The Maryland Sheep and Wool Show, which I attended last spring, seemed to feature the same two fiber mega-vendors in almost every booth. There's nothing wrong with their stuff (it's actually very nice), but the same large balls of identical colorways in every direction quickly became monotonous. And MDSW was also jam-packed--I had to pass by many booths because they resembled a Tokyo subway car at rush hour. Never again.
Alas, SAFF's spindle selection was small and unpolished--a big disappointment. We did meet up with The Spanish Peacock, who was perusing the wares with an eye towards having a booth next year. If he shows up, he'll surely be mobbed and sold out within an hour of the opening bell.
I did purchase a dark blue Ann Grout turnip spindle and matching bowl because the set was charming and twirled with a pleasant heft. However, the shaft was a puzzle. Made out of a fragile dowel topped with a useless hook, it was too short to be productive, although the washi-paper shim that held it to the whorl was very pretty. Washi paper not withstanding, I turned the spindle over to The Spanish Peacock, who promised to make a usable (and beautiful) shaft out of Blue Mahoe wood. When it comes home, I will post before and after photos.
and lovely merino roving (the top photo is merino/silk).
And I bought a few miscellaneous fiber thingies that were irresistible. The top photo is merino/angora from Frabjous Fibers. The bottom batt, purchased from a local spinnery, cost me all of $4. It's immense--more than four feet long and two feet wide--and I have forgotten what the wool is (it's very soft, but not merino). I haven't decided what to do with it yet, but it looks tailor-made for those Icelandic shawls that graduate from white to black. Given the size, I can probably knit a dozen of them from the spun yarn.
Harry, of course, spent most of the show terrorizing the animals. While it was amusing to watch herds of llamas and alpacas stampede around the barn, I doubt their owners were pleased. Fortunately, he tired of this activity fairly quickly and settled down inside a cashmere batt. I wonder if the poor lady who purchased it has recovered from the shock yet.