Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival and New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, 2011

We made it to the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival and home again safely with a lot of fun in between.  Holly is the best festival companion.  I really appreciate her sunny disposition and the help she gives me.  I also appreciate her lovely husband Tom who lets us take  his van and suffers with Holly's small car for the weekend.  It was such a treat to be surrounded by happy fiber shopping people-out to have a great day with their friends or family-nice to see some familiar faces and meet many new yarn and fiber lovers as well.

Silk scarves all in a row.
The whole booth-we're on a corner, so there is a little more room to spread out.

My friend Andrea let me use her display shelf built by her husband John.

The shelves the batts are on are ones my parents used when they vended at antique shows.  
Zoom forward a month and it was time to go to Rhinebeck and the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival.  I went with Trina, Andrea and Suzanne and we had a wonderful time.  The drive down was uneventful and we arrived at our hotel around 3.  We unloaded the car, unpacked and went to an early dinner at the Eveready Diner, a must do destination for many.  We walked because it was right down the road from the hotel.  We returned to the room for some knitting and planning of what we wanted to see on Saturday.  Suzanne was prepared with printed out lists of vendors for all of us, and she had her route already planned with an index card with vendors she wanted to see for each building. This was a great idea, and definitely helped all of us.  We turned in early so that we could rise and shine at  5:30 since there were 4 of us and only one bathroom, and we wanted to be sure to be ready on time.  We had breakfast at Pete's in Rhinebeck, another restaurant inundated with knitters-it's so much fun to see what people have knit to wear to the festival.

Trina and Suzanne
Llama parade.
Sleepy sheepies.
This guy really wanted his picture taken.

Pendulum spinning wheel-not at all what I had pictured.  The spinner said it's very temperamental.

We arrived at the fairgrounds a little early and were able to get in, which gave us the opportunity to wander a bit before the huge crowds arrived.  I thought it seemed less crowded than usual in the morning, but by noon the hordes had arrived.  There was a big issue with parking this year because of extremely water logged grounds, and some people waited for two hours just to get onto the fairgrounds.  We were lucky and avoided all those issues.  We split up to shop and came together around 2 when I had definitely met my saturation point with crowds and being knocked into in the buildings.  It was time to go back to the hotel and see what everyone had purchased and do some knitting.  We had pizza delivered to the room and shared some wine as well.  The pizza delivery guy had his daughter, who was about a year old with him-so adorable.
More knitting and wine drinking and it was time to go to bed so we could get up bright and early and return for all those purchases we had regretted not making on Saturday.

More Llamas on parade.
Goat not wanting to be on parade.
Green leafed tree-usually they are brightly colored fall leaves.
Sunday morning breakfast of 4H apple cider donuts.

We did some more power shopping, hit the sale at Briar Rose, and were ready to leave by lunch time.  The Eveready Diner has added a second location directly across from the Fairgrounds, so we had lunch there and began the long trip home.  It rained most of the way, but having good traveling companions made it a fun trip.  

I have read many reports from people who did not have the best experience at Rhinebeck this year.  Parking was a mess because of the rain, a two hour wait to get onto the Fairgrounds, too many people, etc. etc.  We somehow managed to avoid all those issues, and when it started to seem too crowded we were ready to go back to the hotel.  Despite being able to avoid the pitfalls of attending Rhinebeck, next year I think I am going to be focusing on other fiber festivals that aren't as crowded and have many of the same vendors as Rhinebeck.  I like to buy local when I ca and am going to make an even bigger effort to support New York farmers.  There were people who stood in line two hours or longer to buy yarn from certain vendors, and I don't understand that.  I would rather find a dyer who has things that are just as beautiful as the "in" person, and support that person instead.