I had the most wonderful (and chilly) time at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck this past weekend. It was my first time and I had an inkling of what to expect from photos and blog posts from other knitters’ past visits, but nothing could prepare me for just how busy and overwhelming it would really be! Rows and rows of vendors with beautiful wares, and so many awesome knitters and fiber enthusiasts shopping and chatting and wandering about blissfully.
I was really good and didn’t go too crazy at the booths. I picked up enough wool yarn from Green Mountain Spinnery to make the Forest Cowl by Carrie Hoge. It’s such a lush green color with little flecks of blues, the photo doesn’t do it justice. I also picked up some lovely wooden buttons from Melissa Jane for the flap on the Linden pillow cover that I’m working on. And, finally, I made one non-fiber purchase from Clare Margaret. Her hand cut paper designs were so wonderfully whimsical and so I just had to make a few of her cards mine!
There were also, of course, beautiful animals on show at the festival. Sheep and goats and vicuña to name just a few. I feel like I have a good handle on camelids after all the time we spent in Peru (where there were a couple llamas who lived just a block or two from us and were employed as lawn mowers on the grounds of the local hospital), so it was a real treat to see all the different varieties of sheep in person. I fell in love with the super curly coats of the Lincoln sheep (see top right photo below). Being curly haired myself, I felt a special connection with them.
The demostrations were also fantastic. We watched a herding dog demonstration, and the dogs just blew me away with their precision and control. Bringing the sheep together and around the pen like they do is just extraordinary and they do it with such intense speed. We also watched a man single handedly shear an Icelandic sheep by pinning bit to the ground between his legs and holding onto the horns for a little bit of extra stability (when his hands weren’t busy elsewhere holding a leg up to run the shears along the coat!). I can’t even begin to imagine what strength and practice it takes to take on a task like that. Bravo.
I managed to finish up my Watson cardigan in time for it to be my “Rhinebeck sweater”, weaving in the last of the ends during the car ride there. It was so much chillier than I anticipated though, so unfortunately it was covered up the whole time by my fleece and I didn’t get any photos. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some this weekend to share with you because I’m really happy with how it turned out.
What a treat it was to visit Rhineneck! Next year, I’ll make a better plan by mapping out the vendors I want to see and the authors I want to meet in advance…as well as arriving a few hours earlier to be able to see more!
P.S. I forgot my real camera at home, so I apologize for the mediocre quality of the few shots above that I took with my phone. But, even with the poor photo quality, just look at those fall leaves. So stunningly bright and bold. A lovely backdrop for such a wonderful festival.