Thursday, October 25, 2018

Adventures with sheep and wool, 2018 edition...


I have returned from another year of adventures at the NY Sheep & Wool Festival in the beautiful Hudson Valley, and as ever, I had an inspiring time! I love being surrounded by a community of kind, creative people, with our fiber stimuli right at our fingertips. ;-) And being in Rhinebeck, NY in mid-October, is's an inspiration unto itself:


The infamous Rhinebeck tree, which I photograph every year
This year, just like last year, it was VERY CROWDED on Saturday. I do struggle with claustrophobia when in enclosed spaces squeezed with lots of other people, so I did lots of removing of self from various outbuildings when the need struck. :0 Shopping is difficult with so many people wedged into the buildings and tents, but we made do. Yarn hunting brings out that survival instinct in us. ;-)

This year, I actually stumbled onto the animal parade! Can you handle the cuteness?!

Don't they look *so soft*?

They are also super regal :-) 
I just love the random "baaaaa!!!" that you hear throughout the fairgrounds as one makes their way from building to building. ;-) I peeked into the animal barns several times to admire cute noses moving to and fro as their owner munched on hay. And look at THIS CUTE GUY!

My new best friend 😍
The angora rabbits were AMAZING. I have literally never touched anything so soft in my life. They loved to be petted and held, and to munch on their food, pink noses twitching in the breeze. I LOVE THEM.

Rhinebeck provides project inspiration for me for the rest of the year, so I always make sure to photograph finished items that I love when I see them set up in a booth, as inevitably they have a tag indicating their pattern and yarn source. I photographed these 2 early on Saturday:

"Hogwarts Express" by Susan Ashcroft

"Silverleaf" by Lisa Hannes
It goes without saying that I purchased yarn in an owly colorway to make the Hogwarts shawlette. ;-)
In fact, here is that yarn, along with an autumnal variegated in sport weight that I simply could NOT pass over:

The colorway is called "Cider." I mean, for REAL.

By end of the day Saturday, I had accumulated quite a few other goodies as well:

A kit to make a beaded cowl is on the left. Alpaca socks for the kids, and fleece-lined glittens for myself are in the center. On the right are 2 hanks of a medium orange fingering weight yarn to make a leaf lace poncho, and a bottle of bourbon for Mike. πŸ˜‚Yes, there is a predominance of orange and brown in my choices. I am a true autumn girl. Speaking of orange:
My Rhinebeck hat!
I made the hat, along with the top I'm wearing. One of the best parts of Rhinebeck is the parade of handknits that is on display. Every single person (man, woman and child) is wearing handknit items. Sweaters and shawls dominate, but mittens and hats abound, scarves and cowls peek in there too, and you may even glimpse a handknit dress or skirt. It is one of the funnest aspects of this fiber festival, and I love joining in! It's wonderful to plan your annual Rhinebeck outerwear back in the spring. :)

This year, I was determined to partake of a few Rhinebeck traditions I had not tried yet, such as the falafel booth:

It was spectacular
...and the apple cider donuts. I waited 35 minutes to procure 4 apple cider donuts for my family and I, and I got off easy. Apparently, the line was an hour or longer at other parts of the weekend!

Most of all, I just enjoyed being a part of all of these wonderful moments:

Life is short, yes? And though we may not enjoy every moment, we can savor the really precious ones. And it was that in droves. Wonderful memories of shopping yarn, walking amongst the fall leaves, people-watching for the handknits, eating dinner with friends, and taking in the gorgeous Hudson Valley scenery on the drive over. Life really is beautiful.

How was your weekend, friends? I'd love to hear all about it!


  1. It looks like you had a great time. I think it would be fun to attend Rhinebeck sometime but that would involve taking a plane so it will not happen anytime soon. I'll be interested to see your Hogwarts Express. I've admired the pattern since I saw one posted at Hogwarts at Ravelry. My weekend was busy because I had relatives from out of town visiting.

    1. that would be so fabulous, Melanie, to meet you in irl at Rhinebeck! But I totally get it. Trips involving a plane are pretty involved! Yes, I'm very excited to cast on for the shawl. :)


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