Maryland Alpaca and Fleece Festival 2022

One of our favorite fiber festivals! It’s still going on until 4 and tomorrow 9-4 at the Howard County Fairgrounds if you are local. It’s free! I think it was quite a bit bigger this year, it’s still fairly compact but they opened up at least one new space and had 17 new vendors.

Last year we ended up with a few odds and ends but this year we both had some projects in mind and went to shop!

Matt really wants to try felting so we picked up a cute felting sample set of roving from Bauer Family Farm featuring a bunch of basic colors. He wants to try some projects from the Woolbuddies book I bought him and this will help! I also got some roving to spin from them in an unexpected for me pumpkin colorway and something more in my usual color palate.

We bought some larger bags of roving and felting needle holders from Alford Family Farms and Spinnery.

I really need to get on my spinning and get good! I’m glad I bought a bunch of fiber the last couple months though because it will be months before it’s fiber festival season again. I don’t love buying that sort of thing online.

I bought a skein to use as weft on a scarf I’ve had warped on my Wolf Pup for months. I really had a hard time matching a yarn to the color I have as warp. I thought it would go well with some yarn I already had but it didn’t. My goal is to really use my floor looms this winter and get really good at warping then so I can go to MAFA and take a class without slowing people down.

I bought a skein of hot pink splotchy yarn from 7th Floor Yarn to go with with some hot pink I bought earlier in the year. Both times they were on clearance; am I the only hot pink lover?

The Chesapeake Fibershed was there with fun examples of natural dying with various mordants. It was great to see how the different they were in person and not just a book. I’ve been following them online (I think they are pretty new?) so it was neat to see them have a presence at the festival.

We just really like the alpaca festival! Everyone is nice, there seems to be more colorful yarn/fiber for sale (more our speed) and is big enough to get what you want without being overwhelming.

A few sellers had darning eggs of various sizes. I’m sensing a moment!

After we drove 10 minutes to pick up some kimbap for lunch. How I missed them! Since it’s cold, it was perfect to bring back and eat at home. All in all a very pandemic friendly outing and we were back by 1pm eating and watching Bake Off.

Fall Frederick FiberFest!

Today was a perfect fall day and we drove the hour or so up to Frederick to go to the FiberFest. It’s totally free, there’s a raffle, plenty of parking, food trucks and real bathrooms. What more could you want?

We went in the spring and I think we had better luck today!

One of the reasons I thought it would be fun to spin is because there isn’t a ton of things for weavers at these festivals but they are fun. There is always a lot of fiber for spinners though! We live in a area with a lot of farms and producers.

I’ve been busy with my black walnut project and haven’t spun much but I’d like to have some fiber ready to go once I can move off of my practicing. It’s so much more fun to see and touch it in person and as a bonus there is no shipping costs.

This time I bought 8 oz of alpaca from an alpaca named Raven from Artemis Grange.

I was tempted by some rabbit fur but passed.

I did get some fiber from Polymorph Dyeworks. I talked to the owner and she said last festival they didn’t sell any but it was selling fast today. It really was. I saw what I wanted early and came back for it about 15 minutes later and most of it was gone.

I think the vendor with the best idea was Northwood and Pine which had vegan fibers (cotton, bamboo etc) that you could chose from and they made a batt for you right there! Super cute idea. I don’t think I will be ready to use it for a bit but I couldn’t resist. I love an interactive moment.

I also got a vintage latch hook kit. It’s a Christmas ornament that bizarrely says “Hello”. I did latch hook as a kid and thought it might be something easy to do on some dark night. Fingers crossed it’s in good shape. The box doesn’t look like it was ever opened.

My only disappointment with the festival the festival doesn’t seem to have a mailing list or actual website, just a Facebook page and that really gets lost in the shuffle. Apparently there was a spinning class today but I didn’t see it until too late. I put it on the calendar in the spring to check the page before the spring event in case they offer it again. They did have a rigid heddle demo and a fiber crafting demo this time which I feel like was new but didn’t require signing up. It’s still a very cute little festival but a spinning class would have taken it to the next level.

We actually went to the downtown area and got sandwiches at Crabapples and ate outside then returned to the festival for the one o’clock drawing. I feel like we have to make the most of these sunny days when we have them! Especially since we aren’t doing many indoor activities and winter is long.

While walking to lunch I “stole” some marigolds and mums that had overgrown into the walkway near some businesses. I think it might be just enough to eco print my walnut scarf!

Then on our way home I noticed someone in the neighborhood had posted they were sharing some flower arrangements in squash for free and we swung by! A mysterious voice from the house told me to take two. How sweet is that?

All in all a very successful day! I’m still hoping to go to the Alpaca festival next month but at least I got some fun things now in case it’s too cold or the event gets canceled.

Maryland Alpaca and Fleece Festival 2021

Fiber festivals are back! We drove the 45 minutes to the Howard County Fairgrounds Saturday and wasn’t disappointed.

We had gone to the festival at least once before but of course, they have all be suspended due to the pandemic. This one required masks in the buildings but not the barns.

Everyone was masked and it was pretty crowded despite the damp weather! Lots of yarn and alpaca goods. I bought a skein of hand dyed yarn and so did Matt. I bought two bags of colorful roving to maybe try with my drop spindle. We also got some knitting nancys (aka spool knitters) to try out. He’s already been practicing on one.

I also bought a 12 inch triangle pin loom. I have a three foot one I bought on Facebook Marketplace but thought it might be nice to practice on a smaller one. Continuous thread weaving does not come naturally to me! I haven’t found a person who does good videos for most pin loom projects to be honest.

We got to see quite a few alpacas, including some in costume for a children’s parade.