mdsw preview

May 7, 2011

i’m still a little weak,
and my knitting mojo is m.i.a.
but this weekend, i’m shedding my invalid shell,
and heading out into the world for real real.

that’s right bitches.
this shut-in is at the maryland sheep and wool festival.i packed light. i’m very proud.

i’m traveling with my fibery pal, andrea,
yarn rep and all around hilarious lady.
we had so much fun together at rhinebeck,
that is only made sense to come to maryland together.

the best part about this particular trip
is the fact that andrea is working the festival.
this meant i got to go in today with the rest of the vendors,
and have a peek around before anyone else.
jealous?

while she was setting up,
i took a stroll around the fairgrounds.
i remember last year was so hot and awful,
i never got a good look at the different sheepsees.
so i made a point, with so few people around,
to take in some of their epic wooly cuteness.

there were sleepy sheeps

horny sheeps

devil sheeps

regal sheeps

ghost sheeps

and a whole lot of naked sheepses.

i also previewed all the vendors booths (jealous?)
here are my notes on some of my faves.

the fold needs no introduction. it is where the epic line begins to get your hands on the highly coveted socks that rock. while i too get hard for the socks that rock, i go to the fold for fiber optic yarns and fiber. there’s just something extra special about fiber optic’s stuff. i am drawn to them, their fiber especially. they have a quality.

miss babs was a mob scene last year, and rightly so. their yarn was wicked awesome. this year, peering into their clean looking booth, i didn’t feel the same pull. i’m sure when i see the hordes shoving each other to get the last skein of a given color, i’ll feel it again. and then cut a bitch for the skein.

seeing harriet of autumn house farm brought a smile to my heart. i remember last year, seeing her swamped, sweat pouring off her forehead, a booth full of hot, cranky customers. that woman held it together with a degree of poise i’ll never have. and i challenge anyone to display and communicate the level of passion that woman has for the fiber arts. she’s on another level that one.
and her setup is kick ass, too

spirit trail fiber works has some of the most beautiful yarn, both in color and base, that i have ever seen. but honestly, their booth is a straight up mess. it’s far to cramped. with no one else there, i don’t think i could have fit in their booth. buy their yarn, but be prepared for some claustrophobia (and to throw some elbows).

oh jennie the potter. i’ve tried for a year now, both at maryland and rhinebeck, to get my hands on one of your yarn bowls. today, i saw a variety sitting there in all their glory. one will be mine tomorrow. or else.

and finally, the sanguine gryphon. a late addition to the festival. you will be my first stop. not only because i must have more bugga!, but because i must flirt with the ginger bear(d) i saw helping you set up. seriously ladies. he’s wicked cute. nice touch.

there is another vendor i want to talk about,
a vendor that i met for the first time,
and i left pleasantly surprised.
i’m not really one for needle cases, mostly because they’re either too soft to hold up/protect my needles, or are just straight up poorly made. however! the cases and bags at the crippen works booth are both unique in look, but unique in the fact that they look like they could hold up to the type of abuse we knitters put our notions through.go there. say hi to katharyn.
buy some needle cases.
tell her i sent you.

it won’t get you a discount or anything.
i just told her i’d blog her.

it was sort of surreal, being back here. i can’t believe it’s been a year already. last year at maryland was my first fiber festival, and even through the extreme heat and otherworldly sunburn, i had an amazing time. coming back a year later and under such different conditions . . . it’s an uncanny feeling. everything is so familiar. i remember where everything is, even when vendors are in a different place. and yet, you can feel the passage of time in the place. it’s like seeing someone you haven’t in a while, and you can’t quite put your finger on what’s changed.

all i know is i’ve met an old friend again.
and i can’t wait to spend two more days with her.

see you tomorrow bitches!
look for the guy in the stolen/borrowed/gifted sunglasses

do you think it’ll be warm enough for shorts?

i hope so!

let’s just get this out of the way: i finished my sweater.
and i hope to never be put in that position ever again.

i knitted almost the entire drive from pittsburgh,
and had to pop pills to dull the pain in my hands and continue.
i could never have done it without the support of my travel buddies
kelli, lisa, and especially andrea who had the needles i needed.

around 11 p.m. friday night
with pits to kitch
and ends to weave in,
i bound off

too tightly and my sweater wouldn’t fit over my head.

i kinda wanted to die.

rather than commit suicide,
i decided to work on finishing.

