October 22, 2010

Sheep, Wool and Not-So-Temporary Tattoos

Last weekend the New York Sheep and Wool Festival returned to Rhinebeck, NY.  Since I did not have a show booked on Sunday, I left the EZup tent at home, rounded up a couple of friends and headed to the country to hang out with the sheep.
Looks like someone could use a bang trim
It did not that us too long to get our directions wrong.  It turns out that route 9 and route 9D are not the same.  Rae and I were in one car on route 9D looking for a Dunkin Donuts that our friend Dee was at.  But, she was at a Dunkin Donuts on route 9 (in the same town).  We decided to meet at the festival instead.   Turns out there are a lot of route 9's.
The Beekman Arms Inn, Rhinebeck NY
As we approached the festival we passed the Beekman Arms Inn, Americas oldest operating inn.  Opened in 1766, the inn has hosted George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and Benedict Arnold.  Some say the quarrel that led to the duel between Hamilton and Aaron Burr began in the rooms of the Beekman Inn.  Franklin Roosevelt was also a frequent guest of the hotel.  And most recently the hotel hosted the wedding of Chelsea Clinton.
We're here!
But fancy hotels and history lessons were not what I was after - I was looking for wool!  And it was now in sight!  The festival is held the second weekend in October every year (mark your calendars) and is the largest event of it's kind in New York.   The Festival includes education seminars, livestock and fleece sales, children's events, book signings and of course shopping and plenty of food.
And this is just the beginning of the shopping.
Did I mention shopping? I restrained myself compared to other years that I have attended but it was hard.  The Sheep and Wool Festival is nirvana for knitters, spinners and weavers alike.  My haul included several hanks of hand dyed and about half a trunk full of merino.
So do you come here often? How's about a little sugar, sugar?
One of the great things about the Festival is that it is a fantastic chance to learn about different fiber and the animals they come from.  I may have started to learn a little to much about this fella.  I'm not entirely sure, but I think he has a date with my hat this weekend.
The Sheep and Wool Festival is not just sheep
Llama, alpaca, goats, bunnies and herding dogs come too
While I was off shopping, knitting and making friends with the animals, Rae and Dee were enjoying the other part of the festival - the specialty foods and wine tasting.  Cheese, wine, bread and pastry were all available for tasting and buying.
After several hours, Rae and Dee finally managed to lure me away from the sheep, alpaca, and bunnies with a bag of maple flavored cotton candy.  We loaded up the car with my bags of yarn and slowly made our way towards the exit.  Once we were back on the road we made a stop at the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park.  It was too late to catch a tour to go inside, but even just walking the grounds is well worth the stop.  
Me and a few of my purchases hamming it up for the
camera at the Vanderbilt Mansion
As the sun was setting we grabbed dinner and gumball machine tattoos in Hyde Park at Pete's Famous.  Four days later I am still bearing the mark of our adventure - a chipper looking raccoon tattoo, I'll spare you all the photo.  If anyone knows how to get not-so-temporary tattoos off please let me know.

As the weather turns cooler and the holidays get closer remember that The (NewNew) includes many talented designers who knit and/or crochet amazing items.  


KimmChi said...

i wanna see the raccoon!

Lu said...

I love sheep! This is such a fun, funny post!

KimmChi said...

sheep? ha ha haha

Metalicious said...

Fantastic article! Great job Holly!