We’re back from Rhinebeck! It was as amazing as I expected, though a little overwhelming on day one. It was like Christmas come early. I bought lots of yarn, pet lots of sheep, went to the Ravelry meetup, met lots of knitters, and had a generally wonderful time. We camped at Mills Norrie State Park, just a few miles from the fairgrounds, and that was a really great experience, with the exception of the cold and our tumultuous arrival. Due to a bunch of travel and car factors, we left later than we had hoped on Friday and ended up getting in late (around 11:00pm), and finding our campsite was a challenge in the dark, but thankfully some kind knitters pointed us in the right direction. It was also bitterly cold Friday night (around -1C – definitely too cold). I’m not sure what our plans are for next year, but the closeness to the fairgrounds (and avoiding the traffic across the bridge from Kingston) was fantastic.
This was by far the biggest festival I’ve been to – every time we thought we had seen all of the vendors, we came across a barn we hadn’t wandered through yet. I had a short list of things I wanted to check out, but nothing that I was really set on, so we tried to see everything and then make purchasing decisions. The only thing I really wanted but missed out on was a Jennie the Potter mug – we weren’t keen on waiting in line before opening in the cold, and I didn’t want to participate in the footrace I’d been warned about, and it was nice to start the morning with coffee and cider and a leisurely walk around the main buildings. The main buildings were pretty busy on Saturday morning, but since we were staying longer and weren’t set on any purchases, we just came back to the really crowded booths later in the day or on Sunday morning. Sunday morning was a lovely time to shop – the barns were really quiet, and it was lovely to chat with some of the vendors.
We also saw a cheesemaking demo, which was really neat and done by an interesting speaker, and saw some dog frisbee, flyball, and agility demos. We also spent lots of time looking at the sheep, goats, alpacas, and other animals in the barns. My favourites were a really friendly pair of sheep (I’ve forgotten the breed, though they might have been suffolk?) who just wanted us to rub their noses and pat their heads. One thing I was sad to miss was the used equipment auction, but I didn’t really have the budget to buy anything big, and it conflicted with both the Ravelry meetup and cheesemaking demo. Next year we’ll also make sure to leave more time for the food building. We only spent a few minutes there, but everything looked so good and there were lots of samples to try.
I had such a wonderful time – I’m already making plans and counting down the days until next year!
(Finished sweater and yarn pics to come in a seperate post later this week!)