Rhinebeck Ruminations!

The New York State Sheep and Wool Festival!

Known to all knitters and spinners as RHINEBECK!

This has been going on now for 35 years! (So, I was 23 when this all started....that's quite a while....and I had never made the trek to this, reputedly the largest sheep and wool festival in the US.

(I've been to Maryland and Taos....but never to Rhinebeck! What is wrong with this picture? I think it was the driving thing....I flew/drove to Maryland and Taos.)

Every year there is a competition for the official logo and 
2015 did not disappoint!
 My first Rhinebeck commemorative photo.

Well, give me an opportunity that took care of all of the details....the driving, maneuvering us across the border, more driving, relief stops, nutrition breaks, hotel accommodation, tickets for the fair, transport to and from the fair, transport to dinner and back, back to the fair for the second day, and everything in reverse to get you home safe and sound....well, I was in!

Two travel buddies Diana and Mari have run this trip for 4 years now....and next year, well, next year I'll tell you about it early in case you want to join them (us?)! The bus leaves from Brampton and while most of us were reasonably local, we had a few ladies do some serious travelling to the rendezvous point....dedicated knit people that wanted to join the trek to Rhinebeck!

I have to tell you...I was dreading the long bus ride...but I had two seats to myself so I could spread my stuff around me....want to knit a row or two, just grab your knitting....want to have a snack without having to tromp over a seat buddy to get to the overhead locker, no problem. Having two seats was wonderful! I highly recommend it.

Everyone was quick in and out during our comfort/nutrition breaks. We were only slightly later than what was the scheduled hotel arrival time (strictly because of an unusual backup at the Fort Erie border crossing). No problem, our room allocation was handled before we even entered the hotel....in, drop your stuff and back on the bus for dinner. After dinner, it was time to try and get some sleep. With all the excitement, I hadn't really slept the night before departure. Maybe I was worried that I wouldn't get up in time? Who knows....but I was ready to sleep and the hotel was lovely, clean, quiet and the bed was comfortable! (We were in the Holiday Inn Express in Poughkeepsie....I love that name....Poughkeepsie!)

Up early the next morning for our breakfast and back on the bus! The schedule had us arriving 45 minutes prior to opening of the gates....and we were right up there in the line with not so many ahead of us at all! By the time the gates opened...the line up was long, but moved everyone in quickly.

You have go to hand it to the Rhinebeck volunteers! Yes, this is run entirely by volunteers!

Pre-planning had been done. I'd been watching the weather and it was to be cool and then cold, so my down coat went with me. I saw knitters on Saturday who HAD TO BE COLD, but perhaps the Rhinebeck energy kept them warm?

I have to be honest with you...I went with a list of well, nothing....I had not one thing that I intended to buy at Rhinebeck! 

Let me explain!! I had recently done an inventory of my stash and my knit accessories. So, being totally honest with myself, I had to admit that I did not need anything, as I am a very lucky knitter and have been blessed with an abundance of yarn and knit accessories! I think it is an age thing too...and I have to admit to sometimes buying something and losing interest in it before getting around to the actual knit....bad me!

So I gave myself a budget and vowed to stick to it!) I was going to have a Rhinebeck experience without all of the stress! Yes, there is stress at the festival! More about that later.

Now, here's what I did buy!!!

Top left - glass circular needles and stitch holder from Sheila and Michael Ernst, Glasspens.com
(I bought the shaded needles first, then went back for the solid ones :) )Top right - the newest pompom magazine,
and a pattern from Brooks Farm Yarns

(I have to say that I was smitten with the Brooks Farm yarns...and dithered between three different colour ways...before putting them all down and "stepping away from the yarn")
Bottom right - more glass from Moving Mud
(I was looking for two glass links to use in an upcoming project, didn't see any :( )
Bottom left - a pan flute from the Espirit Andino group...(see below)
(my hubby is a little worried about this, I have to tell you)

So, that's my Rhinebeck haul! I swear!

Ok, back to the stressful part. Stress you say? How could there be stress at a Fibre Festival? Well, just be one of the most well know hand dyers in the business, announce that you will be dying an exclusive Rhinebeck colour way, limit the knitter to only one skein, also limit the amount of skeins available on each day and yup, picture the race to their booth. Once it is sold out you are SOL!!!! The hype was incredible and the line up was unbelievable!

