The New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, or Rhinebeck for short, attracts thousands of people. While the sheep and the wool and the dogs and the fair food can make for a full day — or two, there is a lot more to Rhinebeck. There are many attractions in the area and a number of local stores have additional activities. You can also sign up for one or more of the classes that are offered at the fairgrounds starting during the festival.
We always get to Rhineback a day or two before the festival opens on Saturday. Now that we are living in Pennsylvania and not in the metro DC area, we are three hours closer, so we left on Friday instead of Thursday. The dogs went to their doggie daycare/boarding place on the farm. They were set for a weekend of fun and so were we.
As we had already seen a number of the local attractions, we didn’t have anything particular on our agenda. We decided to go into Saugerties, a small town north of Rhineback, and walk around.
And what better place to start than a local yarn store or LYS. The LYS in Saugerties is called The Perfect Blend. I know, I was about to attend what is probably THE largest single place in the U.S. to buy yarn and I was going to a yarn store. I did browse and help a customer choose a color for a sweater she wanted to knit for her sister, but I did not buy anything. I was saving myself for RHINEBECK.
We were walking down the street and stumbled upon an antique lamp store. By pure coincidence we needed a part to replace a broken piece of an antique lamp of ours. What good luck! During any move things get broken and sometimes, horrors of horrors, even lost. We like antiques and had a few antique lamps We went completely on memory and bought a replacement for the piece that was broken. I think we had a 50-50 shot at getting the right size. We took a chance but the prices were reasonable, and for just under $7.00 we were willing to give it a try. Unfortunately the piece did not fit. Next time we go antiquing we are going to bring the lamp with us.
As we were heading back to our car we came upon this bookstore. As avid readers we often bemoan the loss to the independent bookstore. Heck, you are hard pressed to find a Barnes & Noble these days. For a small place like Saugerties this was one big bookstore. We had to go in and browse the shelves. After yarn fumes, book fumes come in a close second. My husband, not being a knitter, would undoubtedly argue that for him, the books win hands down.
After checking into our hotel we headed for the Rhinebeck Trunk Show. This is the second year this event has taken place. It was so popular last year that this year they got a venue twice the size. Let me tell you, it wasn’t big enough. The event is organized by a group called Indie Untangled. Indie stands for independent. It “connects buyers and sellers of hand-dyed yarn and fiber, handspun yarn, and knitting-related notions and accessories”.
The Trunk Show allows the smaller vendors who don’t have a booth at Rhinebeck to get some exposure and connect directly to buyers. It give buyers a chance to see something they wouldn’t normally get to see up close. It’s a combination that works for everyone.
This is a small part of the line of eager fiberistas waiting to get in for the 5:00 opening. The first hundred entrants received a goodie bag. I got there at 4:45 and there were way more than a hundred people already in line ahead of me.
The event was a lot of fun. Here are some pictures of a few of the vendors.
To top off the evening yours truly won a prize in the raffle. I bought two tickets and put them both in the Bijou Basin bag and I guess that lady luck was with me that night.
I won two skeins of emerald colored yak-silk lace yarn and a pattern. For more information on Indie Untangled, click on this link http://indieuntangled.com. Thanks to everyone for organizing this event. I’ll see you next year.