This weekend was one of the high points of our year: the Duchess County Sheep & Wool Festival! It’s not quite up there with Star Wars Celebration, but it’s damn close.
We set out bright and early Saturday morning for the long, hard hour-long drive to Rhinebeck, NY. The drive actually took us an extra half-hour because the driving was bumper-to-bumper for miles leading up to the Fairgrounds. Yeah–the Sheep & Wool Festival is a BFD. We saw plates from Canada, Texas, Maine, and all over the place for this festival. It’s like San Diego Comic Con for knitters!
If you’ve ever wanted to see hundreds of sheep, lambs, llamas and alpaca all in one place, then the Sheep & Wool Festival is heaven for you. I saw my first llama here last year, which was pretty exciting. And unlike the New York State Fair, I didn’t have to be grossed out by the appearance of any disgusting cows or pigs here. Unfortunately, I don’t really like seeing all of the animals cooped up in their little pens. It makes me sad. I always have this burning desire to bust them out and put them in a resort somewhere where they can run around and chill, but I suppose that’s why I’ll never be put into a position of power…
This year we got to see the sheep being trimmed for their wool, which was pretty interesting. It was also pretty stinky, as evidently sheep are not God’s best-smelling creatures. (I wonder if that’s why people don’t eat sheep in America?) I was actually more gratified than anything to finally see proof that in fact everything you see on television is true: sheep really do go “BAAAAAAAAHHH!” In fact, while they’re up on the table being trimmed, they pretty much “BAAAAAAAH!” non-stop. Cool, but annoying.
Aside from the animals on display, you have your choice of hundreds upon hundreds of dealers to purchase wool, yarn, felt, roving and more from! There were about five bajillion people at the festival this year, making it hard to navigate through the vendor buildings. Some of the attendees were definitely getting a little cutthroat around the vendor booths, and I was on my guard watching for some old lady to jump another old lady over a skein of yarn. I didn’t get to see it myself, but I’m certain–certain–that it must have happened at some point during the festival.
I didn’t buy anything (because, y’know, I can’t knit), but I did convince Jen to get some sock yarn. The idea of spending $20 on a skein of yarn almost sent her into cardiac arrest, but I think it’s nice yarn and she’ll have fun with it.
Anyway, a good festival. A little crowded this year, but it’s always a nice change of pace to go to an event that I don’t come home from with bags and bags of new action figures…