Michigan Sheep & Wool Redux:
It's been a week since we went to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I've been thinking about what to post about this year's festival. One thing that says it all: I purchased 3 polymer clay sheep pins. That's it. No fiber, no books, no tools....nothing. Nada.
There were a lot of people there. There were a lot of knitting vendors there. Most of the garments in the exhibit were made with commercial yarn. Or, if they happened to be handspun, they were spun from commercially prepared fibers.
So I was not particularly impressed with this year's festival. In fact I was a bit disappointed. There are so many venues for knitters....conventions, workshops, retreats, camps, competitions, charity knitting.......(need I go on?) And though I am a knitter and have been since childhood, it seems this current generation of knitters are a bit too lemming-like for my taste.
Example: Early in the day, I noticed that if I stopped at a sales booth and looked at something (anything?!) intently, soon a small crowd gathered around me to see what I might be examining and some would even reach in front of me and grab what they thought was the object of interest. After I first noticed this, I tested it and stopped at a few spots just staring at nothing in particular. Each time a small crowd hemmed in and I ducked out and walked away.
There was only one place that this did not happen: The area where the raw fleeces were set up for sale after judging. The traffic in this area was so light that I spent the bulk of my browsing time in there: peeking in bags, fingering just a lock, examining the information on the judging tags, and dreaming about the possibilities inherent in the wool. Oh yes, and fighting off a serious seduction attempt by a 6 lb. bag of fine black/charcoal cormo fleece. It was so tempting, I had to keep chanting 70.3 this post to fend off my desire!
Sheep and wool festivals sprang up for those who raise wool and those who appreciate that raw material and make it into something useful. But it seems they are now turning into one more venue to cater to knitters. I'll parrot my friend Carol (blogless to my knowledge) and say, perhaps they should now call it the Maryland Sheep and Yarn Festival. The middle link seems to be dropping out.
So there are yarn snobs, and fiber snobs, and now it seems I have become a "festival snob".