I spent a couple of hours at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival today. Usually I spend a whole day there but I have a lot of things to do and I couldn't afford the time. I have been going to the Sheep and Wool Festival, which is held in Rhinebeck NY, for at least a decade now. I don't go every year, but I go as often as I can. Some things about the festival have changed, and some are still the same.
Usually I get there early so I park close to the gate and I have rarely run into traffic on the way. Today I got there only around 11:30 after my morning activities were completed. I crawled all the way through the village of Rhinebeck due to the traffic. I am pretty sure I parked about a mile away from the gate.
Over the years, the festival has become more and more popular and the crowds have increased. In some of the barns, it was hard to even move. I had a list of vendors I wanted to visit and it was sorted in order of the buildings where their booths were. So I was making a beeline from one vendor to the other, and not browsing. That was the opposite of everyone else there was doing, and sometimes it was tough to make progress through the barn. But I got what I wanted and made it ahead of my self-imposed schedule.
The festival organizers have made Saturday a family day so there are lots of activities and demonstrations. This increases the crowd on Saturday. I remember the days when it was just animals, yarn and fleeces.
One thing that hasn't changed is the color of the leaves as I drive up north. It is always a joy to drive through the bright colors and enjoy the crisp snap of leaves as we walk through the fairgrounds.
I was looking for buttons so I visited Sheila Ernst, Moving Mud, as well as a number of soap makers as I was looking for salves and soaps for dry skin. I got salves from Black Berry Hill, and Heal My Hands. Clove Valley Soapworks and Merriweather 's are two local soap makers that I discovered. All in all a fun day.
I almost always run into people I know at the festival, and today was no exception. It was a nice surprise to run into Steph though. A number of my out-of-town friends come in for the festival and we usually have a meet-up. But I didn't have time to hang around for it and I assumed I wouldn't see any of them in the crowd. I ran into Steph, however, and was able admire her scarf and lovely coat in person. Another surprise was Jennie the Potter, who I met at Knitting Camp.
I wore my Wild Apple and a few people recognized it and commented on it. One woman even took my photograph. It was a breezy, cool day and everyone around me was wearing a coat or a heavy sweater. I had my Earth Stripe Wrap with me but I was nice and toasty in the Wild Apple.
And, for your pleasure, here it is. All blocked and nice.