What better way to end a summer hiatus from the knitting blog than with a trip to one of the biggest Sheep and Wool festivals?

Last weekend I went to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, which everyone just calls “Rhinebeck” because that’s where it is. It was so much fun, and not too crowded either! Much thanks to Michael for driving up there, for taking all the pictures in this post, and for thinking that *of course* a llama parade is reason enough to go anywhere. We gaped and gawked at millions of skeins of yarn, bags of fibre both raw and processed, spinning wheels and drop spindles, and everyone’s handknits.

In my opinion, no Sheep and Wool festival would be complete without a lamb gyro for lunch. There was really no question about where I’d be eating, once it got to be lunchtime. We also got to taste some local New York wines and cheeses in one of the barns.

The sheep had hay for lunch, of course. These two kept nuzzling each other’s neck and face, but just like with Floyd and Kipling, I’m not sure whether the attention was meant to comfort or to annoy. They seemed to be good friends, though!

Now that I’m looking at the picture, I think I should have bought this hat. Apparently hat-wearing is my mutant superpower. (We all have one! What’s yours?)

I did buy this skein of sock yarn from Periwinkle Sheep. The colourway is “Grass in a Crack in the Sidewalk” and it called out to me from the rack where it was hanging. Surprisingly, there was nothing else that jumped out at me the same way. Some years I go to a Sheep and Wool festival and feel like I need to buy everything, but this year I just bought the one skein of sock yarn. I couldn’t leave completely empty-handed; I always buy at least one souvenir!

When it started to drizzle, we ducked inside the barn where the llamas and alpacas were housed. One or two of them seemed distressed by the crowds of people, but most of them were happy enough to munch their hay or to pose for pictures. Some of them were humming little alpaca songs to themselves, which always makes me laugh. This spotted fellow appeared to be meditating his way into peace and contentment.

We thought we might have missed the llama parade because of the rain, but it cleared up soon and as we were making our way towards the exit, there they were! A little girl with a goat was leading the parade. (You can see the goat here, but not much of the little girl.) When they told her that she had to slow down, she protested that the goat was pulling her to go faster. Someone knelt down next to the goat, rubbed its forehead, and gently told it to slow down. It was a cute moment that I’m glad I saw.

I had not expected to see any lemurs at a Sheep and Wool festival, but there was a traveling educational zoo right before the exit. They’re even more adorable in person than they are in pictures.

And so, with a renewed zest for both knitting and blogging, I’m happy to return to posting on a semi-regular basis!

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6 Responses to “In Which the Pirate Returns!”
  1. Susie says:

    Welcome back! Looks like you enjoyed Rhinebeck as much as I did. Great fun and I can’t wait till next year.

    • Pirate says:

      I’ve been to Maryland S&W a few times, but this was my first trip up to Rhinebeck! Undoubtedly I’ll be back next year. :)

  2. Karen says:

    It’s so nice to see you back:) I really enjoyed your Rhinebeck photos. We didn’t go this year and I didn’t realize how much I’d missed it until the day was upon us.

  3. Janis says:

    It’s like Knitting Ninja was supposed to be there. :D

    Glad you had a good time. I’d love to make it to Rhinebeck some day.

    • Pirate says:

      I know! We thought of her instantly, and as soon as we got home/uploaded the pictures, started poking her on IRC. LOOK, SIS! LEMURS!

      Other than the lemurs and the llama parade, it seemed to be very much like MDSW. Some of the vendors who have large booths at MDSW had small booths here. There was less of a line at The Fold and more of one at Sanguine Gryphon. Subtle differences. :)

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