The Rhinebeck sweater was a bust but the festival itself was super fun. I got some yarns, some fiber, some notions, a bottle of spiced wine, and petted some alpacas.
One of the many events was a sheep to shawl competition. Six teams started with a warped loom and a washed fleece. They then had to card the fiber, spin it, ply it than weave it into a shawl. The teams all had themes – I really liked Wizard of Oz and Men at Work the best.
The weather was perfect on Saturday but a chilly on Sunday. We got some snow but the fairgrounds was still beautiful.
I don’t know these ladies but I was playing around with my friend’s camera at this point. I liked the pom poms on theirs hats and the classic simplicity of the camel colored shawl.
When I said I got to play with my friend’s camera did I mention it was a 5D? It was soo much fun to shoot with. The crop factor on my rebel drives me batty so not dealing with it made shooting a lot less frustrating. I like low light, wide angles, and blown out backgrounds. It was also a lot easier to shoot the animals in the barns when the 50mm behaves like a 50mm.
No fiber fest is complete without side-eye from a giraffe-sheep.
Also side-eye from a goat.
They were napping, but probably giving me side-eye in their dreams.
This was my second Rhinebeck. I had a ton of fun but it’s not going to be a festival I attend every year. The crowds are soo over whelming and there are much closer fiber festivals. Rhinebeck does attract bigger vendors and vendors from outside of the Northeast but it is extremely crowded and can be difficult to shop and to talk to many of the vendors. At one point I waited in line for about 20 minutes trying to buy something.
The New York Sheep and Wool (NYS&W) festival is one of the largest fiber fest in the US. There are a lot of knitting, spinning, weaving, and livestock vendors and classes. The event also hosts sheep dog trials and other craft and livestock competitions. NYS&W is held at the Duchess County fairgrounds in Rhinebeck NY so attendees and fiber enthusiasts usually refer to it simply as Rhinebeck. The event takes place in October (prime knit wear season) and a phenomena called the “Rhinebeck sweater” has emerged. The Yarn Harlot talks about on her blog, but the basic idea is creating a new sweater to wear to the event.
There is a very slight competitiveness to it – many crafters will make a garment that showcases their abilities. Like crazy color work or cables. I think the phenomena is more about collective identity than it is a competition. Wearing a handmade sweater demonstrates membership in the fiber arts community. That said, membership to the group will not be revoked if one does not wear a hand made sweater to the event. I went a few years ago and I don’t think I wore any hand knits.
I will be attending Rhinebeck again this year and I am not immune from this phenomena. I don’t really wear a lot of sweaters so I chose to knit a vest instead. I finished it, but I think it’s going to be too cold to wear it. Yarn is a Noro Shirakaba (silk/cotton/wool blend) in one of my favorite colors (grey). Pattern is Forager from the book Doomsday Knits. I picked this pattern because it reminded me of Mad Max and I liked the asymmetry.
Too bad Mad Max was a post apocalyptic desert wasteland instead of the Northeast at the hight of foliage season. Whoops. Maybe I have enough time to go to Old Navy and buy a sweater. If I swap out the buttons it could maybe pass as a hand knit…
This weekend I went to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck NY with some pretty cool people. A friend of a friend chartered a bus so no one had to make the long drive to out. The festival was super crowed and I mostly forgot to take pictures because I was feeling a little overwhelmed by the crowds and the lines.
Some of the the booths were extremely crowded so I skipped many of them but I still managed to do some shopping:
4 ounces of wool & alpaca roving (80/20) from Foxfire Fiber & Designs, Merino & Tencel Top from Cjkoho desgins, sock pattern book from Cooperative Press, red sock yarn, a small knitty noddy, and a shark week kit. I was initially attracted to the book because the shoes on the front cover are all Fluevogs. The patterns inside all looked like socks I would make and wear and it might help me with my sock yarn problem.
The shark week sock kit looked like a fun challening knit. The Tsarina of Tsocks, the creator of the most insane sock kits and patterns, designed shark socks. The kit even has a velcro remora. I started to read the pattern booklet but I am a little intimidated by it. I fear the kit is going to sink to the bottom of the sock yarn stash, lurking like some terrible predator waiting to strike. Hopefully it won’t eat any of my stash.
The best thing about the bus ride – there was plenty of time to knit. So I started a sock: