Rhinebeck Recap from a First Time Attendee

This past weekend I attended the NY Sheep and Wool Festival, aka Rhinebeck for the first time ever! I have been hearing about Rhinebeck for past few years, from various people in past and current knitting groups, and from podcasters that I follow. Previously it had not really been an option for me, what with the extra cost of renting a hotel room because it would not be feasible day-trip for me from the suburbs of Philly. NYC Vogue Knitting Live was a much more attainable option in the past. But I finally did it! I saved up for over a year to be sure I had a decent chunk of cash for shopping, food and a hotel room.

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My friend Sam (in the pink pussy-hat) and I .

Let me do a real quick TL;DR for those who don’t feel like reading a novel:

Awesome stuff:

  • I found the following awesome people while they were wandering the grounds and got selfies and sometimes hugs:
  • Sheep!
  • So much pretty pretty yarn
  • Got to hang out with the owner of Dragonfly Fibers for a bit while my friend was volunteering/working the check out line for them.
  • Hot apple cider
  • Road trip & mini camping excursion

Stuff that was not awesome:

  • MASSIVE strollers for tiny children.  (I’m not against the children being there, just the crazy huge strollers.)
  • Cold truffle french fries

Scroll to the end for photos of me with awesome podcast/blog people.

And now the uncut version:

First, holy crap, Rhinebeck attendees book their rooms crazy far in advance. I waited until maybe July to look around at hotel rooms, and I am so lucky to have found an AirBNB within 15 min drive of the Duchess County Fairgrounds. Could only get it for Saturday night, but I managed to arrange travel with a friend who had gotten a camp site for Friday night and needed a place to stay on Saturday. So it all worked out! We road tripped up in her boyfriend’s awesome 1987 Volkswagen camper, camped out Friday and only had a 20 min drive to the Fair on Saturday.

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This 1987 Volkswagen camper van and I are the same age.

Saturday was overwhelming for me. The fairgrounds were bigger than I was expecting, and there were A LOT of people. That in itself wasn’t a terrible problem, I’ve been to crowded conventions before. Not just knitters & crocheters were attending, there were a bunch of families there, and a bunch of non-fiber people who were just looking for a fun weekend activity. It was very cute seeing little kids running around in handknits. But I must admit, I got very annoyed a few times at the HUMONGOUS strollers that some people had for their children, taking up massive amounts of space in the vendor areas. It’s crowded enough without your gigantic Cadillac of a stroller, thank you very much.

There are 2 separate vendor areas on the fairgrounds: There is a large building of interconnected rooms, A-E, where mostly more well known yarn vendors such as Miss Babs and Bishou Basin could be found, and where the author/designer meet and greet was set up. Then there are the barns, large, white, numbered barns that look exactly the same on the outside. I got turned around so many times coming out of a barn and trying to figure out where to go and where I had been before. These barns are where I spent the majority of Saturday. I found Pawley Studios set up behind the Falafel truck, picked up a new mug, and just continued up the hill to the barns. The barns did not really have outer walls, they were wrapped in very heavy-duty, opaque plastic, which created an odd backlighting glare effect on the inside. This is part of what gave me a very serious migraine on Saturday. The other contributing factor was a sudden heavy rainstorm that blew through in the early afternoon, which I felt coming. I was super giddy when we arrived, then after a couple barns I began to feel very anxious, very upset for no particular reason, and it escalated to the point that I found myself sitting in the grass between 2 barns, fishing for my medication, and then holding my head for a few minutes. Can only imagine what that looked like to passers by.

Sunday was by far much better for me. I felt better and could concentrate and filter better what was all happening around me. Made my way to the big buildings A-E  on Sunday, then backtracked through the barns again to see if I had missed anything good during my migraine haze the day before. I also took time to go see some sheep. It’s crazy how many breeds there are. Scroll to the end for more sheepy photo goodness. I saw the line for the infamous Apple Cider Donuts. Alas, the gluten…

If there was a podcaster meet-up, I completely missed it. I missed a couple event things that I wanted to see on Saturday when my head was all befuddled. I would have liked to do the crochet competition.

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This handsome ram and his ladies were hanging out on the grass near the entrance. I have no idea what breed they are.

On to the haul! I picked up a lot of great stuff:

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The Haul

So much yummy stuff here. Take a look. Guys, I bought a drop spindle! A very nice Schacht. I saw so many beautiful spindles, but many of them were out of my price range. This Schacht will do quite nicely for me to learn on. And I got 2 little bags of fiber, a 2.5 oz bag of lovely chocolately brown and 1 oz of blueish green, both are from a Corriedale/Finn/Rambouillet mix sheep from Spinners Hill . Now, I know very little about spinning and fiber right now, but this feels very nice and it’s pretty, so there you go. You can see the sticker that Kristy Glass gave me on my waterbottle there. A souvenier project bag. A pretty DPN needle roll by CrippenWorks . A tin of Honey Almond hand balm by Utopia Bath Ltd. Lots of yarn.

Some of the yarn vendors are ones that I end up hitting every fiber convention I go to: Dragonfly Fibers and Tess Designer Yarns. For good reason. Their yarns are great quality, and OMG the colors. Tess has some of the most lovely, subtly faded tonal colors you will find, and Dragonfly Fibers is like a rainbow explosion of color. I love them both.

 

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Not pictured: the sweater’s worth of Dragonfly Djinni for an Ixchel sweater.

 

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This photo does not do the color justice. it’s SO pretty. Gonna be some kind of beautiful cabled sweater after it marinates in the stash for a bit.

Now for new-to-me yarn goodies. I finally found a perfect blue sock yarn, Aussi Sock, to make Dez some Tardis socks! A skein of Lisa Souza Polworth/Silk in my favorite shade of red. 2 skeins of Black Wolf Ranch Rustic Alpaca. A very sparkly skein of Blue Moon fibers Super Sparkle fingering yarn. 2 mini skeins of brown and yellow sock yarn from Flying Goat Farm . Some tiny sample skein from Miss Babs . A sweater’s worth of a lovely, highly tonal DK from Romney Ridge Yarns. And last but not least, the lovely skein that was gifted to me by Amy Florence of Stranded Dyeworks. I’m not usually a pink person, but this yarn is very pretty. It’s going to stay on my desk for a while so I can admire it and pet it. The colorway name is Inappropriate Crush. It’s kind of perfect, since I do have a bit of a fangirl crush on Amy and the rest of the fiber podcasters that I follow. What? I’m not weird, you are!

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Thanks again, Amy!

 

Time for more photos:

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The lovely Kristen from Voolenvine
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The oh so bubbly and fun Kristy Glass
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The Yarn Harlot Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, right before she dropped the F bomb about facing the wrong way. ❤
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The super sweet Amy Florence of Stranded Dyeworks

And now, SHEEP!

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All in all, a great first time at Rhinebeck ❤

I don’t think I’ll be able to make it to 2019, but it’s never too early to plan for Rhinebeck 2020.