The Grandaddy of Sheep Shows: The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

marsheepandwoolfestWell, this is exciting. There is a HUGE sheep and wool festival happening this weekend and I am going! My first wool festival!! I know, I go on and on about alpacas, and this is about sheep, but I love sheep as well, and this sounds like it’s going to be quite the show. The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is the largest and longest running wool festival in the US.

This year, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is expecting over 1000 sheep, and tens of thousands of people- possibly as many as 80,000! In the marketplace, 250 venders will be selling everything sheep from finished apparel to yarn to roving to lamb meat.

Fiber enthusiasts will be interested in the numerous fiber arts demonstrations, including spinning, weaving, hand knitting, machine knitting, tatting, bobbin lace, needlepoint, embroidery, applique and felting.  Also, twenty fiber arts classes will be offered- everything from Basic Spinning to Lace Estonian Style to Understanding Japanese Knitting Patterns.  Even the kids can get involved with beginning instruction in knitting, crochet, and spinning in the Family Activities Tents.

There will also be plenty of friendly competition on tap. For artisans: spinning, sheep to shawl, skein and garment contests; and for ranchers: shepherding, sheep shows, and a fleece show.

punoweaversmarfest

Peruvian Indigenous Weavers from Lake Titicaca Region

In addition to all of this, there will also be special demonstration and exhibition of work by Peruvian weavers and knitters from the Lake Titicaca region using naturally dyed alpaca and wool yarns, which looks wonderful.

Best of all -the demos, the fair itself and the parking is all free! Pretty cool. The festival is May 4 and 5, Saturday 9-6 and Sunday 9-5 at Howard County Fairgrounds, 2210 Fairground Road, West Friendship, MD.

I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures and post them next week!

And if you are nowhere near Maryland, there are plenty of other fun fiber happenings this weekend. Check out our Yarn Events Map to see what is going on near you!

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