Monday, October 21, 2013

Fiber Fill~ Rhinebeck

This weekend was incredible!!!! On Saturday Freddy, Brady, Tiny and I went to a wine harvest festival.  On Sunday Brady, Tiny, my Mom, sister Leanne & nephew Chase went to Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival. It was such an incredible weekend. It is hard to find a starting place to begin this I'll go in order of how I took the pictures on Sunday at the wool festival.

If you do not know about Rhinebeck it is an excuse for really dorky knitters and spinners to get together and have the best weekend ever a Sheep & Wool Festival in New York.  It is a place where thousands of us fiber junkies come to support small farms.  I say small but some have lots of animals. At the festival there are shows for the animals, fleece to shawl competitions, fiber arts competitions, fine arts competitions, basically anything sheep related (even food) is here. I skip out on the eating part. Well eating the sheep I should say. I did enjoy some of the best apple cider donuts I've ever had in my life.

This year we were not planning on going. Freddy had to work and I couldn't leave the puppy that long (and I would have liked to leave the kids home with him). My mother had crias due. My sister's kids had sports.  I got an email from a friend on Friday night asking if we were going. We wanted to go really really really bad. But well life..... having a farm..... all that stuff we didn't think we could go.  But once we knew the Crazy Sheep Lady was going we HAD to go. Heck she was driving all the way from Kentucky we only had to drive two and a half hours.  So we changed our mindsets from going as a girls weekend and buying yarn .... to lets bring the kids, see the animals and enjoy the day.

First we met Paco-Vicunas. Holy Molly these critters have the softest fiber ever.  Vicunas are not domestic animals in Peru. But they have AMAZING fleeces.

The critters above are an alpaca / vicunas mix. I felt their fleece and almost fell to my knees. Their handle is amazing.  It was such a treat to get to see these in person and feel them. They are like alpacas, but....... not as common.  There are not many of them in North America, but after my first impression I think we need lots and lots of them!!!!!
Of course our kids flocked to the alpacas.

We learned a lot about goats.

We were over run with Llamas! Or as Chase says "Big alpaca."

A lot of people who come to my parents farm ask what the difference between alpacas and llamas is. After today I can say Holly Molly llamas are HUGE. I grew up with ponies and horses. In the equestrian world ponies are smaller than horses. In the camelid world alpacas are smaller than llamas. But in our world of alpaca farming alpacas and llamas are like cats and dogs.  Alpacas are not llamas just like cats are not dogs.  Alpacas have higher quality fleeces than llamas. Llamas are used as guard animals.  The ones we met at the festival were so nice. My mom wanted to get one for her farm. I told her if she gets a llama I want some sheep too.
I really liked this booth. Sorry for the blurry picture. She was making woven items from her looms. They were very cool.

I love felted hats. I thought these were fantastic.

The boys loved watching the sheep competitions. We are used to alpacas who are very quiet. Hearing all the sheep Baaaa and making lots of noises the boys thought they were hysterical.

Since we had the kids with us we did a lot more of the animal part of the festival than the yarn and roving shopping. We loved the Frisbee dogs. 

There was even a small zoo there. Look lemurs!


Chase loved this turtle. The turtle was sunning itself.

We met a magician and he magically turned his hanky from red to blue and then made it disappear. It was AMAZING, as Brady says.

He even shrunk my kids!

The kids really had a great time at the festival. There was endless things for them to do. I was really surprised.

I am a huge sucker for Icelandic sheep. I really wanted to get some Icelandic sheep wool while I was at the festival. But I failed. I couldn't find any. But I did get to see some Icelandic sheep so that made me happy.

Look at who we met!!!!!!!!!!!!
We met 20 and The Crazy Sheep Lady. Do you see her taking the picture in this shot?

I have been following her Blog for years.  She has a farm in Kentucky and she writes about her sheep, horses, cats, dogs, bees and all the many adventures of the farm. If you don't follow her I highly recommend you do. We were so excited to get to meet her in person.

Her farm mascot is 20. He is a Serta sheep and goes everywhere with her. It is great that she does that because it makes her so easy to find her!  She has tons of pictures of him posted on Twitter at the festival this past weekend. You can see them on her blog on the Tweets on the right hand side. My boys were laughing so hard when I showed them the pictures of 20. They really are funny.

The boys were so good all day. Chase had a few moments.

But nothing that wasn't able to be fixed. We would just say, "Chase do you want to see the sheep?" His eyes would brighten up, he'd smile and say "Sheep!". Then we'd find some sheep and everyone was happy.

In case you haven't been to Rhinebeck and you need to find the bathrooms, just follow the yellow lines.

Leanne's artwork was on display. You could vote on it so we made sure to cast our votes!
I was eyeing up the photo contest. There are cash prizes and I think I better enter next year.

I thought this sign was too funny.

We all really enjoyed the apple cider donuts. So yummy!!!

Chase was all done and going to Mommom's house.

Dee Dee yarn ha ha. That is for my mom.

If this llama could fit in my car I am pretty sure my mom would have brought it home (even though it wasn't for sale). We loved watching the Leaping Llamas. It was my favorite part of the festival. Of course I didn't take a picture of it. It was too crowded and hard to get my camera out sorry about that. So I just watched it and enjoyed it. They set up a jump and it is like limbo only the owner and alpaca or llama have to jump over it. They go around and as they knock off the pole they are eliminated. They go around and around until only one is left. Towards the end the llamas (the alpacas are not very good jumpers and didn't last as long as the llamas) jump so high and the owners have to run on the side of the jump. It is amazing to see how high they can jump! It was so much fun to watch.

I almost went home empty handed. I hadn't planned on buying too much yarn, but I had to go home with something. As we were heading out to leave I stopped in one booth and found the most beautiful yarn. The booth had lots of samples of the yarn knitted up into projects and there were only 3 skeins left of it. I had both of the boys with me in the crowded booth and they were picking on each other. I was making my way up to pay for it and Tiny disappeared. I couldn't find him anywhere. I was calling for him, whistling, yelling. Nothing. So I was standing in the middle of the crowded isle and couldn't decide if I should buy the yarn in my hand and then go look for him. I knew it was going to sell if I put it back down. But I didn't want to loose my kid. So I hid the yarn. Found Tiny thankfully he saw my mom and went with her. Then I went back and bought my yarn. Yeah the yarn was that nice I had to think about that. It is Briar Rose Fibers Sea Pearl. It is a hand dyed yarn that is 50% merino, 50% tencel. I think it is going to knit up like a dream.

The festival was a huge success and I am so glad we went. I am so glad the boys had such a good time. We didn't even get to do all the fun kid things they had to do there. I got yarn and got to meet a wonderful blogging friend. Oh and I got to knit in the car for 5 hours!
What a fantastic weekend.


TexWisGirl said...

looks like a fun time for all of you. thank goodness tiny was found quickly! :)

Debbie said...

WoW andee, what a fun weekend!! you take the most amazing pictures of the kids and how fun you were able to meet a long time blogging pal. i remember the first time i met you!!

Anonymous said...

I loved the paco-vicunas!!!!! They were hands down my favorite part of Rhinebeck. I was petting one of them, and it made this odd hum like a giant bee, and I almost died from sheer adorableness. Their eyes were HUGE and their faces were so tiny!

Lori ann said...

SO much fun! i'm so glad you guys decided to go afterall, it sounds like it worked out perfect.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Can't believe I'm just now finally getting to look at your Rhinebeck pics. So fun! Love the chunky dunk :-D.