when midnight rolled around,
my underarms were well closed
and most of my ends were woven in.
but i knew i couldn’t go on.
i’d have to finish in the morning.

as soon as the alarm went off,
before i even remembered my own name,
i found my chibi, and finished weaving in my ends.

i then ripped out my collar
borrowed a bigger needle size
and knitted like the wind.

in the parking lot of the dutchess county fairgrounds,
i bound off for a second time,
and pulled that bitch over my extra-large cabeza!


and walked through the gate properly attired.
(which was good since i didn’t really bring a coat and it was pretty cold)

the rest is a blurred happy memory.
there was yarn. there were sheep.
there were several nips of whiskey from my flask.

here are the highlights:
i met the pocket wheel

and now want one.

i ran into adrienne martini, a new old friend from the blogosphere,

and clara parkes who knew who i was! really, she knew the hotpants from maryland and i told her i was the one who knitted them.

i also ran into beth hansen who i met back at the silk retreat. she was selling the lovely miniSpinner.

i now want one of them as well.

there was this crazy wheel that i do not want.

i saw bobsolda and casey at the ravelry meetup.

it was kinda more creepy than cute.

(also i totally have a crush on jess aka frecklegirl aka mama rav’s brother.
what can i say? i love me a ginger beard.)

the lovely melynda of french press knits spotted me and my sweater, and we finally got to meet in person. i got to feel the baby bump and meet her husband too. she was so beautiful in every sense of the word. i loved how michigany she was, her accent and demeanor. she made me miss home.

of course i was so caught up in the moment that it didn’t occur to me document the moment. *sigh* curse this blond hair!

between nips of whiskey,
andrea and i hung out at the beer garden.

there was this guy who was apparently very into carbs.

i spun on my future wheel.

it was brand new and heavily discounted.
they wanted cash, didn’t take plastic.
shady? i thought so.
and kept walking.

i headed back to the motel to rest and get ready.

on my way out i saw uma fucking thurman get out of her car
with an unidentified homely gay man.

she was smoking what appeared to be a parliament light.

the lady directing traffic asked her, “aren’t you in the movies?”
uma replied, “i used to be!” and kept walking.
then i snapped this shot.

i was too chicken to be a real papparazzo.
but andrea can back me up that this was in fact her.

after dinner, it was time to party ravelry style.
i slipped on the hotpants,
grabbed my tuxedo jacket,
and off we went.

the highlight for me was finally meeting ms. helloyarn herself.

i’ve been stalking. . . er. . . befriending her online ever since i started knitting.
i spotted her earlier at the ravelry meetup,
but was too apple juice* to say hello.
plus i didn’t have my gift for her.

i decided the rav party would be the perfect time.

i stood right next to her at the bonfire but didn’t see her.
she couldn’t see me either but couldn’t miss the hotpants.
those shorts saved my ass!

she gave me jam.
i gave her booze.
it was perfect.

i had an emotion.
i posed with the ladies of the sanguine gryphon

who are both beautiful and fabulous.
(but i really love the rabbit-eared photo bomber in this shot!)

i spotted melynda again, and made up for my earlier absent-mindedness.

and yes, blondes do have more fun.

when i met the smoking sheep puppet

i knew it was time to get the hell outta there.

but before i left,
i swallowed the last of my apple juice,
and asked mary-heather for a photo.

you know how, people online can be totally different in person?
like they seem super sweet and nice online,
but are really a complete bitch?

this is so not the case with mary-heather.
she comes off not only as sweet and nice,
but beautiful and intelligent.

she is all good vibes folks.

here we are

blurry and fabulous!

after freezing to death waiting for the bus,
i headed back to the motel and slept like a christian.

the next day was a bit lower key.
i hung with yvonne and kim,
bought some loot
and just tried to take it all in before i had to head home.

i had a lovely time.

but the absolute best part was the handful of people who came up to me all geeked out telling me they love my blog. that seriously made everything worth it. to those readers i say thank you so so much for making rhinebeck for me!

if you spotted me i’d love to hear it.
and if you took my photo, i’d love to see that too!

oh yeah,
hear’s my loot.

socks from lisa.
sweater from me.
jam from hello yarn.
two skeins of sunna by spirit trail fiberworks.
two skeins of bugga by the sanguine gryphon.

see you next year!

*apple juice is our term for losing all sense of intelligence in the presence of a celebrity of some sort.

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