Maryland Sheep & Wool First Timer

I'm hoping this girl greets me at the gate!
I’m hoping this girl greets me at the gate!

Maryland Sheep & Wool fans, I need your help!

I’m teaching at the show before the festival starts, and I hope to see some of you in my classes.

I’m staying an extra day, Saturday, because I have never been to Maryland Sheep & Wool.

Tell me please, what are the things, food, and vendors that I shouldn’t miss? Things that are unique to MDSW. Including great places to eat nearby.

I am excited to teach and excited to prowl the grounds of a new-to-me show, but with almost 300 vendors, it’s a little overwhelming.

Yes, I am customizing a map, with a checklist, and may even make a spreadsheet.


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Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website

9 thoughts on “Maryland Sheep & Wool First Timer

  1. Susan Koester

    Don’t miss Barn 7/8 on that map – the display of breeds. You can meet all different breeds of sheep and talk to their shepherds. Food is, uh, not the reason I go to the show. Vendors – you might want to download the vendor locator, which has some useful categories. They’ll also have it as a handout when you arrive. And if you see a bathroom with no line, use it.

  2. Susan Koester

    One more thing you’ll like: visit the fleece sale, at least to see the award winners at the front, which are up for silent auction. To give you an idea of what all fleeces are in there, here’s the list of what sold for how much last year:

    This year they’re adding a special category for Down breeds. And I need everyone else to buy them because my stash is already full of beautiful fleeces!

  3. Nora

    Where are you staying? That informs recommendations on things outside the festival. Don’t miss the sheep dog demo!

  4. Elizabeth

    Do you have a lightweight folding chair? There aren’t many benches, as compared to Rhinebeck.

    When your feet get tired, go watch the sheep dogs do their thing.

    MD S&W is always my first chance at fair food — lemonade, lamb kebabs, chocolate eclairs. However, the longest line tends to be at the vegetarian booth, with garlicky greens — I’m a carnivore, and I always eat at that booth. Last year, their booth was uphill from the pavilion, but I couldn’t find them on the festival web page.

    There is a Spin in on Saturday evening — contests for skills like longest spun thread while blindfolded, and door prizes, and hanging out with friends — always fun!

  5. Theresa

    Hello beautiful… if you go to the fairgrounds EARLY Saturday, I tailgate!!! … with mimosas!

  6. Caro

    The sheep dog demonstration. I found the outside vendors towards the entrance but off to the left were really interesting. Tess has great color presentation. Someone nearby was spinning straight from the rabbit. As for food, I have never had anything I was willing to eat again, so listen to Elizabeth. And Theresa, who is clearly brilliant.

  7. Cheryl

    The food is always good, but prepare for lines. A bag of Hillbilly Jeffs kettle corn is a must to tide you over while you wait for an amazing lamb kabob.

    Sitting outside the main hall in the grass to watch the sheep shearing demonstration and people watch gives you a reason to sit down.

    On the way out, stop in the Bingo Hall to see all of the skein & garment competition entries. Always an inspiration to see such amazing creativity and skill.

    Looking forward to meeting you in your successive color plying class Thursday morning!

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