A day at Rhinebeck

The New York Sheep and Wool Festival, held every October in Rhinebeck, NY, is one of those knitting events I’ve meant to go to for years but never managed to make it to. Until this year, when two librarian friends and I drove up the Hudson in a Zipcar for a day of fiber-fanaticism. We returned at the end of the day, laden with yarn and food products, all talking about how it was really nice to get out of the city sometimes, how maybe someday we’d all retire upstate and raise some livestock. We may have peered into a real estate agent’s window and looked at a few listings for houses in Rhinebeck. Sheep and wool festivals do that to you, I’ve noticed, even if, like me, you’re the world’s most die-hard city person.

There was perfect autumnal weather. And foliage. And apple cider. And views of the Hudson as we headed for Rhinebeck. There were sheep…

Shropshire sheep

So many sheep!

This sheep's name is Merlin.

Icelandic sheep

This breed is called the Jacob sheep. They’re spotted and have multiple sets of horns:

Jacob sheep, with two sets of horns

There were also goats…

Blurry goat

One of us, who dreams of farming goats, had her ideal goat breed picked out by the end of the day. And there were llamas…

An enormous and splendid llama.

(Just look at that majestic creature!)

And alpacas. I petted these guys, who were surrounded by a throng of admirers. Their fleece had an amazing springiness and density to it:


And there was yarn. So much yarn my head nearly exploded, some of it displayed picturesquely outdoors:

Yarn on a barn

Next year I have ambitions to knit a traditional Rhinebeck Sweater before returning to Rhinebeck. And maybe I’ll find the time to go to Maryland Sheep and Wool this spring or next. So many fiber festivals, so little time!

2 Responses to “A day at Rhinebeck”

  1. Jill Smith says:

    Yes! Yes, come down to MDS&W – enjoy our hospitality (you can have your pick of cats to sleep with you – no charge) and enjoy the delights of the Howard County fairgrounds!!