Anna, Karen, Amber, Miranda, Jaime, Courtney and Kate
This past weekend I had the pleasure of spending three nights and four days in Rhinebeck, New York with some of the best ladies around. We were all there for the annual New York Sheep and Wool Festival.
At the festival there were many buildings full of vendors, but what really gets me excited about fiber events like this is seeing all the different breeds of fiber animals and meeting the farmers that raise them. To me fiber festivals are a time to celebrate and honor the creatures and the farmers that work so hard to provide us with the amazing material that we enjoy working with. It's a time to touch and feel shorn fleeces, to ask farmers and 4H students questions about their animals to meet with other fiber folks who share our passion and who want to share their knowledge.
An adorable Lincoln sheep.
At Rhinebeck (what everyone calls the festival) I got to see breeds of sheep that I haven't seen in person before and I got to talk with a CVM/Romeldale sheep breeder who answered some questions I had about my own flock of CVM sheep. I spent a little time at the raw fleece sale section and petting farm yarn from many of the different vendors. I got to meet Kristine Vejar and bought her new book, The Modern Natural Dyer. It was so great to listen to her talk and to see the amazing samples from her book. Clara Parkes was there signing galleys of her new book, Knitlandia, (yes, I had a fan girl moment!) and the wonderful ladies of Pom Pom Quarterly were there too with their new Winter issue.
My only purchases (besides Kristine's book) was a gorgeous cashmere goat pelt from Springtide Farm in Brennen, Maine and some tallow soap and yarn from Sawkill Farm in Red Hook, New York. The farmer from Springtide Farm got a little teary eyed when I walked up to the counter with the pelt that had a tag on it with the name Helena. Helena, the goat, had two daughters and lived a very long life, she was loved and her pelt was the most beautiful of all. The lovely smelling tallow soap and perfect grey yarn from Sawkill Farm are very special. Kallie and her husband Michael own and operate Sawkill Farm and she was so kind to invite all of us ladies out to her farm the following day to meet her animals. This is the kind of magic that happens at fiber events where you have the opportunity to meet the people behind the yarn.
I hope to attend Rhinebeck again next year and look forward to seeing my housemates again soon (I miss you guys!). If you were not able to attend this festival don't worry, there are many events like this across the country! In Washington State we have Fiber Fusion (which happened to be the same weekend as Rhinebeck) that's held at Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe and The Shepards Extravaganza held in Puyallup and more. In Oregon I have attended the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene and the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in Hillsboro. For a list of some of these fun events please visit these two websites.
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