Rhinebeck 2015: My Epic Recap

As mentioned in my previous post, I attended this little event called New York Sheep and Wool (aka: Rhinebeck). And by "little", I mean over 300 must-see vendors peddling mostly yarn, fiber, and knitting supplies, sprinkled with yummy foods (I recommend the pumpkin pie fudge) and wine.

It's an amazing event, although getting there from where I live seemed a bit daunting - until I heard where other attendees came from. When you listen to a woman talking about how she traveled from Vancouver, then my waking up at 4:30AM on a Saturday and driving 2.5 hours doesn't seem so bad.

I met up with several of my knitting podcaster buddies for what I'm deeming my most amazing experience this year. I was in awe, surrounded by building upon building housing walls of fiber I never thought I'd see in one place. Plus, all my knitting stars were within touching distance at some point or another. Erin and I were starstruck when Stephanie Pearl McPhee of Yarn Harlot fame walked by us - TWICE! We also saw Leslie of The KnitGirllls, though were too flabbergasted to say hi, although I did meet Minerva Turkey and Laura Nelkin without passing out. I'd have loved to meet more, but the day went surprisingly fast and there was too much to see and do.

But enough about that. Here are details about the yarn (and Turkish spindle) I rescued:

This was my first time at Rhinebeck and, based on my friends’ descriptions, it was everything I imagined it to be. I expected crowds, although some of the lines seemed a bit too long (Miss Babs, for example, had a line out the door that appeared to take 40 minutes to an hour to get through). That said, I’m not sure the lines were the vendors' faults, as I overheard many vendors saying the wifi had been dropping frequently, causing a problem for people paying with credit cards (I was told to bring cash, so it wasn’t a big deal for me, thankfully!). Miss Babs was empty by the end of the day on Saturday and still had a wonderful variety of yarn. We were there when they were restocking, which seemed frequent, so no need to step on each other for different colorways :) I mention this because many forum posts discussed how people were overwhelmingly shove-y and grabby this year.

But despite the crowds, almost everyone was in good spirits and very friendly. Yes, I got jostled around, but I don’t think anyone was doing it on purpose. It’s almost impossible to get around easily when you’re carrying bags and bags of yarn and only have so much space to squeeze through.

There was one young couple heading into one of the barns, though, who were vocally miffed about the crowds. A bunch of people in front of us stopped to look at what was on display in a booth. Due to the oncoming traffic, nobody behind them could get around. Frustrating, sure, but nothing different than what had been happening all day. As an event planner myself, I’m really not sure what else could have been done about it. Anyway, the guy in the couple was like, “Come on, people, what’s the hang up?” The woman loudly sighed and barged through everyone. It was quite a show and they were very sour. I made it a point not to get worked up about the crowds after that because their display was ridiculous. Otherwise, everyone appeared to be having a really good time and I enjoyed meeting/conversing with everyone.

The souvenir tent was wicked busy, which made me happy I had pre-ordered my souvenirs. Picking them up was a breeze. We also grabbed food at odd hours, so that was petty fast for us.

Oh, and the most surreal moment? When people recognized our group as knitting podcasters and wanted their pictures taken with us. I say this like we had a ton of people coming up to us out of nowhere (there weren't), but the few who did really made my day! I kind of felt like I was doing something with myself and connecting with a lot of people I may never actually meet. It was all very strange, but rewarding.

Overall, a wonderful experience. I need to start saving for next year’s trip so I can further indulge!

Photos

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