The Duchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, New York is home to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival on the third weekend of October, every year. This is always fun to attend -- Earthling and I went last year and had loads of fun, so we were looking forward to it this year. It's similar to Maryland's, but it's much more oriented towards families -- similar to a fall carnival. But regardless of how you look at it, it's still a lot of fun.
But really, the most important thing about Rhinebeck was that It. Was. COLD. Thursday afternoon, I left Virginia thinking, "It's October. How cold can it be, even if it is New York? I'll take my Rhinebeck cardigan (Ravelry link) and jacket, and I should be fine."
Little did I know. See this?
That's me INSIDE a barn. Yes, those are knitting needles I am holding. Yes, they really are about four feet tall. Note that I am wearing not just my sweater and jacket, but mittens and a hat as well (I'm also wearing wool socks, but you can't see those). The hat is one that I knit a couple of years ago and gave to Earthling for Christmas. The mittens, I cast on Thursday night and finished in the hotel room Friday evening, after Earthling commented that there was a chance of snow(!) for Rhinebeck on Saturday. (I don't normally knit that fast, even a pair a mittens, but this was on a deadline.)
There was no snow that day (although we did pass some on the ground on our way north), though, so we lucked out in that respect. Especially since the next day (which was the day we left, so we didn't go to the booths again), it rained, and was probably much more miserable for the attendees.
I went to Rhinebeck with a certain set of rules in my head. These rules were to help keep me from not spending too much.
Rule #1: I would use only cash. I would not pull out any of my cards or my checkbook, and I would not use the ATM at the fairgrounds.
Result: Bang on on this one. This has been my rule for pretty much every wool festival I've attended, and it's worked pretty well. When my cash is done, so am I. Earthling does the same.
Rule #2: I would not buy anything that I already owned, or that I could procure at any of my local yarn stores back home.
Result: Right. Well, I did pretty well on this one, too, except that I do know that I already own a couple of silk bells
(but not in that color. There's a difference.), and I'm pretty sure I can get one of these at With Yarn in Front:
Other than that, everything else was new. Honest.
Rule #3. I would not play with any of my new stuff until I made a sizeable dent in my current stash.
It was worth it though -- to entrance the Beasts.
There were bunnies:
There were goats:
I'm pretty sure this alpaca liked me:
Not so certain about the llama, though:
The sheep clearly couldn't care less:
Sheep Incognito was there:
We looked at the items that had been entered for judging and saw things that were beautiful:
Some things that were cute:
Some things that showed what I could aspire to:
And things that showed me that clearly, it is not my opinion that counts in anything:
I finished my Kindness Socks (in the hotel room):
It was a great time. I can't wait until next year.