Greetings From Maryland!

Take The Long Way Home

Hiya, folks! We're baaaaack! Now that my camera's uploading to my computer again, I have to backtrack and do some Friday stuff here as well, before getting to the festival.  So, no one knows how to get pictures from a camera phone to the computer? I have some pictures of sheep-shearing and wool-spinning and -weaving that I wanted to share.

Anyway. Friday.

I started getting some of my Bloggy Giveaway goodies in the mail!

100_6545 Free yogurt coupons! Woot! We go through lots of Yoplait around here.

100_6538 Laundry Tree SoapNuts. Wth is a soapnut, anyway? Well, I'd tell you, but you probably don't care to know anyway. I used them for two loads of laundry on Friday, and I loved the way my clothes smelled after they came out of the wash. Seriously, loved. And you can just throw them outside after they're used up (after 3-4 loads!); they're entirely biodegradable, of course. Love that. I have a feeling I may be buying some of these babies in the near future.

Also in the mail was my latest Bzzkit, but I'll be reporting on that in a future post, probably this week's WFMW.

100_6539 And finally, I received my latest shipment of kids' clothes from The Children's Place, using the discount code I was given on Jack's birthday. Or Sophia's, I don't know. The non-twins each received three new shorts sets, and Chloë got a new dress - no more, because the site just would not let me add her clothes to my cart. Irritating!

100_6540 When she came home from school, Chloë insisted on wearing her new dress to modeling class that night. And of course, she demanded a picture be taken in it.

100_6541 It amused (and still does) the hell out of me that Jack followed suit, with the little curtsey-motion and everything. This is one of his new outfits; the others are nearly identical but red and blue. He's wearing a 3T, my boy's in a 3T!!! Doesn't he look so big?! 'Course, the shorts fall down and need to be folded over, but that's just a fact of life when you have skinny kids.

100_6542 Then, Sophia wanted to model her new clothes and do her curtsey, too. So funny. Her other outfits are a nearly identical one in pink and turquoise, with solid color shorts instead of white. I was going to buy Chlo the exact same outfits but t-shirts instead of tanks so she could wear them to school. Still annoyed that I couldn't, since I'm so into matching outfits for the girls lately. Actually, I'd adore having a three-way match, but you rarely find his-n-hers matching outfits in kids. At least, that's been my experience...

100_6548 Sophia's hair has finally grown out enough from the severe chopping I gave it in the fall, to wear piggie tails! She asks for them all the time and looks so cute in them, I think. Here, she is telling me the candle is thirsty and wants some water. I obliged. This amused her.

Okay! Now onto today's visit to Maryland Sheep & Wool! Of course, since I can't share the other pictures with you right now, all you're going to get to see is the yarny goodness with which I came home. And that might bore some of you - sorry!

Here are some highlights of the trip:

  • Rob on the phone with the hotel: "Hi, I'm coming to Sheep & Wool - do you allow sheep?"
  • As soon as we checked in and I found the hotel stationery, I immediately set to work writing a dirty love letter to Rob. I think he may have left it for the maids to read!! :O
  • Free parking and admission to the fair!
  • Tons and tons of varieties of wool and other yarn to be had (and had, I did), many of which came from small, local farms that only sell at this and other festivals. I love this aspect of it and came home with yarn grown in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois, Virginia and Maine. Um, "yarn grown" - yeah, you know what I meant! :p
  • The freaking sheep were hilarious, sticking out their tongues and "maaaa"ing all over the place. I am still imitating them. What silly animals!


  • Hello, homespun yarn is not cheap! I spent all of CARE Package's budget and then some. Can you say, "hurry up, tax rebate check"?
  • Sheep poop. Sandals. Get the picture?
  • All the freaking bellyaching from the kids on the way up. My God! I wanted to shoot myself in the skull. Fortunately, we got smart and moved Chloë back to the third row on the way home; peace and quiet reigned supreme.
  • Rob did a lot of the driving, after I did what I could and got that eye-rolly sleepiness going on. He is just not a great driver. I can't tell you how many times I woke up from the passenger seat, alarmed, saying, "What's wrong? What happened!" Ahhh! Not relaxing.

