It’s been a week since I got back from our annual trip to the New York State Sheep and Wool show. As always, I went with a group of friends and we stayed in our favorite AirBnB house north of Rhinebeck. And, as always, we had a fantastic time! It’s always funny to be down in the NY area and then return to Maine, where autumn suddenly looks like it’s almost over.
It takes two vehicles to get our group down there, and we usually take along just about all the food we will need for dinners and breakfasts. It’s so much fun cooking and hanging out with the ladies, and the festival is great too! Sometimes it’s nice to get out of Dodge, and we had pretty good weather this year, not too cold, and not as hot as it has been some years (not great for vending wool products!). One year it snowed, as well :*)
This is the first year in a long time that I have not come home with one or more raw fleeces. I did not even allow myself to walk amongst all those raw wool fumes, as I know that I would have been totally unable to resist. I kept my purchases pretty light, and came home with 2 lbs of combed Swaledale wool and some dyed roving. Swaledale are sheep that are from Great Britain, native to the Yorkshire area but found elsewhere as well. It is a breed of sheep that I have never come across in the U.S., but have always wanted to have a crack at. The sheep themselves are beautiful, and I expected the wool to be much coarser that it is. I don’t know what I will use it for yet, maybe for something woven. The wool is not pure white, but slightly off-white, and there are some very fine black hairs and fibers in the fleece, but you can’t really pick it out from the rest.
I also headed over to one of my favorite vendors, Into the Whirled, and bought some of their dyed roving in the “Rhinebeck” colorway. Always a favorite of mine (dyed on Polwarth roving). I also got two bags of their odds and ends rovings, small amounts of various colorways and fibers all in one bag. Lots of fun to spin up together!
I only spent Saturday at the festival as my hip is not in good shape and I didn’t think I would be able to drive on Monday if I limped around all day on Sunday as well. So I had a lovely day of knitting in front of the wood stove with one of the other ladies, and it was a very nice time.
I was a little worried about how Winnie would react to my being gone for 4 days, but she did quite well. I think she took a few naps with John in the recliner when she was feeling a little lonely (really, this dog is never lonely and is with one or the other of us at all times!). And now she knows that even if one of us leaves for more than a grocery run, we do actually come back!