The concept of timeshares has always seemed weird to me, like why would you always want to go to the same place on vacation? The world is so big! But maybe I'm starting to understand a little bit, because there is something so comforting about returning to Maryland Sheep and Wool-- waving to the Boy Scouts who direct you to your parking spot, the familiar voice of the announcer coming over the PA system to remind you to drop some money in the proverbial hat, waiting in line for ribbon chips.
But even in that familiar setting, there are always fun new surprises. New outfits and new ornery sheep at the Shepherds Lead pageant.
New skeins and finished objects in the exhibition hall.
There's a felted nudibranch, my favorite mollusk. And that pattern is called Insomnia, if you feel like devoting the rest of your life to making a beaded double knit tiger scarf. And that last one's art yarn spun around Christmas lights. I'm so tempted to do something like this, even if it may be even more of a fire hazard than just regular Christmas lights already are...
Fellow blogger Jenny Jo and I took in lots of competitions, demonstrations, and shows. Sheep shearing, sheep dogs, wood turning, the kids' spinning competition. I know one of my favorite parts of the weekend was listening to this band play "Sugar in the Corn" while this man and some kids were clogging joyfully.
I've said this before, but really and truly, the live music at MDSW is always a highlight for me. This is in stark contrast to Rhinebeck, where the interminable and unavoidable panflutes inspire nothing but murderous rage.
There's never a shortage of animals to love on at MDSW.
And always beautiful wares to ogle (This is Cephalopod.)
I must say, Jenny Jo and I shopped with a vengeance this year, and I am quite confident that we're both thrilled with our purchases.
I'd been patiently waiting for the perfect yarn bowl to come my way. Less for yarn than for holding balls of handspun singles waiting to be plied. My patience was rewarded with this one from Claymonster Pottery which I love more than I could have guessed. Plus it's food safe and I can eat ice cream out of it if I want to.
I also broke my rule of not buying buttons unless I actually had made a thing that needed them, but honestly. Look at this one from Jennie the Potter.
I picked up a Bosworth spindle I had pre-ordered. And it brought a friend. A friend made of moose antler!
The rest? Spinning fiber galore. This will keep me very busy for a while. No fleece this time; maybe Rhinebeck...
That's Into the Whirled, Loop, Hobbledehoy, and Solitude Wool.
Last but not least. What will make a festival like MDSW different every time is the people you get to spend time with. It's always awesome to spend time with a fellow Elegant Yarniversian now that we are so scattered, and although I didn't get pictures, there were some other great people I met up with as well-- in particular Dana and Brittany of the Just One More Row podcast, and Leslie and Laura of The Knit Girllls. I tried to convince anyone who would listen to try spinning on the Golding travel wheel, not that that was hard. That's Jenny Jo à la René Magritte and Cleo, who I was thrilled to meet up with now that we're no longer sort-of neighbors. That wheel: what a remarkable machine. It really has me rethinking what wheel I want to save up for.
I even met up with my in-laws for dinner on Saturday at the fantastic Double T Diner where we all watched my $2 bet on the Kentucky Derby go down the tubes like usual. So now I'm back in Indiana basking in the warm fuzzy afterglow of my two recent yarntastic weekends and trying to figure out what to work on next!