So okay, while I get it, I suppose, I question why you would want to spend potentially hours in line to buy yarn, while there were buildings and buildings full of great vendors selling yarn, fibre, accessories, clothing from recycled sweaters, art and wine and cheese even! Each to their own eh? (that's a Canadian eh of course!)

Then there were all of the lovely fibre animals that were there to be judged. Gosh they were getting their hair trimmed and they were putting their best fibre forward! Cashmere goats, Llama, Alpaca, Vicuna and all shapes and shades of sheep! I love seeing where my fibre actually comes from. No animal is harmed when sheered for their fibre coat. (Don't you just love that sign!)

So in summary, RHINEBECK was FABULOUS! I loved the crisp air, the leaves were turning, the music was great (Espirit Andino was playing), the lineups for food and washrooms moved amazingly quickly and the day flew by!

I hardly took any photos! For me, that is an amazing fact in itself!

There are knitting celebrities all over the place! I didn't see any but I hear they were there and there is photographic evidence on the net if you look!

Just look through the #Rhinebeck2015 tagboard and you will see all of the documented fun!

The trip home was speedy! Lunch on the bus, a movie (Mama Mia...musicals are always entertaining), a quick relief stop, a brilliant border crossing, another quick stop in Canada and back to Brampton in what I think might have been record time!

So, do I recommend Rhinebeck as a "must" for my fellow knitters! Oh yes I do!!! I consider this as my introduction to Rhinebeck. I know that while I saw a lot, I also didn't see a lot....and so will I go back? You betcha!!!

Happy Knitting,

xx with Lackie and Daisy at her feet....they are happy to have me home :)


I have to say thank you to everyone who stopped and complimented me on my Peerie Flooers ensemble! Once I'd knit my Peerie Flooers hat, I used the same shades in a Inspira Cowl, then went on to make fingerless mittens too!

Kate Davies' designs were represented at Rhinebeck, I saw more Peerie Flooers, Owls, and a Caller Herrin or two!

Someone with a lovely big camera :) took my photo for her guild? seems they do a picture gallery of Rhinebeck knitters? She told me where to find it, but my head was swirling on Saturday and I have completely forgotten...so if anyone knows anything about this, let me know. I'd love to see all of the great knit ensembles myself :)


  1. you look lovely in your "Kate" knits ! glad you made Rhinebeck this year. I'd like to go too but probably even farther for me than it is for you. No wool - now that is restraint like I have never seen ! enjoyed your post - Mel

    1. Anne, Life LackaDaisiCal26 October 2015 at 10:22

      Mel, I was determined NO MORE YARN! I did falter, but the fact that I couldn't decide on a shade reinforced my decision.....whew, that was close!

  2. It sounds like a terrific experience, Anne. I'm with you on the line-up for the "exclusive" yarn. Not the best use of valuable fibre time. You look wonderful in your Peerie Flooers items! I think we need a bit more of an explanation to go with the picture of the pan flute. ??

    1. Anne, Life LackaDaisiCal26 October 2015 at 10:24

      Kristie! I have been playing with the idea of taking up a musical instrument. I started playing with "Magic Piano" an iPhone app....actually quite satisfying.....have been intrigued with wind instruments, and this little flute might just be the start of something :) Hubby just covers his ears :)

  3. Glad you had lots o' fun. I found the crowds and lineups annoying at times but was always near the beginning. One of these years, I'll wait to go 'til Sunday which, I've heard, is much less crowded. It really isn't a bad drive if you break it up coming or going (and get some cross-border shopping done). I will be making my reservation soon for next year.

    1. Anne, Life LackaDaisiCal26 October 2015 at 10:26

      Geri - Sunday morning was, as you say, much less crowded. We were only there for 2 hours before getting back on the bus and heading home. Next time I might be tempted to arrange my visit for a full day of Sunday :)

  4. Anne do you know who to get in contact with for the bus trip next year? My little knitting group would love to take a bus trip down there next year? thanks love your blog....


  5. Anne, Life LackaDaisiCal26 October 2015 at 10:26

    Colleen, get in touch with me and I'll pass your info on to the organized for next year!

  6. Your sheep and wool festival looks such fun. It's interesting to compare them with the ones held here. You must have such a welcome from Lackie and Daisy on your return! Sarah x


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