This morning, Marion and I made our way to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds just north of the town of Rhinebeck, NY. It was clear and cool with a forecast of rain for later in the day.
We knew we were headed in the right direction when we saw this billboard.
We were there early enough that we were able to park close to the entrance gate.
What follows is a photo summary of what we saw in no particular order. Come along with me...
This woman was clipping her angora bunny. He seemed quite undisturbed by the whole process.
These yarns were dyed with Kool-Aid. The naturally acidic dyes make wonderful pastel colours for knitting for children.
This hooded jacket was machine-knit first, then the front panel was felted with various types of fibre.
Marion found some lovely hand-painted yarn that perfectly matched her coat and proceeded to buy 2 hanks of the worsted and a matching hank of boucle.
And this hat perfectly matched her Painter's Fingerless Gloves (Interweave Knits, Fall 2001). She knit the gloves years ago from 1 ply tapestry yarn and was amazed to find a hat that was such a close match both in pattern and colour. The designer was a very nice guy from Hope Spinnery in Hope, Maine.
These kits were very similar to Marion's Painter's Fingerless Gloves and cost $82US!
This Jojoland Swirl shawl was on display with a kit for sale.
as was this Autumn Shawl, an entrelac shawl like the on Marion had completed a couple of weeks ago.
Yes, there are sheep at sheep and wool festivals. As well as llamas, alpacas, goats, border collies, etc.
This fella was really enjoying having his cheek rubbed.
Lunch consisted of lamb chili (what else?) and a peach Fresca.
In one tent, a gentleman was carving pumpkins. He wasn't selling anything, just carving very cool pumpkins. Clockwise from top left: a sunflower, totem head, an owl, a traditional spinning wheel, a sheep, something I didn't really get a good look at and a ram's head.
What is a fall fair without an inflatable jack o' lantern?
You will note that I have my newly knit Moose Loves Roses mittens on. I did bring them for 'show' but it was so chilly that I ended up wearing them all day.
This beautiful double treadle spinning wheel was crafted out of cherry wood.
These folks were learning how to spin using a drop spindle,
and these folks were wet felting.
This booth had amazing lace yarn. These were some of the samples of the cobweb weight tencel. The yarns were beneath and to the right and left of that were kits with the pattern, yarn and matching beads. (drool)
Clara Parkes was signing her newly released book, "The Knitter's Book of Wool". She is the founder of Knitter's Review and also wrote, "The Knitter's Book of Yarn".
Barbara Perry was also there signing her book, "Teach Yourself Visually Hand-Dyeing".
This gal at the Adirondack Yarn Company booth was sporting a very funky 'free style' sweater-coat.
There were about 16 long buildings full of vendors. The displays were very impressive.
Here is a view of the vendors below from the second floor of the only 2 storey building.
The parking lot was packed. Those are the Catskill Mountains in the background. All of these cars arrived and parked after we did this morning.
We got out of there happily loaded down with our booty. We did do one unloading session into the car part-way through the day. It was helpful that we were parked so closely to the entrance gate.
Once back in the car and ready to weave our way out of the parking lot, I was happy to resume knitting as soon as I got my current mitten pattern affixed to the dashboard.
We gave Karen ("spinweaveknit" on Ravelry), a spinner/weaver/knitter we met in the parking lot, a lift back to our motel where she and her husband are staying. She is on sabbatical leave from her university in Brisbane, Australia and happened to be in the area just at the right time to attend the Sheep and Wool Festival. Her husband, Frank, also a university professor, was back at the motel all day enjoying NCAA football and reading two students' undergraduate theses.
We joined them for dinner at the Skytop Restaurant adjacent to the motel.
Here's what I limited myself to...
(clockwise from far left) hank of mill end Socks That Rock superwash merino lightweight sock yarn (The Fold), a Climbing Vine mitten pattern (Hope Spinnery of Hope, ME), beneath the pattern is an 8oz. hank of sport weight 50/50 kid mohair and fine wool (Brooks Farm Yarn of Lancaster, TX. Continuing clockwise, hand-dyed Blue Face Leicester roving (Gale's Art), some pencil roving, 4 little batts of hand-dyed merino top and a 'bump' of hand-dyed Longwool Leicester.
Marion and I are pooped from our adventures today. Attending the New York Sheep and Wool Festival (or any sheep and wool festival for that matter) is certainly something any knitter or spinner should do at least once in their lives. I am so fortunate that is my second time here - and hopefully not the last...
Tomorrow, we're off to the Finger Lakes Region. Stay tuned for our next adventure.