For years I’d heard from knitters all over the world about Maryland Sheep and Wool (MDSW). But, as a sewist had minimal interest. I’m not much into livestock and I wasn’t a knitter. Yet, once the machine knitting bug hit, I was chomping at the bit to get there. I was feeling nervous about going as I still don’t know that much about yarn properties itself. But, my co-city dwelling friend Jeanne offered to take me.
MDSW (for me) would be totally overwhelming as a new knitter. Having someone who knows the lay of the land and can help you pick out the right yarns is a lifesaver! Plus, Jeanne and I both machine knit and genuinely had a great time together.
First of all, what is MDSW? Well, it’s a gathering of all things lamb and fiber related. There are vendors, livestock, and food.
There’s fleece and roving for spinners and weavers.
There are buttons, pins, shampoos and rinses for knitters. And, there is yarn. Holy hell there is a lot of yarn.
I showed minimal restraint overall and brought home enough yarn to keep me busy all year and then some. When I walked into the main convention hall, I just stopped and tried to figure out how in the world I was going to pick out items I wanted.
Luckily, I came with a list and ideas about colors. That helped immensely.
I also had two great encounters! I met Dana (all the way to the right) from Yards of Happiness. You might remember her from her old blog The Art of the Accessory. I’ve been following her knitting for years and it was a real pleasure to meet her in real life. She’s coming up to Baltimore soon and I’m going to show her my machines!
She also hipped me to Miss Bab’s yarn. Which, I think, was the busiest booth at the convention. The stall was so full of people, it’s possible she was giving away crack with each purchase. I picked up several beautiful seven-skein sets to start my Christmas/ Hanukkah gift scarf knitting early. Let’s just say I’ve paid for someone’s college textbooks with the damage I did at Miss Babs.
I also got to meet the lovely Claire who blogs about her sewing and knitting at Hoopes Park Studios who was helping a friend staff the Verdant Gryphon booth. Of course, I have no photo of us because I was on hour six at the Festival when she spotted me roaming aimlessly in a goat-fueled daze.
MDSW is terrific and I hope to go back year after year. And, um, I hope to knit everything I brought home before I go back.
I’m on my way! Well. Sort of. I at did start to cake my yarns using my awesome new swift (also purchased at MDSW).
I might need a time out.