Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

The Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival is held the first weekend of May at the Howard County Fairgrounds.  People from all over travel to Maryland for this annual event.  A few days prior to the festival, the grounds are open for attendees to take  classes ranging from spinning to sheep herding. I highly recommend taking advantage of these wonderful resources.

This year we attended the festival on Sunday and we took a different approach than in prior years. Usually, we visit the  vendors which takes up most of the time and then visit the sheep.  While vendor exhibits are wonderful, they are also very overwhelming.

When we first arrived, we visited the barns to see  the many varieties of sheep. Then we volunteered in the Skein & Garment  Competition/Exhibit in the Bingo Hall, since we are members of the Weavers Guild of Greater Baltimore.  If you have an opportunity to visit, I highly recommend stopping by the Skein & Garment Competition/Exhibit.  You will see the creative talents of many individuals including:  felt work, woven scarves,blankets, hand dyed skeins, knitted and crocheted socks, sweaters, and much more.

After our two hour volunteer shift, we visited some of the vendors.  Then it was time to attend one of the many free lectures offered during the festival.  We attended a lecture titled: Wool in Its Forty Manifestations with Jackie Bland. Fortunately, this lecture was held in the air conditioned dinning hall.  Jackie is extremely knowledgeable about fleece, sheep and their care.  If you are interested, Jackie has a Fleece Study available for purchase.

Of course the festival would not be complete without some photos of our fiber bearing friends…..

Resting heep

Resting Sheep

Cotswold

Cotswold Sheep

Sheep

Sheep

Scottish Blackface Sheep

Scottish Blackface Sheep

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