Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2007

Twenty of us from the Knit at Night Guild were scheduled to leave on Thursday evening to attend the festival on Saturday. Storms were brewing as we were about to board, and we were informed as we left the gate that we wouldn't be taking off until the weather cleared. About 3 hours later, after sitting on the runway with no food and only a small drink of water, we were informed that the crew had maxed out on their time allowed to be on the flight and we would be returning to the gate to deplane! Since there was only one lonely attendant at the gate to give out information, we eventually learned that most of the local hotels were already full of the people who hadn't been sitting on a plane, and that we were now booked on a flight leaving at 6am Friday morning (it is now 9:30pm). Do we try and get home for a couple hours of sleep, or do we camp out in the cavernous cot room next to gate 45?
Camping it is! After a couple of beers and a piece of greasy pizza we were ready to sleep. And if some *@#&! smoker hadn't set off the fire alarms in the entire terminal by trying to smoke in the bathroom, it probably wouldn't have been half bad.

Once we finally made it Baltimore, six of us decided to take in the Oriole vs. Cleveland ballgame at Camden Field. Since the game didn't start until 7pm, we had time for a water taxi ride around the inner harbor (with a side trip to A Good Yarn, and a local pub).

Our last stop on the water taxi took us to The Rusty Scupper for some awesome crabcakes! I bought a recipe book on our travels so my mission is to learn to make this delectable delight. Lucky for us Camden Field is a nice hike away to burn of a couple of calories!

Here we are at the game. Our seats were on the front row of the upper deck right behind home plate (and in the middle of all the college kids). The view was great and the Orioles hit a homer just as we sat down. We didn't stay for the whole game since we were pretty exhausted from no sleep the night before and sightseeing all day. Plus we wanted to be a little fresh for the festival in the morning.

The festival was awesome! We arrived early and immediately lined up for t-shirts, after being warned by many that they would be gone by the end of the day. The wait in line was a good chance to mingle with the locals and get more tips on what to see and do first. The shopping was overwhelming - yarn and fiber everywhere! Since I went with one particular thing in mind, it wasn't too hard to pass up a lot of impulse buys. Since I had already committed to buy Linda Woodward's Country Craftsman spinning wheel when we get back, my major purchase was a Golding Spindle that I had been lusting over for a long time. This is me with master woodworker Thomas Golding. The spindle is truly a work of art and I've already tried it out.

One of our favorite things about the festival were the sheep barns. Who knew that there were so many different kinds of sheep! We got to pet lots of of them (we were more than willing to do our part in "socializing" the little cuties) and I bought a little bit of fiber so I could test drive the new spindle. Is this not the cutest face you've ever seen?

While we were killing time before the Shepherd's Feast, we watched the sheep dog demonstrations. Those dogs are amazing! My dog doesn't do anything but chase rabbits and shake hands. Hmmmm. Maybe I need a trainer?

A great time was had by all! And we can hardly wait to go back again. If you want to see more pictures, check out our guild photo site. We'll all be posting our pictures there to share with everyone.