Suffice it to say that an unanticipated (but unavoidable) work all-nighter is not the best preparation for an early flight or a weekend stint as Booth Babe at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I don’t recommend it to anyone. But getting out of Dodge on an early-morning flight before your employer can
request demand that you change your plans is highly recommended, no matter the toll on shut-eye. So it was that I landed at BWI Friday, a bit bleary-eyed, but delighted to be reunited with some of my favorite fiber friends far away from my real-life responsibilities.
This time, I had an entirely different view of a mega-festival. The
work days begin early. There is only so much set-up you can do ahead of time owing to the unfortunate reality of security and theft. Which means that each day you must hang samples and displays all over again. They matter tremendously in selling yarn and as one who knits them, I can attest that they cost more to replace than stolen skeins. (See that red cardigan in the middle? That’s the new Skipperdee Cardi designed for STF Verdande. The pattern was released Friday and sold out fast.) The show opens, and the traffic does not stop for nine
hours in a building where temperatures reach well over 80 degrees and shoppers are crammed inside your tiny booth like so many anchovies in a can.
The upside of all this was the opportunity to meet many members of the Spirit Trail Fiberworks group on ravelry in person, as well as some of you. I so enjoy talking about how each of the yarns performs and answering questions for other knitters. Plus we had a brand-new yarn to debut: Brigantia, made of 85% Polwarth and 15% silk. And I was able to visit, however
briefly, with some fabulous folks, like Daniella from Signature Needle Arts, whose company provides some of the most responsive customer service on the planet. (Not to mention the Lamborghini of needles that help me do what I do at the speed I like to do it!)
The downside: having to do it all two days in a row. Even with rubber padding on the floor, feet and back were not especially amused. And unlike my pleasure-only forays to Rhinebeck, I never really got a sense of the
whole festival. A break here and a break there allowed me to see some usual suspects and other unusual sights. But I lacked perspective as to the size and scope of MDSW.
Yes, there were giggles galore and belly-laughs, too – that’s to be expected when you put seven or eight unique women who all genuinely like each other into a group with a mission to accomplish. That’s what made it all worthwhile: the chance to spend time together in May ~ the halfway point before the next Knitter’s Review Retreat.
And did I mention that I brought home some yarn?
* Prize winners coming soon. Stay tuned.