Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

This was the weekend for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I have to admit that I found the birth of Winter's cria, "Maryland," to be a lot more interesting. I looked out over the pasture before 8 a.m. and all was quiet. I went out at 8:30 a.m. to feed grain and throw out some hay and looked halfway up the pasture to see a small spot of color sitting next to Winter. Maryland was cold, so I toweled her off and went to get ready to leave for the festival. By the time I came back out, Maryland was running all over the place. And today, she is running among the sheep and goats.

I always check to be sure that babies are drinking before I head out. Thanksgiving is watching in the background. She has been displaced as the baby and I am not sure that she is happy about it.

Flowers and Orphan are doing very well. Orphan is guzzling 2 bottles for every one that Flowers inhales. I go out with 6 bottles and a group of other kids take turns coming to drink. Their mothers have enough milk now, but they have gotten a taste for the bottle and how quickly the milk comes out. Smart kids!

I am busy looking for a shearer. The one I had planned on did not put me on her book, so I will probably end up using three shearers to get it all done. One won't do alpacas, one won't do goats, etc.

Anyhow, with the help of a neighbor, I have shorn two goats so far. This is Barbara's Daughter and she was way too hot.

And so, on to the festival. I have to admit that I was disappointed. I was expecting to see lots of handspun yarn and unique designs. Well, the main hall was filled with all of the vendors that I saw when I went to the Stitches. There was an awful lot of millspun fiber and hand dyed fiber - that obviously came from Ashland Bay or a similar source. Not very exciting for me as an artist. Don't breeders process any of it themselves any more? I saw a few skeins of handspun and they were seriously over twisted or spun out of coarse wool. Gives wool a bad name. I plan to apply to the show next year. Maybe I will start an art revolution!

My hat is most of the way done. I am knitting the ribbing with my elastic yarn. It is actually going to fit. I do plan to wear it. Looks a little like scrambled brains!

I have been asked to show my "new digs." The carpet is eventually going to go since it is going to soak up lots of the vegetable matter. I did have a sheet down, but it aggravated me too much, so I threw it in the wash and gave up on it. On the right side of the room you can see a door that leads out to a large porch. Great place to sit when the wind is not blowing.

This photo was taken standing at the door mentioned in the photo above. I have not finished unpacking books, so the miscellaneous stuff is going to have to find a room. The closets are already filled with fiber to be carded and spun.

The electricity is being run to the big red barn now, so I will be able to use my carder this week. We are running water lines to the barn and I will put a water heater, mud room sink and my washing machine in the basement. I plan to teach nuno felting there. I had originally planned on putting all of my raw fleeces in the basement on the shelves until I saw the room empty. If I take out the shelves, I will have a lovely large room that will be perfect for classes. We bought lights for the shop today, but they need electricity. It won't be long! I am starting to feel settled in.