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Rhinebeck, Day One October 17, 2010

Posted by lunarawe in Fiber Optic Yarns, goats, NYS Sheep and Wool Festival, Rhinebeck, sheep, The Fold.

Rhinebeck! Is there any event in the fiber world that I look forward to with greater glee every year? Not even close. Not even spinning on the beach. Not even on a tropical beach. Rhinebeck is just heavenly. Where else but the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival can you find so many like minded fiber obsessors artists in one place! OK, yes there are other wool festivals. I happen to love this one.

Look at all these people! Clearly it is Saturday morning at Rhinebeck. Ravening hordes Dedicated shoppers and enthusiasts are making their way among booths and animal pens, admiring each other’s handwork and elbowing their way to the goodies.

And boy are there goodies! I didn’t actually take pictures of any booths today (those who have read my posts during Rhinebeck in years past will know my camera tends to be drawn to fiber animals), but a few special things did catch my eye. Check out the treadles on this spinning wheel. Gorgeous! I will try to remember tomorrow to actually LOOK at the sign and tell you the name of the delightful man who made it. Apologies. We’ll blame it on the wool fumes.

And look at this amazing felted tapestry. Yep, again, I didn’t read the sign. Terrible, I know. But this is gorgeous wool craft! Worth admiring.

This year I had a plan, and it was a good one. I ignored all the wondrous and distracting things and went directly to what mattered to me most. The fleece sale (whoops, got there an hour after the fair opened, most of the goodies were gone… I’ll do better next year), the Fiber Optics Yarn booth (many goodies scored! gradient dyes, and some lovely OOAK pencil roving), and The Fold (Socks that Rock, Rare Gems! Not to be passed up). I even managed to stop by the Woolee Winder booth and grab some high speed bobbins. Happy spinner!

Then I stopped by the spinning competition to fondle all the yarn (which sadly this year they wouldn’t let us do. boo.) and check on the eight skeins that I entered this year. I have to admit my shock when I saw Grand Champion hanging from one of my skeins (it was the Footnotes UNSPUN in Mayan Chocolate from Fiber Optics. Yum!). I remember when I was scared to enter my spinning at Rhinebeck. To win for best skein is humbling. Of course I didn’t get a great picture of that. And I haven’t blogged about that yarn yet. Oops. Again, I’ll try to do better tomorrow. The yarns above were for the 3-ply wool class, and I am delighted to say that that blue ribbon is also mine! Rhinebeck spoiled me this year – two firsts, two thirds, and a fourth place ribbon. Hooray!

You also have to admire some of the rarer sights when a large fiber crew gathers. This is Susan Stapleford demonstrating spinning on a pendulum wheel. It’s so huge I didn’t manage to get the bobbin in the shot. It’s just off camera at the end of the long pendulum. Good Grief! She was very gracious about letting me take a photo. It is hard to tell but that pink skein fourth from the left is the sakura documented in the post below. It won fourth place in the exotic fibers class.

What else? This stunning shawl won Best of Show and deservedly so! I wish they had taken the space to stretch it out completely. What a lovely job this knitter did.

All in all it was a fabulous first day. I got to see Toni from The Fold and Kimber from Fiber Optic Yarns, and both things just brought me great joy! Kimber, this blog update is in your honor! Thanks for checking on me so regularly even when I am terrible about posting. To that end, I chose to update the joys of today. I will work on catching up with all the fun spinning and knitting from the past… groan… three months and change soon. As always, here are some of the most adorable sheepies and goats ever! I will have alpacas for you tomorrow.

Join us if you can!

More Rhinebeck Sitings October 19, 2008

Posted by lunarawe in Rhinebeck, sheep, spinning, stitching witches.
Fluffy Cotswold fleece

Fluffy Cotswold Fleece

Full confession to those who pay attention, this post was most certainly not written in October. That said, some things are worth documenting, no matter how late.

One of my absolute favorite Rhinebeck events is the Sheep to Shawl competition. In just a few hours groups of determined (mad) carders, spinners, and weavers transform unprocessed wool into beautiful shawls. It is really a thing of beauty to watch. One weaver per group, several spinners, and often a dedicated carder. They do most generously allow the weaver to warp the loom in advance. And then the madness begins!

My favorite group this year, no surprise here, was the team of witches working feverishly on their craft.

You have to admire a weaver who can hold her own in a pointy hat. Extra style points!


And this spinner was definitely a favorite. I admire the posture as much as the outfit. Plus, this group was energized and fun. There were tons of other good groups too! The group  below is gathered around their wool at the start of things. Such a lush color. Beautiful.


 A quick moment to admire the winning shawls, blue ribbon on the left and red on the right:

The blue ribbon shawl was dyed using natural dyes. Really stunning. As a non weaver this boggles my mind even without the frenetic racing and the time limit. Wow. This was also the same hall where the spinning competition was judged and displayed.

Three ribbons this year! I am very proud because at one and half years of spinning I am no longer considered a novice. One blue ribbon in the laceweight competition, a second place ribbon for three ply, and a fifth place for two ply. Super fun. And the lovely judges gave me this delightful mug (that I had been coveting in the fair, to be honest) with sheepies and knitting on it. Happiness! *delicate cough* And next year I will have to make sure to have neat ties that match. Oh the shame of it all. But I really appreciated the in depth notes this time around. Helpful.

There can be no sitings report complete without a photo of the delightful winner of this year’s hooked rug competition. I think this is both phenomenally done AND adorable. Definite points. And lastly, I leave you with a few llamas to tide you over until next year:

In Sheep’s Clothing October 24, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in Rhinebeck, sheep.
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More Rhinebeck photos! Again, all the credit for the gorgeous pics goes to Devorah, who has the dubious honor of being our official blog photographer. *smile*

We had the unexpected pleasure of arriving at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds the day before the New York State Sheep and Wool festival began. I had to go on Friday to drop off my skeins of handspun yarn, and we made the most of an unexpected benefit. It turns out there were sheep competitions happening the day before, the first National Bluefaced Leicester competition to be exact.

Such joy. Recalcitrant sheep, loving owners, and open fairgrounds with almost no people in sight. We got to wander about and meet a bunch of fabulous animals. The sheep pictured above (like their friends below) were sporting supercute outerwear to keep their newly shorn selves neat and clean. Almost Paddington the Bear up above, but not quite.

I also loved the mad racing look of these sheepies. Aren’t they perfect?

I have to admit that I also learned a lot about Bluefaced Leicester, and sheep breeding just by listening to the judge. That would be the determined looking gentleman (wearing a cowboy hat)  in the upper left of this competition shot:

Oh the intricacies of sheep holding! Turns out I really loved the naturals (dark brown ones). They were just beautiful. And this sweet dam from what I think was the head competition. She didn’t win, but I still think her head is adorable, if not the “elegant” look of the winner.

This guy, whose breed I cannot remember, has four horns! Only three were captured here, but I think you can get a sense of his inner determination. Poor thing was having a hard time scraping all the paint off of his pen like his friends were, because his horns got in the way.

Too cute.

We also learned that next year’s featured breed is the Romney. I got some yearling carded wool in advance, for the spinning competition. They look like such traditional sheep, don’t they?

Thanks to Devorah and more soon!