It's time to count days to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.
Here's my major sign of spring:
The Maryland catalog. I love Maryland catalogs. I don't care if they arrive dog-eared from their travels through the postal system, as this one did, because they'll get dog-eared after they're in my hands anyway.
This year's edition . . .
has something new:
I think this is a fundraiser for the festival itself. I'm learning details by the minute: just got an e-mail with more (below). There have been several minor shifts to keep the festival free, including a request for a shipping and handling fee for mailed catalogs in 2012 and the announcement that there will be donation opportunities on the festival grounds. I think the book signing, a first for the event, is another creative way to support the festival and keep it accessible. (Another way to do this is to buy t-shirts, of course.) Note cash and checks; no credit cards.
So that's Sunday.
There's one slight problem:
Signing times are Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. near the information tent, and the Parade of Breeds is at 12:30 p.m. at the show ring.
Be warned. I am not addicted to alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. I am addicted to the Parade of Breeds at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I will be taking my "lunch" break to go see the parade. The show ring, fortunately, is not far from the information tent. I'll take my signing pen with me, but I won't miss that event (which, thanks to the sheep, does not always run precisely on schedule, although the humans get it as close to on-time as they can). I'll be at the signing area near the information tent both before and after the parade, though.
And stepping back a day to Saturday. . . .
I just learned what's happening on Saturday!
For the past several years, Guido Stein has organized a FiberCrawl "after party" for Saturday night. I've attended a couple of times and had a great time (met some new people and new spindles—first time I saw a Trindle—and won a door prize!—a matched set of Lexie Barnes bags). This year, Storey Publishing is collaborating on the party. It will go from 8 to 11 p.m., and will be held at the Sheraton Columbia hotel. There will be, as there have been, food and drinks. I have heard from reliable sources that there will be air conditioning and chairs (I wasn't there last year, but those who were suggest that I should mention this). Bring your knitting, spinning, or other fiber fun. It's that kind of party.
There will also be, or so they tell me, "some giveaways of the book . . . and your presentation." Which means Carol and I will put together about 10 minutes' worth of back story on how we did the book, likely with pictures. That's a work in progress.
Tickets ($10) are required for the after party. Because Storey is sponsoring the event (thanks, Storey!), all proceeds will benefit Star Gazing Farm, described as "a haven for retired farm animals and wayward goats." Check out some of the specific critters who have found a home at the farm, and the philosophy and activities of the place.
Hope to see folks at Maryland! I will likely be a little spaced out. I'm really comfortable in small groups, prefer not to be the center of attention, and immediately forget my own name (along with everyone else's) when I'm in a crowd. Forgive me now and we'll all have a great time.
I love the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, I get a huge kick out of hanging out with other fiber folk, and . . . it'll be the first time I get to see the book in its finished form, too! And we get to give some copies away at the party! (Of course we'll sign them.)
! ! !
Okay, more Parade of Breeds photos to end this post.
Can you tell I like the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival? Especially the Parade of Breeds?
Lots of good things have gotten started at Maryland. Like the Save the Sheep project, and, ultimately, this book we're celebrating. What will be next?