NY Sheep & Wool Festival 2015

On Saturday I went to the Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY. This is the largest woolly/fiber/crafty event in the country. I had no idea it would be so crowded and at times I was overwhelmed by all the cool stuff but it was still really fun. I stayed within my shopping budget and came home with some great yarn.

We got there about an hour before the gates opened and joined the line. The weather was perfect for everyone to proudly wear their handknit sweaters, shawls, and hats. We passed the time by checking out the "fashions."

Inside the vendor barns you could buy anything fiber craft related - yarn, roving, fleece, tools, patterns, jewelry, even a yarn bowl with your favorite Game of Thrones character on it. There were some good deals to be had, but nothing was cheap. Instead, the focus was on high quality items made by small farmers and craftspeople.

The fleece sale really deserved a dedicated blog post, so check back for that in a few days. Different breeds of sheep, goats, camelids (alpaca, llama etc), and rabbits were also showcased in the barns. Many breeds were quite rare, like the little Jacob sheep below.

My friends and I reached the exhaustion point mid-afternoon and there were still 3 or 4 barns of vendors left unseen. We also missed the art contest, some of the demonstrations, and the frisbee dog competition, so I will have to come back again another year.

Here's what I actually bought: 2 skeins of 100% alpaca DK in light grey and charcoal, 1 skein fire colored 80% Angora/ 20% Romney wool in sport weight, 1 skein burgundy 85% Romney/15% Wensleydale fingering weight wool, 1 skein turquoise mohair/merino. Not Pictured: one fabulous fried fish sandwich and an apple crisp a la mode.

It snowed on the way home through the Berkshires and we even had flurries in Boston. I was not mentally prepared for that!