Rhinebeck 2015 was Rhinebeck round two and it was everything I remembered and more. We arrived to our hotel late on Friday night and got to the festival early Saturday morning just in time to see a line 100 people long! The madness continued all day long, a dizzying frenzy of people everywhere, lines everywhere, yarn everywhere EVERYWHERE and wind so strong I was happy I had my hat this year for sure. The five in our party ran to tents we wanted to make sure we got to, and then mosied all over the whole place. We made it to every barn, which compared to last year was an amazing accomplishment. We saw sheep, goats, alpaca, and angora rabbits. We met farmers and dyers and authors and donut purveyors. We sipped on cider and ate falafel. It was one of the most perfect days I have had in forever.
A highlight of this wonderful day was getting to go to a talk put on by Kristine Vejar of A Verb for Keeping Warm about natural dyeing and her new natural dye book, The Modern Natural Dyer. She had beautiful samples and answered a ton of questions from the crowd about mushrooms, iron, ph, foraging, and knitting. You could so hear the passion in her voice when she spoke about the process. I bought the book and devoured it on the plane ride home - it is gorgeous and now I am totally inspired.
If you have any doubts about whether Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool is worth it, be assured that it is. This year I came back as a knitter and spinner, and it totally changed my perspective on the whole festival, and I actually only bought one type of yarn, my favorite, O-Wash Fingering. On the other hand, I spent about 30 minutes ogling and feeling all of the raw fleece for sale, I even found an NC Rambouillet that was being judged! It was gorgeous, and I wanted to box them all up and take them home. I had a feeling my sweet Mr. would have a few things to say about that, though. :) In the end I probably brough home half a sheeps' worth of roving. I can't wait to dig in.
And to top it all off, it snowed. In October! At the festival and while we were driving home on Sunday. Beautiful, fluffy snow. Everything was perfect. And Christmas-like, which is the best type of day. There is talk of Maryland Sheep & Wool in our future in the spring, but in my heart my first love will always be Rhinebeck.
Hudson Valley, I'll see you next year!