little exasperated, because it seemed like I would walk into a random booth and find the perfect skein of yarn…and then the very next random booth I walked into I’d find the perfect buttons to match that perfect skein.  In one case, I’d found the perfect buttons, but there were only 2 of them on the card when I wanted 3.  I decided to buy them anyway, and while I was standing in line, I happened to look down at a bowl of random buttons on the table in front of the register…and right on top I found a 3rd matching button.  I had a bit of a Midas touch.

So, with that as my baseline, I wasn’t sure if there was a chance that MDSW could live up to my Rhinebeck experience, especially since I was going solo.

As often happens in my life, I was wrong.

I had an absolute blast.  Having been warned how crazy crowded it could get, and remembering the traffic at Rhinebeck, I set off 2 hours before the gates were supposed to open…which gave me a 30 minute cushion, since I live about 90 minutes away.  I heard a lot of horror stories from people who came a couple hours later, but I didn’t hit traffic until I actually turned on the road right before the Howard County Fairgrounds.  Traffic control and parking was very nicely done, unlike Rhinebeck where we sort of figured out where to park on our own.  As I hiked to the gate I was surprised not to see a line…and then realized it was because the gates were already open and people were streaming in (also unlike Rhinebeck, admission to MDSW is free).

I knew exactly where I wanted to go. Sharon from Three Irish Girls had let us know that the Cloverhill Yarn Shop would be carrying some of her new spring colorways. I’d gotten even more motivation shortly after parking: I saw that Sharon had tweeted about a new blog post, and when I clicked over to it quickly, I found a preview of the goodies that had been set to MDSW. Page down to the rainbow bundles. I think you’ll understand why I walked in the front gate, stopped at the info booth for a vendor directory so I could check a map, and then headed off as fast I could walk to the Main Exhibition Hall.

My urgency was increased by sights like these:

mdsw 850am

This picture was taken at 8:50 am. Clearly, even though the festival had not officially begun, shopping was happening. I needed to move.

The Cloverhill Yarn Shop booth was right inside the door on the right. It was pretty obvious to me when I was there; others may not have seen the rays of light shining down from above or heard the angels singing in chorus, but I did. And they led me right into temptation:

mdsw temptation

The bundles were in the baskets on the right of the entrance to the booth, and the crowd already gathered ’round told me I needed to stop there first. I quickly found 2 bundles on her Roslea Organic base, a 100% organic merino wool. These will become cardigans (or maybe shrugs) for my daughter and niece:

3IG Roslea Organic Rainbow Bright (2)

I love the Roslea base. It’s incredibly soft and squishy, and it’s not one of the bases that Sharon carries on a regular basis, so if there was some there, I needed to take advantage of that opportunity.

There was.

I did.

3IG Roslea Organic Curagao

3IG Roslea Organic Mimosa

The top color is Curagao, the bottom is Mimosa. I’ve fallen into a bad habit of buying lots of blue for Lexie and lots of green for Jeffrey to match their beautiful eyes:

032510 (3)

Jeffrey's 5th birthday (12)

So I was trying to branch out. I was more successful with Lexie–the orange is for her. The blue for Jeffrey wasn’t much of a reach, but it was the color I thought he’d like the most that was available on that base.

But in addition to the Roslea, there was a lot of beautiful Wexford Merino Silk. Now, Wexford is a standard base…but these weren’t standard colors. Many of them were limited edition colorways, and one of them was one I’d loved since I’d first seen it: Georgia Peach.

3IG Wexford Georgia Peach

When the colorways were first released, I’d bought some Georgia Peach on a different base for Lexie, but when I saw it I had to admit I was jealous. And then someone posted pictures of hers on Wexford…and I was really jealous.

It wasn’t until I had it all in my arms that I realized just how Three Irish Girls happy I’d gone.

mdsw temptation 2

But that’s ok.

3IG MDSW haul 2010 (2)
Top Row (l to r): Georgia Peach on Wexford, Curagao on Roslea Organic
Bottom Row (l to r): Rainbow Bright sampler set on Roslea Organic, Mimosa on Roslea Organic



  1. Jealous (1,000,000). Looks like you had a wonderful shopping experience!! 🙂

  2. You mean I could have met you there? *blinks* It was hotter than heck, but a blast. 🙂

    • Oh, shoot–I didn’t know you were there! Maybe we can meet up next year!


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