New York Sheep and Wool Festival

On a rather cold and dreary day (yesterday, in fact!) a friend and I went to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, New York. For almost five hours we walked around booth after booth after booth, barn after barn after barn, just everywhere natural fibers and all the tools of the trade to weave, knit, crochet—basically anything you’d need to make fiber arts by hand.

NY Sheep and Wool Festival

NY Sheep and Wool Festival
One of the many stars of the festival. There were sheep of all imaginable kinds, angora rabbits, goats, alpacas and llamas. Not just for display, either–many of these animals were for sale, of course, in case you want to build out your herd!
NY Sheep and Wool Festival
An award-winning alpaca. She looks rather happy with herself, doesn’t she?
NY Sheep and Wool Festival
Some of the freshly-shorn sheep got jackets to protect them from the cold!

NY Sheep and Wool Festival
A bag of raw wool, ready to be picked, carded and then spun into yarn. I love how it feels and smells!

Speaking of spinning:
NY Sheep and Wool Festival
There were countless spinning demonstrations around the festival. From modern spinning techniques to older techniques (complete with spinners in historical garb), it was very tempting to pick up a spinning wheel and give this a try for myself. But then I realized that it takes me forever just to knit a project, so I’d really better stick to what I’ve got going and not take on any more hobbies!
NY Sheep and Wool Festival
… but when you see the beauty of spinning wheels like this one, it is sooooooo tempting!

NY Sheep and Wool Festival
So much raw fiber ready to be spun… any cat would have a field day with these.

Funnily enough, even though I was looking at booth after booth after booth of yarn, I don’t have a single picture of actual YARN from the whole festival. There was just so much of it that it seemed almost pointless to try and capture the sheer volume of yarn (of every imaginable kind! Including Alaskan Musk Ox!!)

It’s definitely an estrogen-fest—very few men to be seen here, except the ones sitting by a corner, looking bored, those poor guys!—and it’s a great time to shamelessly indulge your more domestic side.

NY Sheep and Wool Festival
The Sheep and Wool Festival is also a popular destination for Ravelers (ravelry.com members). There was a big Ravelry party on Saturday that I missed, unfortunately, but I did get to go to the meetup on Sunday and meet some fellow members. Many were wearing their best knitted finery. It was nice to meet everyone!
(Here’s my Ravelry account, add me if you like!)