MD Sheep and Wool 2011 Review

Well, I’m glad I went, but I don’t feel the need to go again for a few years at least. Here are the highlights and low lights according to yours truly.

Highlights
The Auction– I think this is the most interesting part of the entire festival.

Here is a photo of the tent before bidding started.   

The auctioneers are characters and pretty entertaining, the people bidding are spending some serious money and I get to wonder what they do for a living. A lot of the items being auctioned are REALLY, REALLY cool and I get such a kick out of watching people bid back and forth on these things. Some of them are worth the money, some of them are a steal, and some of them could be purchased new for less than the bidder pays. Here is a photo of a wheel up for auction (that ended up going for $800!)

A CPW went for $80 and I actually bid on it but then stopped because really, I don’t need or want another one, and reselling it is just another project.

I did score two items at the auction that I am really happy about.

Here is an antique skein winder that I bought for $40. I just need to replace a piece at the very top.

It also has a cool signature on it.

I also won the bid on 36 spin off magazines from the 80’s and 90’s. They are nicely bound in binders and organized. I paid $80 so that means $2.22 per magazine and they have amazing articles and tons of information. $80 is a lot of money, but I think I got a great deal on this.

Can we say Heaven? I have lots of reading to do, and I started it last night when I got home.

Preparation– I packed for this event like I would pack to go on a hiking trip in Europe. I had a cooler with tons of WW friendly items in it, as well as lots of seltzer, and it made a really big difference to have cold water after a hot day. My backpack was too heavy actually so next year I will leave my bottle of saline solution in the car (you can never be too prepared, people) but all in all, I am glad I put some serious effort into preparation.

Lowlights 
The Crowds-
I avoid crowds when at all possible, so when I found myself stuck in a crowd in a hot barn with no one to help me get out, I was not a happy camper. Miss Babs and Sanguine Gryphon were MOBBED. I dont want anything that bad. I like having a comfortable shopping experience and that’s why I like the internet. There were lines longer than Chipotle. When I see something that popular, I actually avoid it. So, I ran. I did say hello to “Tom” at The Mannings who loves the history of spinning wheels, and told him I would see him in July when I go to the conference up there (more info later on that) and I saw Melissa Dunning, a weaver and history person too, but couldn’t get near her to have a conversation. It’s such mayhem that people you want to talk to can’t talk because they are making sales. So, annoying.

Exhibit A

Also, people just stop in the aisles so then no one can move. And it was hot (see the lights that the vendors put up to light up their booths? Yeah, they produce heat, and a lot of it.)

Parking When I drove down the aisle in the field being guided by boy scouts, I was unaware that there was a huge pot hole like ditch that I of course drove right through and I swear I was airborne. So, maybe some signage would be a good thing. I also couldn’t find my car when I went to get my lunch, which was kind of scary since I was by myself. I finally found it after looking goofy for twenty minutes.

Portopotties Note to self: whenever it says Hand Sanitizer it might be soap, so be sure there is a water source. I had to use a seltzer water to rinse the soap off.

Auction Sound System I am in the event business and renting sound systems, or one amp and one mic, is not pricey. This is the second year in a row the auction mic broke. It’s era  1970 so I think it’s time.

People who use umbrellas at the auction to sheild them from the sun– not fair to people trying to actually see the items and bid. I had to say something, and I was very nice about it, but I literally couldn’t see anything past this umbrella.

And this is not festival related, but my windshield wiper literally broke off on the drive home and my check engine light came on. Nice.

The highlight of the drive home was picking up my romney fleece that has now been processed and is ready for spinning.

This might take a while so I am really happy that I felt no need whatsoever to buy yarn or fiber.

Also, this still takes the cake (literally) for the one festival at which I think “I don’t ever want to be obese.”

More festival pictures here if you are interested…

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4 thoughts on “MD Sheep and Wool 2011 Review

  1. I note that there was a short distance between the phrases “I don’t feel the need to go again for a few years at least” and “so next year I will leave my bottle of saline solution in the car”. But maybe by “next year” you meant “the next year that I attend”….:-)
    Sounds like a fun time, all in all.

  2. Good Grief look at all the people. I see one smile in the background but the three people in front don’t look amused.

  3. It was so crowded. Last year’s weather was unbearably hot and this year was fabulous. I run a bus trip so I’m glad the weather was good — last year’s was my fault ya know. I did not even try to get into the Sanguine Gryphon booth. I couldn’t find it at first but decided it was the one behind the huge crowd. I heard that is took some people 45 minutes to get into the booth and another 35 minutes to check out after shopping. Ummm…nice stuff but I’m not spending my time at the show standing in those lines. Just like at The Fold with the Socks that Rock yarn. Nope. I stood at the auction later in the afternoon and I agree it was interesting. Glad you had a good time. Love the winder you bought.

  4. That Sanguine Gryphon tent is super hot with the lights and tent overhead and carpets. And it wasn’t even crowded when I was there and I was still sweating. Rhinebeck is at the perfect time of year — so festive to be at a fair up north in the fall with the leaves changing and animals around and wooly things and good food. Much more fun. But the auction does sound interesting.

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