Last year was our first time attending the annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and we went a little fleece crazy. We purchased six fleeces which ended up taking us months to wash, and none of them have yet to be fully combed or made into batts. Throughout the year we have managed to pick up an errant fleece here or there: at other festivals in the area (Shenandoah Fiber Festival, the Fall Fiber Festival in Montpelier, etc) and at farm visits. Before we left for Maryland Sheep and Wool this year we had 1 unwashed fleece left, a Cormo that will require a lot of love and attention.
This year we enjoyed our selves fully: Reggie spent most of Saturday at the Auction and walked a way with only one win, a stack of weaving books, and I enjoyed walking around talking with the vendors we already knew and making new contacts. Of course it wouldn't be a Maryland Sheep and wool festival without an obligatory Spanish Peacock and Golding spindle purchase. Luckily we somehow managed to not go overboard on the fleece buying. We ended up purchasing 4 fleeces. Two will be for our personal use, a white Merino and a gray Rambouillet, while two are being washed and dyed for future sales on our website, a Teeswater X and a Leicester Longwool X. I can't wait to get these two fleeces in the dye pot. They are so springy and are cleaning up real easy this year.
Next year my plan is to visit all of the sheep breeders stalls and find me a good reliable local source of Teeswater and Wensleydale locks for my dyepot.