Well, I think this weekend proves that the Goddess loves knitters. After 8 straight days of drenching, unending rain in the New York City metro area, the Sun finally made an appearance just in time for the New York Sheep and Wool Festival, in Rhinebeck. I rented a car for the occasion, and set out at around 9:30. It was still drizzling a little, but I had faith that it would let up by the time I got up to Rhinebeck. It's about a 70 mile drive from where I live, and I estimated about an hour and a half. Unfortunately, the rains had done a number on the Taconic Parkway. While I didn't experience the closed roads and detours that some ran into earlier in the morning, there were some pretty heavy traffic snarls due to (1) an accident, (2) a lane being flooded, and (3) a car running off the road and into about 3 feet of water and mud. Then, I took a wrong turn (confusing Route 9-G for Route 9), and I finally ended up at the fairgrounds around 12:15.
I'm not sure what I expected, but I think it's an understatement to say that I was overwhelmed. This place is a knitter's paradise. A virtual Bacchanal for fiber enthusiasts. I wandered aimlessly for a few minutes, getting my bearings and trying to cope with the sensory overload. Then I met up with a few people from Knitty, including those enablers Karen and Valerie. Finally, with a tight grip on my wallet, I commenced shopping.
I had a definite idea of what I wanted to get, and I managed to stick to that pretty well. I ended up with a drop spindle, a 1lb. bag of "beginners" roving, a beautiful bunch of space-dyed Corriedale roving (which will not be touched until I am much better at spinning), a skein of handspun yarn for my Secret Pal, some Crystal Palace circs, and the Summer 2005 issue of Spin-Off. Yes, that's right...I didn't buy any yarn for myself! Truthfully, I'm a little disappointed about that, but I have enough in my stash to keep me busy for quite a while. I also picked up two bottles of wine and some vanilla fudge from the food vendor hall. It's a good thing I didn't find that area until later in the day, or I'd have bought a lot more!
On the non-purchasing side, I wandered around a bit and ogled the animals. Naturally, I wanted to take all of them home with me, but I contented myself with picking up information about alpacas to try to convince The Boyfriend's mother to invest in a small herd. There were some adorable sheep, especially the lambs.
And I always enjoy the sheepdog competitions.
I wish I had taken some pictures of the yarn, but I'm an idiot that way. Animals make me pull out the camera, yarn makes me pull out the credit card.