Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Magic of Rhinebeck

Wow! What a trip I've been on! This was my first ever Rhinebeck (New York Sheep & Wool Fest) experience. I had cobbled together visions of what I thought it would look, how it would feel and how Dancing Leaf Farm would do. I thought it would be more rustic, but it was actually very classy (as classy as a fair grounds can be). The ground were very well landscaped and tended. The organization of the volunteers who run this show was amazing. The feeling I got as I was able to escape from my booth on Sunday for a bit was 'happy-smiley-warm &fuzzy'. The Guatemalan band with the pan flute helped with that calm, glad-to-be-here feeling.I'm a sucker for pan flute.
I got this very candid shot of a woman in front of my booth. I had gone out there just to take shots of the booth and didn't know I had captured her expression until I downloaded the pics. How funny! I have these blowup legs that I handknit legwarmers for and they were quite the attention grabber. Most folks really liked them but one woman seemed offended and thought I should knit her a skirt.   One young guy offered to buy her panties!

This is how the booth looked early on. It was a huge space, 30' x 10' and I filled every inch. Natalie came along to help out. She unloaded, unpacked, set up and when the folks bombarded the booth, she calmly worked my new ipad with the square up credit card taking thingie. She wouldn't even let me do one transaction, she was having such a good time.

The finished space before it was filled with yarnies.

Bins all filled with yarny goodness.

Then the crowds came and that was that. My knee had done so great all week while I was slamming getting ready for this show. Unloading the trailer, it was great, hauling, hauling, hauling, it was a winner. I thought I was good to go, but Saturday morning, a literal 'twist of fate', my knee decided to give out and there was that ice pick in the knee feeling again. I was so bummed as I had to really be on my game that day. But I sucked it up and was on my feet for 12 hours, without a break to pee, take a drink, eat or say 'Holy bejeebers there's a lot of knitters here!" It was so crazy all day. All was good though. Had a great time, met so many nice people, made new friends, hired a few designers, hired a helper for Sunday and had a fun, fun time.

 Sanguine Gryphon is one of the 'darlings' of the festival and their line was out the door, up the hill and about a two-hour wait to seize their yarn. They were just down the aisle from me, so I got some of the fall out business.

I got out a bit on Sunday to see what Rhinebeck S&W was all about. There is plenty of room for sitting and people watching, which is fun when it's 60 degrees and folks are wearing their hand knit sweaters and shawls. In enjoyed a cappacino hile watching the parade of woolies walk by.

I was enthralled by this art piece, which is 'shirrit' (a type of cutting felt and crocheting). This happens to be on a construction cone. It's copyrighted by Lady McCrady.

Some of the knitted pieces were truly amazing. Love this coat.

Saturday & Sunday were lovely autumn days. Except for a bit of rain on Friday during setup and a wee bit of rain on Saturday, it was clear skies. It was a little windy though and I had one mishap during a particular rough patch of wind. About 8 of my crates full of yarn came crashing down close to me (don't know how I didn't get hurt) and the yarn went helter skelter into the dirt. Natalie claims she got hit by a flying foot, but no bruises to prove it. Luckily this happened when there were just a few customers in the booth and they all rallied to help.

Not only was there wool, sheep, and fiber, there was locally grown produce. All types of apples were in abundance.

People knitting everywhere.

Even Miss New York stopped by, doing some yarny shopping.

 Sheep themed pottery was abundant.

This display of sheep locks lightly spun into necklaces caught my eye.

 Of course there were sheep, and plenty of the wooly creatures. This is a Cotswold breed. Looks much better than Picadilly, my Cotswold. She's all muddy while this one is pristine white. I did notice a dingleberry hanging from her dreads on her face though.

 A close up of her gorgeous locks. How I'd love to dye those!

 See no evil!

All sheep do NOT look alike. Border Leicesters are known for their 'Roman' noses.

Sheep vying for 'Best in Show'.

 Plenty of stock gear too. I've lusted after these gates and feeding things for years.

 After the show, there was a steady stream of animals being led to their stock trailers.
I had a great first time at this festival but am glad that my string of away shows is over for awhile. I still have a few shows left this year, but my long travels are over for the time being. I'm taking a little break this weekend and going on a women's bike trip. Have an awesome fall weekend!

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