I never thought I'd be able to arrange going, since it's about 3.5 hours from home. But it turns out that Webs offers a bus trip and tickets were a mere $45.00. For $45.00 you get a ride that you don't have to drive, a busful of awesome knitters like yourself all excited to be going somewhere, the ticket to the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival and your name entered in several of Webs' fabulous raffles. (Mom and I won none of them, but all of our seatmates around us seemed to hit the jackpot.)
Mom stayed over on Friday night because Saturday was going to be a super-early start. Brian scoffed my "I'm going to get up at 4:45AM!" and remarked that this was something that he just had to see. True to my word, when the alarm on my phone went off, I popped out of bed and said "Look at that, I'm up and no snooze button!" (it helps to have a continual nightmare that you've missed the bus.)
5:30 AM: Mom and I are in her truck, cruising down the MassPike in the dark. We made it in plenty of time for the 6:30am bus boarding, and it was a fairly uneventful trip to the Duchess County Fairgrounds. Well, except for the part where it took 45 minutes to get in there. But what are you gonna do, it's a fantastically popular place! People flock from all over to attend this. I've never seen anything like it, I've been to a few festivals but this was by far the biggest gathering of "my people," all wearing hand-knits and radiating excitement. And oh....the hand-knits! Everyone oohs and aahs over things that people are wearing, and they bond over patterns and yarn types. Chatting about yarn and patterns almost sounds like a different language. (I love your shawl...is that Wingspan? No it's Hitchhiker. Oh, this? It was supposed to be a dress but I modified it to be a tunic. You can find it on Rav under "Pambe dress")
We'd been warned that there would be long lines for food, so Mom and I opted to eat right away. The place had everything for food....barbecue, greek, fancy, pasta, burgers, seafood, etc etc etc. What it also had that was kind of annoying was bees. It was an unusually warm day for October and they were out in full force.
After lunch it was time for SHOPPING!! There were so many vendors there I lost count. Mom and I brought home lovely treasures: buttons, notions, stitch markers....and Mom got some fabric of sheep knitting on black background to make a few project bags. And of course, there was the YARN. SO much yarn in one place! Chock full of yarny goodness! Gorgeous colorways in every weight. I practiced quite a bit of restraint by only bringing home four skeins of yarn. This one was my favorite:
Madelinetosh Tosh merino light in "Jasper." Saw it across two tents and it "spoke to me." Green usually isn't my thing but I had to have it.
We also saw animals: I got to pet a beautiful sheep named Leanne, she was a doll. And they had a kids' area that was full of activities had we brought the boys, including a little zoo. There were lemurs and baby kangaroos. I'd never seen a kangaroo up close, and I can now say that our dog Joey is aptly named!
These guys posed for a photo.
Several hours later we piled back onto the bus for the ride back to Northampton and then an hour's ride back home from there. It was dark on the way home too, making the day feel surreal. And when we got home, Brian had cleaned the house and there was dinner for us on the table. It was wonderful!
All in all, a fantastic day. I wish I'd taken more photos. I'm so glad to have attended and I'd certainly do it again. Next time though, I'd like to get the Yarn Harlot to autograph one of my books. :) And see one of the Ravelry meetups. And maybe, just maybe, take a workshop.