Sunday, May 09, 2010
Wool & Sheep & Yarn & Color & Fiber & Crowds & Madness!
I survived the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival (about a week ago). My biggest show of the year, it's also the largest of its kind. Over 100,000 people attended in the 93 degree heat. I really do like this festival with its farminess, sheep, crafts and more fiber related items in one place.
This is what greeted me at the festival, a large void to fill. My tent was perfectly placed as the second tent in from the entrance. Whatever I did to get this spot, I want to do that again. It was a primo location with a nice green lawn out front.
I unloaded the trailer of my 75 crates of yarn, over 100 pounds of loose yarn and roving, patterns, mannequins and other stuff.
It took my over 6 hours to get it all set up and fussed with. I didn't want to leave much for the next day as people start streaming in at 7:00 a.m. even though it doesn't officially open until 9:00.
At 6:00 on Friday I took a break to attend the vendor's dinner. It's held in the big sheep showing ring with tables of picnic food laid out, drinks and even a bluegrass band to entertain us.
The crowds descended (that's my tent on the right)
and I was packed from 8:00 until around 4:00 when they started to clear out, probably due to the heat. It was over 90 degrees which does not bode well for selling wool. But the serious buyers (addicts) came early and bought. I had to keep combining yarn into bins and removing the empties.
I had my amazing helpers, Natalie, Suzanne and my son, Garrett working and that wasn't even enough. We ran out of bags, change and receipt books. I thought I came supplied but I'll know better next time. The customers are really nice though and they help each other with finding yarn or saying, "yeah, that color looks good on you." But there are some baddies in the crowds too. I had a few things stolen this time, as did many other vendors. What's up with that?! I hope they break out in itchy hives.
Here is my front 'lawn' where I was able to spill out on to. I had my pay station out there until Garrett and Suzanne were too red (bad me!) and I whisked them in under the tent to be in the shade.
Always an attention getter.
My Slubby Nubby scarves, all lined up ready for a neck. Garrett took some of these photos. Next year he should just spend a couple hours going around the festival taking pix. He has an amazing eye and an amazing camera.
Slubby is my best selling yarn. It has a whimsical character and is really easy to knit. Fast and gratifying.
This lovely customer picked out a 'yarn bouquet' to make an afghan.
The S&W Fest hosts over 1000 sheep. It is common to see folks out walking them, even though some lambs are more reluctant than others.
Grooming stanchions are set up to clip those coats close.
The sheep barn reminds me of a big lodge, woody and wonderful.
This is one of the fair princesses.
and another princess.
Alpacas are just too cute, like cartoon animals.
Food vendors keep up a brisk business, selling out sometimes.
and yarn isn't the only color here. Sprinkle madness!
and after many hours of selling our hearts out, we get to drive home past our own sheep and fields.
Another Sheep & Wool Fest past. Now to take a break (almost) and try to relax.