Maryland 2018 – Days 3 & 4 MSWF

This is the third post for MSWF. Go backwards in the blog if you want to read the others.

I missed the shearing part of the Sheep to Shawl competition on Saturday morning and, by the time I made it to the tent where the competition was being held, one team had just cut their shawl off the loom.

That was Spin City. They had a Scout theme, complete with cookies and merit badges.


I realize that unless you have a large screen you’re not going to be able to read the Merit Badge descriptions. Most have to do with becoming competent in skills of spinning, knitting, shearing, etc. However I particularly liked the one that shows a credit card and is awarded for: “Enabler (silver or gold). The requirements for earning this badge are: Teaching someone to knit, crochet, spin, felt, weave, or dye. You also must have ‘encouraged’ another to buy a braid of roving, skein of yarn, or spindle. Silver: If you have ever persuaded someone to buy a wheel or loom then you have earned the silver enabler award. Gold: To earn the gold enabler award you must have influenced someone’s decision to buy a farm,  fiber mill, or yarn store.” IMG_6873                The Fiber Friends’ sign said that they were “Celebrating the Royal Wedding with a Royal Shawl”.

Definitely a royal purple theme.

The third team was called Friends Thru Fiber and had a butterfly theme.

I was showing sheep Saturday afternoon and didn’t make it back to this area to find out who won the competition.

I mentioned in the last post about the opportunity to spend time with people who I rarely see.

20180505_081101               These are two of the JSBA inspectors that I communicate with via email a lot. Royal on the left, is the person who bought the sheep I brought. 20180505_133820                      Here is a photo of showing Serrano that Royal just sent me.

IMG_6923                 As things were winding down on Sunday afternoon I helped Royal load the sheep for his drive to Pennsylvania. That’s my two with their new friends.IMG_6925          Serrano in the trailer.IMG_6927               As I left the fairgrounds I took a few photos of the gorgeous countryside.IMG_6929                       I love seeing the farms and these old barns.

Back at the hotel…IMG_6933                   …I laid out my winnings.IMG_6977                    Stay tuned for one more day of Maryland adventures!


MJ Adventure Team Goes to MD – Day 4

On Sunday, the second day of MDSW, we got up early because we wanted to be at the show in time to watch the start of the Sheep to Shawl contest.


There was another long line but that was for cash payment. We had tickets and could walk right through on the left.


We were interested in the start of the contest because, unlike all the other contests I’ve seen, this one began with a team member shearing the sheep. This sheep shearer was on a team called Hair Spray…


…and there are the team members anxiously watching.



Five teams competed.


The Blues Sisters was one of them.


The Hairspray team, fully costumed.


I don’t know the name of this one but there seemed to be an indigo theme. Note the helper on the bobbin winder.


While we watched we looked for and found another one of our Ravelry contingency and her famous (at least in our circles) and award-winning Jacob shawl.

I still hadn’t seen the main building or the vendors at the east end of the fairgrounds. Time to shop!


The main vendor hall. It seemed to go on forever.


Dress made from felted fabric pieces.


Sweater with Border Collies.



I ran into Kathleen, Dona, and Chris as they were comparing purchases and considering a trip to the car.


At some point in the day Mary became a volunteer and put her inner sales-lady persona to work…


…and got another t-shirt for her trouble.


At noon there was to be a Parade of Breeds in the sheep ring. First though was the presentation of the Youth Conservationist Program in which “Breeders who are willing to mentor youth donate a yearling ewe and help the recipient establish their own flock”. The recipients are expected to breed the ewe to a ram of the same breed, produce something with the fiber, and exhibit the sheep at least two shows. Some of the recipients have now become donors. The recipient of a Hog Island ewe is above.


Royal Unzicker donated a Jacob ewe.

Barbados Blackbelly

The Parade of Breeds followed with representative sheep of 28 different breeds from Barbados Blackbelly, above to…Wensleydale…Wensleydale.

Following the breed presentation I went back over to the Sheep to Shawl area where there was an auction of the shawls that had been woven that morning.

Then back to the vendor hall one last time.


Getting ideas for my upcoming Artery show.


My one yarn purchase, 3 choices from Jill Draper Makes Stuff.


My friends did a lot of shopping but no one else brought home a sheep. Shenandoah would get on a truck the next morning to be delivered to California.


I moved her to a pen near her traveling companions. (Note random spotting–the guy with the panda ears.)


After a long but very fun weekend it was time to leave the fairgrounds.


Back “home” we laid out all of our purchases and took a group shot.  Two friends were leaving the next morning to various directions, but three of us weren’t done yet. We had such a wonderful 4 days–traveling from CA, sightseeing, being at the festival, spending time together in the evenings–it was almost hard to imagine that we were only half way through our adventure. More to follow!

Black Sheep Gathering 2016

Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon is an event I always look forward to. I don’t go as a vendor so it’s not work. It’s more like a road trip with sheep. Usually friends and Farm Club members (who are friends too) carpool but this year we were all on different schedules and instead we met up once we were in Oregon.


Loaded and ready to go. I took ten sheep, five of which were going to a new home. Fortunately only two were yearlings and the rest were lambs or I wouldn’t have had room. That was Thursday. It was a long day because I just couldn’t seem to stay awake for the drive. I left the house at 6:30 a.m. but stopped at several rest stops to take short naps and finally pulled into the fairgrounds about 4:30.

Black Sheep Gathering opened Friday morning with too many choices. What is a fiber fanatic to do? Watch the wool show? Watch the sheep show? Go to class? Shop?


Several friends participated in the Sheep-to-Shawl competition on Friday in which teams have five hours to prep fiber, spin yarn, and weave a shawl.



They spent many hours prior to the event dyeing and spinning the warp yarn, warping the loom, and sampling…


…to determine how they would use this beautiful fiber to spin the weft yarn.


Weaver, Gynna, wove a beautiful shawl (but I didn’t get a photo when it was finished).

Walking back to the barn to get ready for the Jacob sheep show I saw…Shetland ram

…this Shetland ram displaying his ribbon.


Time to take the sheep to the show ring. IMG_2073

Even though we had spent time working with the sheep they were not always cooperative. That is ram lambs, Marv and Meyer.


A friend who lives in Davis helped me show. That’s the judge inspecting Meyer’s fleece.


Checking Marv’s fleece.


This is Lauren, one of the yearling ewes. I hadn’t planned to sell her but she stayed in Oregon as a trade for another yearling. (That will be another story.)IMG_2159

Meridian Marv (Meridian Rotor x Meridian Marilyn) won Champion Jacob Ram…15031 Honey-BSG

…and yearling, Meridian Honey (Meridian Alex x Meridian Hot Lips), was Champion Jacob Ewe.



It’s fun to win ribbons and trophies, but there were only two of us exhibiting sheep and I was the lucky one this year. In other years they have won the ribbons. The other breeder has beautiful sheep too and I  brought three of them home with me.


This is one of them and she will be introduced formally in another post.