I’m beginning to think that the New York Sheep and Wool Festival—“Rhinebeck” for short—is a state of mind as much as an annual gathering of tens of thousands of knitters and shepherds and purveyors of wicked snacks.
I think about it more often than you know. The mood of the crowd, the occasional parade of alpacas, the feeling you get when you realize you’re in the company of people who are way, way, way into this world—it’s just really fun.
For those who don’t scrawl RHINEBECK!!! across their calendars months ahead of time, it’s coming up the weekend of October 20, at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, New York.
I’m looking forward to many things at Rhinebeck but three things in particular:
1. The Lounge at Indie Untangled
Friday, October 19, 1-8 pm: MDK is sponsor of the Lounge at the Indie Untangled Trunk Show. (We like to focus our philanthropic efforts on sitting, knitting, and drinking.) We’ll be there all day, so please come have a restorative beverage and a bit of knitting. This is the fifth year for this one-day-only gathering of independent dyers and the knitters who love them. Founder Lisa Chamoff has found a much larger space for the event, up the road in Saugerties, New York, across the Hudson from Rhinebeck.
Tickets are sold out at this point, so she asks that you show up only if you already have a ticket. We of course are sad about this, but we also understand that the fire marshall needs to be placated. Also: it’s not like the next day you won’t have five billion tons of yarn to shop at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival.
Speaking of which . . .
2. The Book Barn
Saturday and Sunday, October 20-21, most of the day except when we’re shopping and eating and evaluating fleeces: The Merritt Books booth at Rhinebeck, in Building B.
All eight (eight!) of the MDK Field Guides will be available, and we’ll happily sign them for you.
On Saturday at 11:30, the delightful Thea Colman will be on hand to sign Merry Making, the brand-new Field Guide No. 8 that features her small and delicious projects for speedy gift knitting. Please come say hi!
Here are all the authors appearing in the Merritt Books booth. What a fantastic group.
3. Jill Draper’s Open Studio
Saturday, October 20, 6:00-9:00 pm. The beloved dyer opens her studio in Kingston, across the river from Rhinebeck, for a spectacular shopportunity. You need to register here to attend, because it gets very busy. And very fun.
Aids for a Successful Rhinebeck
For the first-time visitor, “How to Rhinebeck: A Primer” by Kay Gardiner.
The vendor list. Warning: your scroll finger will be sorely tested.
The schedule which frankly made my head hurt there’s so much going on.
The map. (I especially like the icon for “Rest seating.” Really ought to be called “Kettle Corn Recovery Zone.” “Artichoke French seating.” “Cast-on-the-yarn-you-just-bought seating.”)
Who’s coming? What’s your plan?