Amber and I just returned from our third pilgrimage to the mecca of wool: NY Sheep and Wool Festival or "Rhinebeck" as it is affectionately known in the community. NY Sheep and Wool festival is held over two days at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck in the Hudson Valley of New York. It is a lovely time to visit there: the leaves are brilliant colors and the apples are abundant!
The greatest part of attending Rhinebeck is the people. This festival attracts knitters from all over the world! We were able to meet so many new friends and reconnect with old ones. We shared a house with our friends Karen Templer of Fringe Supply Co., Kate and Courtney of Kelbourne Woolens, Meg Strong of Haus of Yarn in Nashville, and Jen Beeman of Grainline Studio. All sorts of shop owners, designers, authors, and yarn producers go to Rhinebeck. Diana Walla, the Ravelry crew, Laura Nelkin, Ysolda Teague, Thea Colman, Amy Christoffers, the Spincycle ladies, Clara Parkes, Sonya Philip, Bristol Ivy, the Pom Pom crew, Miriam Felton, the women behind Magpie Fibers and YOTH...just so so many people of this industry that we love were there! Also in attendance: all the knitters of the world who never stopped inspiring us by wearing and showing off their handknits - it is so amazing!
Fen sighting: Alisa McRonald, Amber and Cal Patch
Amber and I were excited to meet some fans during a book signing for our recent book with Pom Pom, Wool Journey Shetland. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and said hi!
The next best thing to getting to spend time with the community IRL is the sheep! There are tons of farmers who bring their sheep, goats, and alpaca to the festival. My favorite part is a parade of breeds where you get to meet and see a ton of different fiber sheep breeds and learn about them. There are even sheepdog demonstrations. I was super excited that we got to meet Tammy White's (of Wing and a Prayer Farm) super sweet Cormo sheep.
Another highlight was going to Jill Draper's studio sale. Since Jill Draper dyes and produces her yarn in a studio in nearby, Kingston, she opens her studio every year during Rhinebeck for folks to shop her lovely US yarns. Even though we carry many of Jill's yarns, Amber couldn't resist a few skeins. She got enthusiastic help choosing color options of Mohonk for a future colorwork project.
This year, Jill invited Rachel Atkinson of Daughter of a Shepherd to sell her small batch, breed specific UK yarns. I couldn't resist a sweater's worth of dark charcoal, un-dyed, fingering-weight Hebridean/Zwartbles blend yarn.
Sometimes Rhinebeck can be a bit overwhelming - there are so many amazing things to see and people to meet! If this happens, we like to just sit on the hill in the fairgrounds, eat apple cider donuts, and knit.
Thanks, Rhinebeck and the knitting community for another awesome year. We can't wait to do it again!