Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Leaving Rhinebeck

Last post about my trip to Rhinebeck.  Promise.

Rhinebeck is located in the Hudson River Valley.  We crossed the river each day driving from hotel to show.  The  mighty Hudson from the looks of it.  The area around Rhinebeck boasts rolling hills, curving, winding roads, hardwood forests and historic buildings - the Inn in the centre of town was constructed in 1766!  A lovely place to visit at any time of year, it seemed to me.  But the third weekend in October, it is home to what is reputed to be North America's largest Sheep & Wool Festival.  Some of the facts I learned while there, sure seemed to confirm that status.

We spoke to a fleece judge at breakfast Saturday morning.  He said he judged fleece at the Taos Sheep & Wool Festival.  There were 37 fleece.  At Rhinebeck there were 681.

The parking lot space  totalled 50 acres.  The size of a small farm.

Our booth was in barn # 31. 

It took us an hour and a half to get out of the fairgrounds to the highway Saturday night.  After waiting one hour beyond closing to leave.

According to the number of sales slips for Saturday, we did a customer transaction every three minutes for the entire 8 hours. Considering these are the old-fashioned, 'che-ching',  paper transactions   -   the electronic signal in a barn never works  -  most take longer than three minutes to write up.  Therefore there are long lines at the cash.

Saturday, there was no time to eat.  At 4pm, a friend from my London Ontario days came by and asked "Do you need anything?"  I replied that we needed lunch.  We hadn't eaten since 7am.  She volunteered to stay in the booth  while I ran out to a food concession to buy us a couple of  wet, soggy, tasteless 'beef on a bun'.  Thanks, Sharon.  4pm was late - but sure better than never.

Canadians from Port Elgin - ladies from Doc Knits, Creemore, Ottawa, Londoon,  Toronto, Peterborough and Quebec City stopped by to say hi. 

When the few Americans commented on  the 4.125% local, county tax we had to charge, we responded that we were from Ontario where shoppers pay 13%.  Their response?  "Yes, but you have health care."  Just a reminder of our good fortune here in Canada.

Although I never left our barn and didn't even get out of our booth until an hour before closing on Sunday afternoon, I did manage to capture  some of the colours displayed in barn #31.


Then it was 7 pm Sunday night.  Our  trailer  was packed. The fairgrounds were emptying. 

We started for home.  Goodbye Rhinebeck.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Rhinebeck again.  Our weather at Rhinebeck for the most part was milder and dryer than here at home, beside Georgian Bay.  But Sunday it changed.  Although still sunny and dry, the temperature dropped and a cool breeze brought out everyone's  woolies.  Perfect attire for a wool festival. Here are a few of the most fabulous that stopped by our booth.

The lady in the Norwegian ski sweater below, told us she scored the sweater at her local Good Will for $12.  She was very proud.  Her friend's hat is fabulous.

This knitter is wearing a  Cameo, one of Shelridge Yarn's latest pattern releases in gorgeous colours.

The last minute knitter  below,  sewed in her ends before leaving her hotel for Sunday's show.  This is  a Vogue pattern she said.  Fabulous, fabulous, sweater coat.

I loved how this knitter had a scarf that matched her sweater.  She knit  the sweater and a friend knit the scarf for her as a birthday gift.

This fellow, wearing his wife's knitting, I had to chase after and ask if I could take his picture.  Hand knit hat, Inspira Cowl that used up all the leftovers in her stash, the wife said and a hand knit sweater.  I should have checked his socks.

Below is  my favouirte knit 'view' of the show.  These knitters - look how young they are - met on ravlery, discovered they all live in the same area, formed a knitting club and now get together regularly to knit.  They decided to knit the same sweater pattern and all wear that sweater to Rhinebeck.  Isn't  that a wonderful story?

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Tour Of The Festival

Day 2 at Rhinebeck is set up day.  While we unloaded the trailer yesterday, claiming our spot, today we got down to the business of setting up the booth.

 The goal in booth set up is sales. Make it look  attractive to customers. Make the customers want to stop and look at the goods.  Make the customer buy your stuff.

We think we got it.

With our work done for the day, we took a stroll around the grounds.    The New York Sheep and Wool Festival  - known to knitters as 'Rhinebeck' -  takes place at the local fairgrounds.  Like no fairgrounds I've ever seen.  50 acres of parking and landscaping - who ever heard of landscaping at the fairgrounds?

I leave you with some pictures of the fairgrounds.  Look where knitting has taken me.

Happy knitting everyone.