Have Ewe Any Wool?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rhinebeck! (aka "The Polar Belt")

Brrrrr! The weather was unseasonably cold in Rhinebeck for the NY Sheep and Wool Festival. I helped a friend and her daughter with their booth - Misty Mountain Farm. We unloaded the trailer on Thursday night after their long trip north. The trip took an additional 2 1/2 hrs. as they encountered snow through Pennsylvania that stuck with them nearly all the way to Rhinebeck. And to think, this is ONLY mid-October!

Oh...there was one additional challenge - I had managed to find a motel for us that was very basic! It was clean, but it was lacking in many amenities....and even some "essentials"....like good seals around the doors or a working heat system. We didn't freeze - there was a portable space heater that heated the room. However, when I walked in, the room temp was well below 55 degrees! Our living quarters were definitely an "adventure" - and very different from the published descriptions and photos!

This was the first time I've "experienced" the full festival - from setup to shut-down. I have renewed appreciation for all of the vendors and the efforts that go into the preparation, setup, and take-down - as well as the exhausting festival days. I always knew it was hard work and very exhausting, but I really didn't appreciate how hard or how exhausting it was until I experienced it first hand. It all started with an empty building........

We unloaded the trailer on Thursday night...just to get everything in place and ready for the final setup on Friday. The hall was pretty empty when we started - only a couple of vendors had dropped off their wares. In the pictures below, you can see a happy Leanna in the empty trailer and our preliminary layout inside the building.

Friday, we put the finishing touches on the booth and finished the setup - ready for the masses on Saturday! Quite the transformation, eh?

My friend, Amy, was helping out at the Spirit Trail booth. I snapped a quick photo of her busily working on their booth setup. She was also marketing her fabulous project bags. I managed to get a set of them for myself in the perfect colorway - purple and teal! Now I have a matching small and large bags!

On Saturday, it was quite cold outside - the early morning sun did nothing to warm you and the breezes chilled you to the bone!!! However, inside the booth, we were so busy that I actually broke a sweat! It was unbelievably crowded. Things really didn't settle down until about 5 pm. Even though it was extremely busy and exhausting, I had a fabulous time. There's something invigorating about "playing" with yarn and fiber and chatting with customers that love it just as much as you do.

Since it was so chilly out, we got to enjoy seeing all the fabulous hand knit hats, scarves, shawls, and sweaters that we generally miss at the Maryland Sheep and Wool because the weather is usually a bit too warm. I saw so many fabulous sweaters - full of color, Celtic knots, and seemingly endless combinations of color and texture! Talk about inspiration overload!

As an added bonus to all the fun I had this past weekend, I got to meet a couple of my on-line friends from Ravelry. It was awesome meeting them in person!

One of my favorite "projects" this year was the sweet needle felted sheep that one of the festival attendees created in the workshop she took. I met the girl teaching the class earlier in the weekend - and she has relatives that live near me in VA. Talk about a small world!

I didn't get to take very many photos of the festival...and I didn't think to take a photo when all the crowds were there. Actually, I really didn't have time to think about it, let alone actually take a picture! I ended the festival and cleanup viewing a fabulous sunset. These photos don't quite capture the full beauty of it, but I think you get the idea.


  • At 12:15 PM, Blogger Mia said…

    I can feel the Rhinebeck chill from reading your post! It was great seeing you at the Misty Mtn booth!

  • At 5:32 AM, Blogger Lindsey said…

    Thank you for "taking us there" with you! I came really close to going this year, but then we adopted a dog and I didn't want to leave her so soon after she came home. So it's nice to see your pics & read your account of it all.

    Also neat to see the before & after of the booth set-up. I've started selling my wares at other peoples' booths, but by next year I might do my own for a few shows...so it's good to get a sense of the work involved! :-)


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