Rhinebeck or Bust – NY Sheep and Wool 2017

Every year I look forward to this beautiful October weekend. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s in my favorite month of year, or that the leaves decide to show off their glorious colors or maybe it’s the beautiful hand knit sweaters… whatever it is, there’s no doubting that my yearly trip to Rhinebeck is a highlight of my year – every year.

Could it be possible that I’ve only missed two festivals in the past 14 years! The latest miss was due to a brunch with Martha Stewart (Hey girl!). Not gonna lie that was a good time but Martha has nothing on the NY Sheep and Wool Festival.

I remember the first one I went to. I drove up with my friend, Melissa (Hey girl!), it was in the early days of blogging and I remember spotting so many familiar faces I knew from blogs. It’s possible she thought me crazy that I knew so many “internet friends”. Now look at us, Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat Friends everywhere! I also remember buying a Jennie the Potter mug, with No Line on a SUNDAY. Man, Those were the days!

Since then I’ve gone up with a crew of knitters from Hoboken, NJ (Hey, guys!) and of late I have had the pleasure of sharing a home for the weekend with some of the most talented knitters and knitwear designers I know (Oh hey ladies!). To say this is one of my favorite weekends of the year is an understatement.

The NY Sheep and Wool festival in Rhinebeck, NY is a Mecca for all fiber artists. Stall after stall of yarn goodness evokes so much inspiration. I loved walking slowly (partly due to the crowds) to touch the yarns and piles of fiber. It was almost overwhelming.

The fairgrounds were packed on Saturday with so many people flocking to the fair on a unseasonable warm day for late October. Even the bees were confused – they were incessant at the food stalls, trying to pollinate every fried artichoke it could find.

My favorite yarn that I walked away with was A Wing and a Prayer Farm‘s Cormo Alpaca blend. I plan on knitting it into a cowl (surprise surprise). I also love that they listed the names of the sheep and alpaca the yarn was sourced from. Hey there, Goldenrod, Indigo, Wilbur and Fluffhead, you are amazingly soft, thank you in advance for warming my neck! 😉

I also loved catching up with so many friends in the fiber arts world that I don’t get to see often. Jess from Ravelry and my old friend Jamison (10 years baby!) and of course, Cara from JanuaryOne. Oh and I may or may not have accosted Kate and Courtney on the bathroom line. (Sorry, not sorry! And no photo – darn!) But was so excited about their new yarn, Andorra, how couldn’t I not jump for joy! I cannot wait to knit it up.

I was lucky to stay with some friends who are also some talented knitwear designers. I totally grabbed a copy of my housemate, Bristol Ivy‘s new book Knitting Outside the Box. So many beautiful patterns to knit. I can’t stop flipping through it.

Thea Colman sported her latest knit Rye & Rum Punch – a gorgeous pullover and Amy Christoffers gave me a sneak peek of her latest cardigan which I want to cast on, like yesterday. Not to mention I want to sew all the things with Ellen Mason and Sonya Phillip. Not enough hours in the day, ladies. But we did have such yummy and glorious pie at the Mason Dixon Meetup.

I also loved sharing ideas with them and have walked away with a lot of ideas for the future (potential E-book coming your way!) It’s all I can do to just sit down and focus to get it all done.

And then there is The Bag! I designed a “Rhinebeck or Bust” tote bag this year and it sold like hotcakes. Thanks to some wonderful fiber friends (see above) who shared it with their networks, this bag was in stock for maybe a day.

Seeing it everywhere I went on Saturday was such a surreal treat. So many people complimented me on the bag and also said they too were being asked where they got it from. I love that my art/creativity has taken me to the hand lettering arena. It’s been a fun exploration and I plan on continuing to experiment when I can!

I also was sporting some Pom-Pom earring which I made the week before after being inspired by my local shop, Calliope Paperie. The owner Kristina sports various pom-pom earrings on the regular and her influence finally rubbed off  on me as I decided to make myself a pair. I never thought of myself as a pompom earring person but once I put them on I was like, “I AM a Pom Pom earring Person, ya’ll!” I got so many compliments on them that when I got home I went straight to work on making a jillion pairs.

You can get yourself a pair via my Etsy Shop – here!

Overall, Rhinebeck did not disappoint and I am already looking forward to next year. Until then, knit on friends!

M

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