Teaching at MDSW

My official badge
My official badge

As you read this, I’m am probably driving home from teaching at Maryland Sheep & Wool, after taking a day to recharge with my daughter in Buffalo.

Yes, my car has a stash of Southern Tier beer and Polar nestled among the wool, and I did buy it at Wegmans.

It is rare that a teaching gig that doesn’t just meet all of my excited expectations, but exceeds them. Teaching at Maryland was crazy good!

It was one of those rare experiences where everything and everyone just clicked, students, the volunteers who run the show, the other teachers, and the festival itself.



One of my classes.

My students are so talented, they were so ready to learn new things, and wanting to step out of their comfort zones. That is a powerful combination in a classroom. I had more than one student, who wasn’t in any of my classes, tell me how fun they sounded. One student eavesdropping from across the hall said, “you are clearly passionate about what you teach”. It was a huge compliment.


The committees and volunteers that run Maryland Sheep and Wool go above and beyond to make it a great festival. They treat the teachers like honored guests, they clearly enjoy what they do and who they are working with, they are insanely organized, and they work pretty much around the clock while the festival is on. The joy and excitement that exudes from the festival is coming straight from the committees and volunteers that run it. I hope they get a whole week to rest and recharge.

Just one table at the teachers’ dinner.
Photo courtesy of amazing weaver, Liz Gipson.


I still can’t believe that I get to sit at the same table as Liz Gipson, Maggie Casey, Judith Mackenzie, and Nancy Bush. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity and the time to sit around and talk textiles at the teachers dinner, an event put on by the MDSW committees.






Shepherds Manor Creamery field trip.


One night several of the committee members took the teachers on a tour of a local sheep cheese dairy, Shepherds Manor Creamery.

It even included a cheese tasting. It was a great way to kick off the week.

Even though I’m tired, it’s a giddy type of tired. I certainly understand now what’s behind spinners, teachers, and vendors raving about Maryland Sheep & Wool. I hope I get to go back!


If you want to see what I bought (what budget?), it will be on my blog tomorrow.

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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 jillianmoreno.com