The Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival claims to be the largest wool festival and is always held the first full weekend in May. This year was the 36th year. The parking and admission are free. There are more than 250 vendors and 1,000 sheep. The festival offers classes, workshops, demonstrations, musical entertainment, sheep dog trials, lots of food choices (both healthy and not so much!), the sheep shows, sheep to shawl auction, etc. etc.
It has something for everyone - young and old.
Very educational - the event is a great place for introducing people to new fiber arts or various breeds of sheep.
I really enjoyed the barn featuring different breeds of sheep. (Pictured above - Scottish Blackface Sheep) I walked through and viewed the different breeds and talked with the owners. Many of the stalls had set up informational displays telling about the breed and included samples of the fleece, roving, and yarn. Some of the booths also had items for sale.
I didn't get the breed of this sheep (pictured here on the left). He was something! Look at those bedroom eyes! He ate up all the attention he was receiving from festival- goers. His name was Marquis, I think. A more appropriate name would have been Romeo or Casanova. He was SO sweet! I rubbed his nose and head and he just leaned into my hand. To the right, is a picture of him getting a little love from Issy and Linda.
Sunday, I visited the building that housed the Skein & Garment and the Fine Art & Photography entries with Mary. There were beautiful examples of knitting - from shawls to sweaters to mittens. There seemed to be more felted items than I had seen before -- several extraordinary ones.
The shawls were displayed nicely - folded with tissue paper in between the layers so you could see the lace detail.
This felted stone tower with Rapunzel letting her hair down was unbelievable! I wanted to touch the tower so badly to feel how thick it was but there was no touching allowed. There was a felted vine with pink and yellow flowers. And, look at that Rapunzel -- pearls and cleavage!
Then, there was this Native American felted bust.
Phenomenal detail in all of these felted items.
To the right is a basket full of natural hand-dyed yarns and a little sheep in the middle busily knitting. Included in the basket is a detailed info on the dying of the yarns and a plan on how to use them in a sweater. Wonderful presentation.
There were several felted wall-hangings but this one was outstanding. I don't quite understand the fourth place ribbon because I thought this piece was really fantastic! Just the planning that went into the design alone blows me away! The background was wet felted and the the detail was needle-felted.
Next post, I'll show you the artwork that caught my eye.
Until then, this post has come to an end!