I keep hearing the phrase, “When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.” With the upcoming Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival I find myself intermittently knocking at the closed door (and jiggling the handle) as well as heading over to check out the view at the many windows that are opening for Wae and I. I think I’m finally at a point where I acknowledge, for us this year, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival “door” is closed. It’s time to look toward the light, locate the open windows and rejoice in the clean air and opportunity afforded by this new “view”.
As MDSW approaches this year and customers are brewing with excitement, I hear the question every day, “are you getting ready for Sheep and Wool this year?”
It really touches a sore spot. I know you don’t know it does, so that’s ok.
We didn’t get in. We really thought we would, but we didn’t.
We’ve known for awhile but we haven’t spread the news outside of our local circle.
I’ve been upset: We bought this business last year. That’s sort of a big expense. Part of that final amount included the idea that the Sheep and Wool booth (and income) would transfer along with the rest of the tangible items. I shouldn’t have been so naive. I made the assumption that the booth would transfer to us the way it had over the past 4 owners. The prior owner never had to reapply as a new vendor. We had it in the bag right? Shame on me. It wasn’t going to be so easy or straightforward. I didn’t do my research and I am responsible for my own disappointment. I took for granted that Cloverhill’s reputation for offering awesome indie dyed yarns was enough to secure our spot in the festival. I took for granted that Cloverhill’s long-held double booth at the festival was amazing enough to impress the group that would decide our involvement in the festival. Shame on me. After we bought the business and looked forward to applying for Sheep and Wool 2014 it came to my attention that the previous owner would be applying as well and we would both have to apply as new vendors. How about them apples?
I’ve been sad: After getting the news that Cloverhill would not be attending Sheep and Wool this year, we had a few people to notify. It’s easy to think that by rejecting Cloverhill Yarn Shop only two people are affected. Not true. Last year Cloverhill brought more than 10 indie dyers’ products to the show all under one umbrella. Just about half of the vendors at the Cloverhill Booth have businesses within 50 miles of the shop. Most within 100 miles. One vendor (not counting us) is practically in our back yard! There’s this feeling that we’re letting people down. We don’t like that.
I’ve been annoyed: There’s SO MUCH GOSSIP in this close-knit community. Pun intended. There is so much speculation as to the “real” reasons Cloverhill can’t be at the show. Who knows what’s true and what’s not? Definitely not me. I can’t help but to listen, but not knowing what’s true or not is seriously frustrating.
I AM hopeful: We can reapply, reapply reapply.
I AM happy: In an effort to replace the lost income from MDSW, we’ve found some great events to attend year-round. Did you see us at the Alpaca Festival in November? Wae and I had a great time meeting new customers and talking about dyeing and showing off all the pretty yarns. Karida was awesome enough to let us showcase her Neighborhood Fiber Co. yarn at our booth last year. We also brought Alpaca yarns from Sugar Magnolia Farm and Roving and Batts made by Liz of Hobbledehoy Fiber.
If you missed us at The Alpaca Festival last year, please be stayed tuned for the fall (and comfortably smaller) fiber fair held at Howard County Fairgrounds.
Homespun Yarn Party – As a dyer for Tempting Ewe Yarns let me tell you how happy it made me to have a booth dedicated solely to our hand-dyed yarn and rovings!
Homespun Yarn Party is a great place to see many local dyers and fiber artists right in your back yard! I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to attend and for Cloverhill to participate as a sponsor of the event.
I AM thankful: I saved this one for the end for a reason. It’s the most important!
You ladies and gents are AMAZING! A moment of truth here before I tell you why you are so amazing. They all said this fiber community is catty. They said the women are mean. I’d really like to know who “they” are because in MY fiber family, there is so much giving and supportiveness and sharing going on I don’t think there’s room for “catty and mean.”
From day one, I have seen complete strangers (who I now know better) offer up the whole of their Saturday to move the shop next door. Ladies stopped in that first weekend when we were setting up shop, to help count and sort inventory. That is neither mean, nor catty. That’s just plain awesome!
I’d like to say thank you to all the lovely ladies and gents who make my job so enjoyable it pretty much brings me to tears from happiness of a regular basis.
You made the move easier
You make my Thursdays funnier
You make my spinning Fridays more relaxing (when I let myself)
You make my Sunday more like a family get-together. Many of you remind me of my sisters, my mother, my aunt and my grandma. I love it!
You bring cookies and cakes and treats and pickles and cheese and lotion and even stickers for Charlotte.
You donated almost 200 pounds of food this winter to the Maryland food bank. You continue to donate yarn for schools, churches, women’s groups and others in need. This community is full of givers! It’s truly amazing to find as many fantastic people under one roof and quite often several at one time!
Thank you for making my day, daily.