My kids and I ventured to a great festival this past weekend, we now live just 20 minutes away from one of the largest wool festivals in the country! You can check it out here – Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Two years ago I had the opportunity to go to the Rhinebeck Festival – a.k.a. the New York State Sheep and Wool festival –all by myself. I thought that it was going to be like heaven, just me parting with my money all by myself on massive amounts of gorgeous yarn. I enjoyed the freedom and spent the cash, but I missed my peoples!
This year I didn’t have any choice but to bring the kids, my husband J was on business travel. I’ll be honest I wasn’t sure if the three of us could make it through the fairgrounds without some drama.
Jump ahead to:
This year I decided to use my day job to help build my blog. Last week I ordered a new polo shirt and had my Stitch Clinic logo digitized for use with my embroidery machine. Voila, instant branding. The kids were very excited to help pass out my business cards, but when it came to it, the little one decided she was too shy. My son started handing out business cards but that stopped quickly, he just didn’t know how to introduce himself and the blog. It was a nice surprise that he was so interested, I didn’t expect it at all. The rest of the time I just chatted with my favorite vendors and some new ones I didn’t recognize. The level of love for the goods decided if I chatted with the owners.
Here is how the shirt turned out, very nice if I do say so myself. I may be a little biased but if you recall I’m also a perfectionist so nothing leaves my studio less than fabulous. Props to the day job, Dogwood Hill Embroidery for the quick branding.
The weather was cloudy and in the mid 60’s. No bright sun to enjoy and really take in all the amazing colors but it was so pleasant for walking up and down aisle upon aisle. We went early so we could get a good parking spot and the best selection. I find that by the time Sunday afternoon rolls around at a two day festival, you don’t get much choice. It was nice to go on a Saturday, usually we end up going on Sundays due to conflicts with soccer.
Apologies are in order, with all the business card passing around, good food to eat and kids to commandeer, I didn’t take many photos at all! On our way out the gate to our car I realized the problem. We had stayed until the last possible minute, there were birthday parties to go to… Oh well. I didn’t think to take note of our parking section because I was way too focused on YARN and getting in early so we didn’t find our car for several minutes. After that, I decided it was okay to forget to take lots of photos, I’m only human after all.
My kids were so well behaved and interested in promoting my blog, I was amazed. They seemed proud of me, and I was so proud of them helping me out the whole time. We had so much fun.
Expect there to be A LOT of people at a fiber festival, no matter the weather.
Here are the only photos I took:
This is the ONLY yarn I bought. There are photos because I took them when we got home! There were many more skeins that wanted me to adopt them, but I resisted.
To find Folktale Fibers check out Etsy here. They had this bright colorway and a darker ‘rainbowy’ color way. This one SPOKE to me, the other was pretty but fairly quiet. This company is very close to where we live now. It’s nice to support local small businesses. Even if they are just side hustles, it helps someone follow their dreams. Or passions. Whatever you want to call it.
Why do I go to festivals?
I get to know the vendors. I made a sweater for my daughter about 2 years ago and ran out of yarn just as I was doing the edging. I bought something I thought would work, but it just didn’t coordinate well enough. So out of desperation I contacted Dalis Davidson, owner of Dancing Leaf Farm, the company I bought the yarn from at a previous festival. We worked together and she dyed another skein for me to match to the sweater! You cannot get service like that from large, industrial yarn dying set-ups.
I also get to see what others are buying, I also get to see what others are making and wearing, I also get to eat the good festival food and I also get to choose goodies from so many vendors I begin to think myeyesaregoingto popoutofmyheadfromallthecolors!
I come home with SO MANY MORE IDEAS than I had before. The inspiration is amazing. Here is something I wrote about festivals to help you get in the mood and make the effort the next time there is one close by…
Do you have a favorite festival? Please let me know, leave a comment!