So, without further ado, my purchases:

100_6551This wool was less than $7 per hank! That's a really great price, considering the yardage. Rob was asking for some thick wool socks, so I bought these mainly for those, and with the leftovers, I'll...make a blanket? I dunno, but there should be plenty. The colors (brown, charcoal, dark red, forest green, dark teal) are pretty accurate. Sorry it's such a dark picture, but using the flash distorts the colors.


Tinkerbell went really nuts over that wool! She just dove in and wizzled all around in it. Funny video of it can be found here.

100_6553Of course I had to buy a couple of cute patterns, for $6 each. That is one ugly baby on the left; s/he looks like Mini-Me from the Austin Powers movies.  At least the sweaters are cute!

100_6554 I bought these frog closures for $2 apiece. I have a couple of patterns that call for frogs, plus I just love the look of them. I find it very hard to take pictures of black items, if anyone has any tips...!

100_6557Wooden buttons! They were almost a buck apiece, so I didn't buy many - and these were the cheap ones! But they're very cute and will look great on a couple of sweaters. Keep them in mind, Steph!

100_6558400 yards of 100% merino wool in fingering weight. Great for socks, or a baby sweater pattern I have already. I bought this yarn specifically for that, at $11 per hank! The colorway is called "Spring Garden" and I think it's great, except there's no green in it!

100_6559 Natural, undyed wool - no price or anything on it, and of course I can't remember the details. It was one of the things I was coming for, since I want to make a white blanket to go with the red sweater set I just finished. I rarely, if ever, use white for anything - yarn, colors in my house, you name it - and just this once I thought the situation called for it. I'll trim the blanket in the red I have left over from the set. Okay?

100_6560 Remember this blue set I made earlier this year? Well, here's the yarn that's specifically made for that (and other) Sockotta pattern. I found it! So I'll want to make that pattern again - I enjoyed it so - in the "right" yarn this time. Look for that in future projects, too!

100_6561This rich, very dark purpley-blue handspun merino was discounted from $35 to $21, and it was calling my name from the sale basket! It's so soft. I don't know what will become of it, but I'm imagining a baby blanket, since I have so many I need to make for the charity.

100_6562 This is a German wool/nylon blend yarn that I bought to practice making socks for Rob with, before I venture on to his thick wool ones. I have only made that one pair of baby ones for the blue set, so I need to build my confidence on "sock weight" yarn before I work up to something thicker. He choose the one on the right for his socks, so the left one will be for CARE Package. I think it goes well with that tan and blue sweater I goofed on (remember, the zig-when-I-should-have-zagged one?), so maybe a blankie to match.

100_6563 Probably my favorite unplanned splurge, I found this $25 ball of 100% silk yarn at the check-out when I was buying the "Spring Garden" sock yarn above. There were many other colorways available, and I liked them all, so I had the vendor pick out the color for me. At first I thought it looked like puke, but now it has very much grown on me. I have no clue what I'm going to make with it yet, but I'm open to suggestions!

100_6564 And finally, this is the purchase that made me flee the campgrounds for home, about seven hours earlier than planned! We had only been at the fair for three hours at this point, and had already had our fill of fair food (three hot pretzels, a cup of cheesy fries, a lamb gyro, cinnamon-and-sugar-roasted almonds, and two ginormous drinks) and yarn vendors, when I came upon the huge "main exhibition hall" at the end of the row of barns where I'd done my previous shopping. I thought I was done yarn-buying for the day, but I told Rob and the kids to wait outside while I quickly peeked at all the vendors to see if anything was on sale that I liked. Well, I found these gorgeous Koigu KPPPM mill-ends for 25-cents a gram! That sounded great, but what I did not realize was I had chosen 283 grams - that works out to $75 including tax! Dude! I paid and then ran out of the barn, telling Rob, "We need to leave. Now. Seriously." I could see me outspending that tax rebate check, and then where would we be? Certainly without money for souvies on our Europe trip. Possibly without money for the water bill!

The kids were a little bummed to be leaving so soon - even after whining about being bored, cold, wanting to go  home, etc. - and I felt a little guilty not even staying for the sheepdog trials I promised them we'd watched, but I was in danger. Danger, y'all! That's it. I promise I am going on a yarn diet. Right now.

But I didn't say anything about patterns, or buttons, or...