Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival - Here I Come

This is a preview post about an upcoming event that I'm really excited for -- The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, May 3rd and 4th!!

I went two years ago when we first moved here but it was a little over-whelming because I really didn't know what to expect. I missed it last year because of traveling. So this yeah, I have better grasp as to what to expect and to just have fun! Unfortunately I've already missed out on registering for workshops because apparently these fill up almost as soon as they are announced (duly noted for next year!).

To prep for this event (and for my own knowledge edification) I thought I'd start to learn more about fibers.

One thing that I've done was attend the Woolwinder's Yarn Properties Class, taught by the wonderful Jennifer Raymond (Tinking Turtle Designs). Okay so I was working while the class was going on but wow was this a jam-packed class! 3-hours of intense (but fun) learning of fibers that can be used to create fabrics. Jennifer is a really good instructor, she's funny and man she knows her fibers! This class was unique because she had sample cards for us to touch and feel different fibers and she was able to really explain how a particular fiber would be a good choice for a particular garment (or project) versus another. Very interesting! If you can, check out her next class at Woolwinders (or ask if there will be another one!).

I'm also working through the Craftsy class (a free demo class!) called Know Your Wool by Deborah Bobson. Deborah has a pleasant voice and she has a very organized way in presenting the information.  But it has taken me a while to get through this class. On the upshot, it is a free class! It's my first time viewing a Craftsy class and I think the format is done well. I like that you can correspond with other class attendees and even Deborah herself! What I don't care for is that it is not mobile friendly - so I have to lug my laptop out onto the couch rather than just viewing from my tablet or phone (first-world problems --- huh?). Of course not the same as a live in-person class. But still interesting and a good way to learn about wool if you can't get to Jennifer's class!  

Finally, for the past couple of months I've been reading bits of Clara Parkes's The Knitter's Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using and Enjoying Yarn. This really is the ultimate book to help you learn about yarn! I really learned a lot from this book and I think it helped me understand (and solidify some unknown parts) the the things that were presented in Jennifer's and the Craftsy courses. If you are interested in any way about understanding the ways of mysterious yarns, read this book. It has been helpful in so many ways. Maybe it's because I now work at a yarn shop so I can talk a little more intelligently when someone asks me about a yarn. I typically speed read through books, this is one that I've found so interesting and have been slowing reading and savoring every moment with it. There have been many "Ah-HA" moments where I suddenly realize why a yarn was TERRIBLE for a particular project. Again, an excellent book.

Well as you can see, I'm much more prepared to attend the festival this year! Stay tuned for pictures and updates about my time at the festival! Oh and if you have any recommendations for additional learning resources on fibers and yarn properties, please feel free to share!