Photo: One of the many little wonders at the absolutely fantastic Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. That’s right, I went home this weekend! All to squish yarn and look at sheep and eat some crab cakes and take a break.
I think learning how to knit is one of the better things that has ever happened to me. If only because I get to do fun things like go to Sheep & Wool festivals and hang out with crafty people and squish yarn and know the good stuff from the bad. For the third year in a row, my dear friend Tracy and I have gone on a little crafting getaway. The first year, it was East Hill Farm, the second year, it was Portland, Maine, and now home. It’s always, always, always good to go home.
I have to say that the festival exceeded my expectations. The more I think about it, I don’t know what I was expecting, but I got more than I could have imagined and I didn’t even get to see it all! One of the surprising things about it was how diverse it was. I guess I’ve lived in New England too long… I always expect to be the only Black woman wherever I go… instead, I was one of very, very many. I can’t tell you how good it felt and how validating it was to be among other women like me who were eyeing yarn and considering colors and evaluating patterns… it feels good to have just another little bit of connection to community.
If anyone is curious, it really is a well done festival. There are so many vendors of different types. There are just too many ways to spend money. 🙂 It is, ultimately, an agricultural fair, so there were real sheep and real sheep farmers doing real stuff for real prizes. It was nice seeing families together tending to their prized sheep or doing a sheering competition or otherwise participating in the festival events. I told The Husband that I am curious about 4-H and all that it does. Seems to me that the young people I saw were doing interesting things and certainly know a hell of a lot about sheep and what all they can do. As an enthusiast, I really have to express my gratitude. If not for farmers, I would’t have yarn (and so many other things). So thank you to anyone and everyone who does the good work of making our agricultural life possible. And thank you to the Boy Scouts to were making lamb sausage and burgers that made the whole festival smell amazing while we were there!
I went on a mission to find yarn for our dear friends who are expecting their first child, a girl, in November. I found the most gorgeous color from a designer named Gale who is from Atlanta and is wonderful. She is marketing these beautiful colors in skeins she calls Full Figured Gals, that are 645 yards a skein! Booyah! I bought two for the blanket.
This color is called Goth Girl, which I think is phenomenal. It knits up beautifully with lots of variation and a pleasing change in color and pattern. It’s purple, but not too purple. It’s girl without being girly. I love, love, love it. I have to finish the baby blanket I’m currently knitting before I can get started with this. I can’t wait to get this big ol’ hank on my swift so I can make it into a cake!
We met other delightful vendors and I purchased a little more yarn at the festival, but we were on the lookout for one our of favorite yarn companies, Magpie, which makes its home in Frederick. I love Magpie’s colorways and was so excited to see them. Well, they weren’t at Sheep & Wool. They were doing an open house at their headquarters in Frederick. We had time to spare after we were done seeing everything we wanted to at the festival, so we revved up the rental and drove over. I’m so glad we did. The storefront was beautiful, there was all sorts of yarn (some on sale, which is just a gift), the wonderful women who make the company run were all there, and we got to spend a good bit of time with the owner, Dami. Dami is gracious and kind and absolutely lovely to speak with. We also met Tracy (another Tracy!) and Kayla and just laughed and shared. I really can’t believe what a special and fun time that was. And the yarn, oh my God…
Basically, it’s socks for everyone! Major and Minor requested socks from me for Christmas, so the blue will be for Major and the yellow for Minor. The copper will be for The Husband, who loves the socks I made for him last year. I got a pretty red one for me, too… Mommy deserves socks, too! That’ll be my Christmas present to myself. 🙂
I got to see my Mama and stayed with my wonderful uncles, so it was really the full home experience. It rained all day yesterday, so Tracy and I sat on the screened-in porch with my uncles and knit and talked all day. I hardly knew where my phone was for most of the weekend and only sent two total emails. It was the break I desperately needed and I used it to the fullest. I won’t have another one again until the end of the summer. I keep thanking The Husband for giving me the time to stop and rest for a minute. I really, really needed the breather.
It was excruciating to get on the plane back here. If I could have flown back here, picked up my three boys, and immediately hopped a plane back to Maryland, I would have. If I could pluck a winning lottery ticket out of thin air or somehow win the lottery and have the money it would take to leave, I would do anything not to have to leave Maryland again. I always leave a big huge chunk of myself behind. I always wilt just a little more when I get back here. But at least I had this weekend, and summer will be soon enough, and I’m a stronger person because of the time I’ve spent here. And yes, I do so love the friends I’ve made here. It’s getting harder and harder to go there and come back again.
But I did come back again. That’s what being an adult is all about. I came back and jumped right back in, picking up where I left off. This month is going to be intense. I think I can already tell that Wednesdays are going to be tough for blogging this month. I don’t want to give up on them yet… we’ll see how it goes. Stick with me, Dear Reader. There are going to be plenty of stories to tell if I have the bandwidth for it.
I got two encouraging rejections this weekend: the first just before I left for Maryland, the second just before I got on the plane back to Boston. *sigh* The chase continues.
It’s the start of a week, Dear Reader. I’m rested and I’m here for it. How are you feeling? Did you rest like I asked you to? We need you this week at your fullest capacity. Let’s do great things this week. I’m excited to share what happens with you.
Until Wednesday, take care.