New York Sheep and Wool Festival, 2015

The Hudson River in October

The Hudson River in the Fall

October is here and that means it’s time for my annual pilgrimage to the fiber mecca of the Northeast:  Rhinebeck.   Rhinebeck, New York is the venue of the New York Sheep and Wool Festival.  Some people might argue that Maryland Sheep and Wool (MDSW) is a competitor for this title, but I would argue that Rhinebeck is special.

For one thing, it’s hard to get excited about yarn in May when MDSW takes place.  Rhinebeck has a larger and nicer facility with local food and wine and a crispness in the air that only comes when the leaves start changing.  How can you get excited about knitting in May?  But October, that’s another story.

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To top it off there is lots to do there for the non-knitting family members, starting with the sheep, the jumping llamas, book signing, and the food barn.  My DH, or dear husband, loyally accompanies me on these knitting odysseys.  He even does most of the driving so I can knit.

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The Vanderbilt mansion

The Rhinebeck area offers a lots to do for families.  For one thing, there is the FDR house and museum in Hyde Park, the Vanderbilt mansion, and if you can get a reservation, lunch or dinner at the famous CIA.  That’s the other CIA, the Culinary Institute of America.  You can take a river cruise or go antiquing or do the walk across the Hudson, which is one mile each way.

One of the rooms at the Roosevelt home in Hyde Park

One of the rooms at the Roosevelt home in Hyde Park

In addition, there are sheep shearing demonstrations, dogs herding sheep and catching frisbees, cooking demonstrations, and the leaping llamas.  Rhinebeck has lots of good food to taste.   There are a number of options for lamb sandwiches, and for the vegetarians, falafel and fried artichokes, a Rhinebeck delicacy.  What could be more delightful than garlicky artichokes with parmesan cheese?  And, of course, there is apple cider and pies and donuts.

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Rhinebeck is magical.  Yarny goodness abounds everywhere.

The booth of Spirit Trail Fiberworks, a Virginia dyer

As any knitter knows, when the Rhinebeck time of  year approaches you start to get that giddy feeling.  Is it the yarn fumes or the knowledge that you will soon be in the company of thousands of other people like you who thrill in the sights and feel of all that fiber and color?  I am madly trying to finish my “Rhinebeck sweater.”  Everyone wants to show off their knitting finery and ogle everyone else’s.  Rhinebeck is one of the few places where you can say to someone else “can I touch you” or ” can I feel that” and you will be greeted with an enthusiastic and proud “of course.”

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And I have my car project.  I will be starting a cozy scarf out of my newly purchased  yarn from Little Lost Creek Alpaca Farm.  I better knit fast, because I will be tempted to buy more yarn.  This year’s breed is Romney, so I will have to look for some to try out.  Here’s a link to the New York Sheel and Wool website if you want more information http://sheepandwool.com.

I will be doing a series of posts about my trek to Rhinebeck, so stay tuned for more about my annual trip to upstate New York.

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Waiting to get in the gate.

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