October 22, 2007 at 11:34 pm | Posted in knitting, places | 3 Comments
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Ah, Rhinebeck. AKA the New York Sheep and Wool Festival, it’s a fantastic annual weekend event in October, in Rhinebeck, NY. Rhinebeck is in the Hudson Valley region of New York state, and the festival organizers could not have chosen a better time to attract visitors. Although there was a torrential downpour on the drive down, and the combination of the rain and bad traffic in the GTA made for a 9-hour drive, and our motel was a leeeeetle bit sketchy (and cheap, and actually, for two days, not the worst experience in the world), and we had to wake up early in the morning, it was fantastic. The weather was gorgeous — warm weather on Saturday, and blue skies and crisp air on Sunday — and the location is picturesque beyond belief. Unfortunately, the best views were from the car so I didn’t get any pictures, so just picture the quintessential small town autumn, and there you have it. Rhinebeck itself must get a lot of tourist traffic from NYC, because pilates studios and day spas don’t necessarily scream small town to me (unless we’re talking about Stars Hollow), but it’s pretty freakin’ adorable.

The squashes at the Rhinebeck farmers market are huge:

I got fresh, homemade mozzarella at the market and petted TWO puppies (!).

So, the festival. It’s amazing. I don’t even know how to describe it. There are tons of vendors, obviously, but it’s so much more than that. For starters, it’s not JUST about making money. I mean, yes, the vendors are the reason most people are there, but it’s also a celebration of the craft and the art of fiber work. There’s livestock, and sheep-shearing, and sheepdog trials. There’s a sheep-to-shawl competition. There’s an alpaca parade:

There are workshops and meetups and book signings. There are angora rabbits (angora) and angora goats (mohair), sheep of all different breeds, and alpacas and llamas. There were Corgi puppies:

The leaves are beautiful:
(and so are the girls — me, Lorien, and Stephanie. Stephanie took the midnight bus from DC to meet us there…that’s how good it is.)

I was pretty good this year — I only bought 5 skeins of yarn — and Stephanie was even better, but Lorien went nuts. She was a virgin Rhinebecker, though, so it’s to be expected. It was such a wonderful weekend, and I am so happy that I got to go two years in a row.


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