What an amazing event the Maryland Sheep and Wool Show is. And we aren’t the only ones who think that judging by the huge crowds that attend.
For us it is a wonderful opportunity to meet up with some of our excellent team of dealers, as well as to meet many who use our products and also to renew contact with friends.
Our lovely friends, Larry and Therese, were kind enough to pick us up from the airport after the long flight from New Zealand and to take us in for the night, including feeding us a beautiful meal at around 11pm! The next day Larry gave us a guided tour of Washington DC including a visit to Mt Vernon which was a great treat. He then dropped us off at our hotel in Columbia where a message was waiting from friends Dave and Christine who wanted to pick us up and take us for an excursion next day.
This was a fascinating day where we visited their friends in Amish country. An invitation to an Amish family property and lunch at a local Amish restaurant gave us a small insight in to the lives of the people.
Lexi Boeger of Pluckyfluff had asked us to attend the show and give her support with her first booth. She intended to give free lessons and thought some assistance would be useful. At the end of the Sunday she estimated she had taught sixty children to spin! And that is not counting the adults who were keen to learn not only to spin, but also to spin art yarns.
Over the two days we were glad to spend some time with our other dealers and see the exciting things they had for sale. It is always lovely to meet up with people who, although we feel we know them, are often a faceless name.
Looking at the yarns and fibres on offer I find it interesting that different countries seem to favour different colours – our trips to India have shown us what bright and vivid colours show to advantage in their climate. The same colours brought back to NZ just look garish. The vibrant colours we like here do not look the same in the soft landscape of England where heathery muted shades look superb.
Following our time in Maryland we flew to California where we travelled briefly to the Northern California Handweavers conference and then visited Yosemite National Park which was astoundingly lovely with apparently the best waterfalls for 50 years! Our thanks to Jenny and Alex for their superb guiding skills, making sure that we saw all the highlights including a bear!
Back in Placerville we lunched with the delightful Lisa and Rod Souza and were so impressed both with her new book and her beautiful studio in a rural area near the town. A tour of their favourite wineries in the region was an extra treat.
Next on our list was a visit to meet with Alden Amos and Stephanie Gaustad. A meeting of minds! Their hospitality was great and we really enjoyed the few hours we spent in their company.
On our last day, Jenny videoed Owen and Lexi for an introductory DVD to the Aura. This was fun, right down to Pixel and Atom giving us a bell to ring for when they could return to the room we were using!
Our lovely friends, Sue and Greg Boeger, were wonderful hosts (again) and for that we thank both them and Lexi who is so enthusiastic and inventive in her ideas for the spinning community.