Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


Oh, that Morbier cheese you brought? I found another Morbier today, at the Publix near me, of all places, so I decided to give it a try. Only a superficial similarity, and it wasn't cheap. Much more yellow, not as buttery white and delicate. That cheese shop is worth the drive. You've created a monster; I now want to find a comparable cheese in the Orlando area. :-)

Murphy sends his regards - he thinks the stuff I found is the Best Cheese Ever! Good thing he wasn't with us.

By Blogger Catherine, at 6:43 PM  

Lawre LOVES her marmalade cardi and wears it everyday. She did a few modifications to it b/c she wanted it a bit longer and it's now perfect on her. I can't wait to se yours. Sad I didn't go to MS&W this year but after the Spring we've had I came home from school on Friday and didn't leave the house until I went to school on Monday...I needed that! Have a good week, Jane

By Blogger jane, at 6:34 AM  

I'm so happy you had such a wonderful time with your friends. It's such a special and wonderful time when you can get together with people you hardly ever see but feel so close to. The sweater kit you bought is gorgeous!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:45 PM  

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Monday, May 04, 2009  

Maryland Sheep and Wool 2009

Vintage verbosity a la Queen

I was of two minds this year if I wanted to go to MS&W. I'd hit the mother lode of good buys on yarn at Stitches East last November and am now supplied with enough yarn to knit at my normal pace on into the next millennium. But when K said she was looking forward to going again – and then C said she was coming all the way from Florida – well. Well. There you have it. Who'd miss an opportunity to get together with two grrlfriends in a roomy hotel suite not 10 minutes from the biggest collection of yarn, fiber, spinning wheels, looms, knitting books, cute fleecy animals and junk food around?

The weather forecast was dreadful but I own rubber boots and the hotel had a hot shower. Truth is, a cool cloudy festival is often much more fun than a hot sunny one. And the rain held off till Sunday anyway, so we had a splendid time without having to wear lots of protective clothing. It was drizzly on Friday, though, when K and I headed off, first to find a good map of Maryland – my Delorme's is 15+ years old. The trip up was easy, we only hit slow traffic when we were almost there and could pull off on a side road through suburban MD and we got there about 4:30 or so to find C already spread out with the wine bottle purchased and the good deli section scouted out.

One of the strangest sensations is getting together face2face with a friend you mostly communicate with on-line. For all the intimacies we've shared, all the stories we've told each other, all the support we've offered – we hardly have any familiarity with such subtle things as the sound of our voices, the facial movements or hand gestures that punctuate our in-person communication. Both C and I felt it and laughed about it and of course, once you acknowledge the weirdness it begins to go away.

Although it was a little early, we decided to go for dinner and dined at Carrabba's. We got there Just In Time, since of course, we weren't thinking about it being a Friday night in May and just how many people were going to want to kick back in a TGIF way. We got the last table before the line formed and were served tasty food expeditiously. Too much, of course, because the servings really are generous and we had spicy calamari, particularly well cooked. No desert, though, since I'd been through Culpepper the day before and had picked up magnificent cheese and Belgian chocolates. Those, with a bottle of nice Cabernet Sauvignon made the perfect desert, to be eaten in the sitting room of our suite while we chatted.

Saturday dawned cloudy and even a little damp, but not raining. We had been checking all sorts of weather sources, but truth is – nothing was going to keep us from the fair and evidently plenty of other folk felt the same way. It was a short hop to the fairgrounds and the traffic was only slightly congested – nothing like what we saw last year. But we'd left earlier this time, and were coming in on 40, not 32.

The parking lot was filling up, though and there was a steady stream of fair goers. We bypassed the main entrance to slip in the far entrance, where you can hit the main building first. After all, I wanted to stop in and give J&Co., at Spirit Trail Fiberworks, a hug. In such a melee of happy shoppers and fibery people it's hard to remember to get all the photos you will wish you had once you get home. That booth was crowded as always so we didn't try to shoulder our way inside to shop. We knew there would be more room on Sunday morning. Instead, we ambled on down the long crowded aisles. Not too crowded – for there were not as many people at the fair as in years past. I didn't hear a report nor did i try to find out. I just noticed that nobody was running over my toes with a stroller or pushing me out of the aisle with her bulky packages. Lots of shoppers, mind you, but not a mad crush of them. I did ask J on Sunday if she was happy with the turnout and she was, and certainly nobody had that desperate look of someone who hadn't made her booth fee back.

And we certainly did plenty to help their economy. My own mission was simple. To not buy more of what I already have. After last year's excesses at Stitches, economical as they were, I really didn't want to glut myself yet again. There really was only one thing on my list: the Shelridge Farm Marmalade Cardigan.

I've lusted over this sweater for several years. Each time I've been to an event where they have a booth I've stroked and drooled and sighed and stared at it and longed for it and when I thought seriously, in the calm and honesty of my own home, without the impetus of shopping frenzy, it was the ONLY new fiber thing I really wanted to bring into my life. The price tag made gave me pause, as it has every time I've looked at it – but here my two good friends helped me step over that little barrier and I am so very glad they did. Stitches East is moving to CT and I won't have a chance to buy this next fall. Who knows what I'll be doing next May. Sometimes you need a little push, even when it's towards something you really want.

And am I glad they were there to push me, because once I owned that sweater kit, I was both happy and satisfied the rest of the weekend. I am still happy and satisfied about it and with the success of my KipFee sweater to remind me that I really do finish big complicated projects, I'm confident I'll have this bit of sunshine in my wardrobe – in my life – when the dreary days of winter roll around next year.

We wandered through the whole main building, looking, pondering, thinking, fondling, before I even thought about taking pictures. I hardy have a booth photo out of the 100 shots I took. It seemed there was less yarn this year, though there was plenty of it, and more fiber, which I was determined to not purchase. I asked my companions to smack my hand hard if, once it had stroked a fleece, the fingers began to curl around it as if to make a purchase. Fortunately they never had to resort to force.

We were all completely enchanted with a New Fiber Activity – the hooked rug kits in American Heirloom's booth. We thought. We fondled. We talked. We consulted. We tried our hands at the technique. We longed. We considered. We walked away. We talked about it some more. We came back. But in the end, with huge sweater kits in our arms, with bags of wool to spin and yarn to knit, we decided ....

Next Year.

To be continued .....

posted by Bess | 8:30 AM