Veni, vedi, vici, emi or MDSW part 1

The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival was on Saturday. And I most definitely came, saw, conquered, and purchased.

The weather really couldn’t have been better. The forecast was originally calling for a cooler day so I was prepared with multiple layers. For most of the day just the t-shirt was perfect although the newly finished shawl was a perfect layer as needed. Plus two random people complimented me on the shawl!

As has become our tradition J and I headed straight for the fleece barn. We had both done quite a bit of research about the breeds or types of fleece that we were looking for. But in the end I’m not sure that either of us accomplished that feat. Things seemed more pricy this year. We’re not sure if we were there a bit later than last year. Or I’m also thinking it may be a case of as more and more people are buying fleeces the farmers are able to price higher.

My first find was this little 2lb Border Leicester. Being a coarser (medium) fleece the breed wasn’t on my wish list, I like soft things. But the price was super low and the fleece was small. Plus it really did look quite nice, the white should be good for dying. And it’s a breed that I’ll now be more educated about for the future!

Next I was determined to find a grey/silver fleece. Here I was struggling with the prices as there were some excellent options that I just wasn’t willing to afford. But there were three very unique Polypay X fleeces that J and I kept coming back to. I decided to take a chance and go for it. The colors are excellent and the fleece looks great albeit not the softest. I also really appreciated that the farmer included some of the breeds that have been included in the cross: Dorset and Lincoln. 

And lastly I still wanted more white fleece to use for dying. And I wanted it to be soft. I settled on this Merino. It seemed and uninspiring choice since Merino wool is everywhere. But I’ve never processed merino from raw so it will still be a new experience. My fleece is quite dirty but the crimp is so tiny and amazing. It should be fun.

After carting my 10+ pounds of fleece (along with J and her 10+) back to the car (which was rather inconveniently up near the top back corner of the parking lot hill) it was time for a well earned break and a picnic lunch! A few of us purchased a few different types of sheep and goat cheese and we had brought our own fruit and crackers. It was of course delicious.

This has gotten long so more tomorrow (or maybe the next day).

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