Tuesday, May 7, 2013

MDSW 2013 part 2

Guess what! There are harps in this post!

folk music at Sheep 2 Shawl

I know, I mention "harp" in my blog tagline, and when I started out this blog, I had intentions of including occasional links to my own home recordings.  Well, for a couple reasons, that hasn't happened. I don't even talk about harps most of the time, and I apologize.  So I made sure to get photos of harps at Maryland Sheep and Wool for ya, as if that makes anything better.  Two of the three harps I saw are even the same make as my own Dusty Strings!

Sansone trio

I don't know if it was my preoccupation with sheep taking me to different parts of the fairgrounds that is to blame, but I didn't catch as much music as I would have liked.  A couple other years, the grounds seemed to be almost overrun by musicians; I kinda missed that this year.

Still, I did manage to steal a bit of time Saturday afternoon to work on my shawl at the music pavilion. I  enjoyed watching the people in front of me do a bit of spinning, too.

Sansone trio

Shetland Triangle progress

Spindling with Common Ground

The weather on Saturday was gorgeous.  Cool enough that I was able to wear my vest (and fish) comfortably all day, but warm enough that the breeze on my arms felt very nice.

Welcome to MDSW

We had delicious fries. I didn't even miss ketchup.

Nom nom Fries!!

People always complain about the food at Maryland; this year we decided not to fuss over it, and simply made pb&j sandwiches back at the car. It made for a great chance to drop off all that fiber I bought.

On Sunday we missed most of the goings on because of our class, but I did manage to snap a few pictures of the sheep-to-shawl contest.
sheep to shawl competition

sheep to shawl competition

Here's one of the completed shawls, which -- despite not winning first place -- went for hundreds more dollars than the others at the post-contest auction.

Sheep to Shawl, finished

And now, speaking of handmade shawls, here's the shawl I finished just yesterday!

Handspun Shetland Triangle

This is a big deal for me, since I've been wanting to knit a shawl using my own handspun for a couple years. In fact, it was five years ago that my first trip to MDSW introduced me to handspinning! Some of my first yarns were in a blue-green colorway, too.

Handspun Shetland Triangle

Handspun Shetland Triangle 

blogged about it in more detail over on girlsinsheepclothing.  I'm already planning to do another similar project, in order to blend the colors better at the transitions; I can think of about two or three simple ways to improve them. The process of making this shawl has been so much more thrilling than merely knitting it would have been.  The knitting took less than a week, actually. But the spinning feels like the culmination of all I've learned so far, and represents the learning I continue to acquire.

Handspun Shetland Triangle

Sigh.  Lace.


  1. Your shawl turned out beautiful and you have inspired me to spin my own yarn for this project too. We don't have any harps at our farm, but you are always welcome to come visit us and the alpacas. We will be sheering in a few weeks, skirting, washing fleeces, carding and spinning. You are welcome to come hang out with us and knit and play with the alpacas.

    1. I've seen video of him playing, Andee :)

      it's lovely, although I think he was slightly embarrased to share it with me but did so despite this fact

  2. Oh my god, your shawl is gorgeous! I'm incredibly envious of your spinning skills. Also, I didn't know your harp was a DS. I have a DS hammered dulcimer!

  3. I didn't realize that there was so much music at MDSW; that seems wonderful. I'm glad the weather was nice for you. Also, your shawl is amazing!

  4. willy this shawl is so gorgeous, i wish i had one just like it. how thrilling to spin your own wool, and then to knit it up to something like this. spinning is a mystery to me. beautiful work.

    (hopefully i can go to the festival someday!)