Sunday, 23 October 2011

Rhinebeck Part 1

I start this blog by stating that Rhinebeck is enormous and there is no way that I could cover it all in the time I had. I will be posting my visit as 2 or 3 blogs over the next week as I took 182 photographs in 4 hours.

The photos will show a reasonable representation of the fibre and exhibition halls. I think I covered 8 or 9 halls while I was there. I did not visit the animal halls or the fleece sales which I would have enjoyed thoroughly. I hope I can bring the essence of my experience to you here. I had a wonderful time.

The day started early, before the sun rose with us driving down out of the Catskill Mountains to Kingston, where we pulled into the Services for coffee and a muffin. I was in need of the restroom so was not paying much attention but did notice a lady hurrying in the same direction. My sainted husband told me that she had arrived before us and her car was full of YARN!!!

Standing in the coffee queue a voice said I must be going to Rhinebeck if I was wearing this. I replied that I was and all the way from the UK too. She offered me a sneak preview and we arranged to meet outside, with coffee in hand.

On reaching her car and opening the boot, Karin from Periwinkle Sheep, reached into one of the bins and brought out this skein of beautiful yarn in my favourite colour and gave it to me telling me it was her Rhinebeck colourway for 2011. This lovely gift made my day extra special. When we parted I had a huge grin on my face which I believe I wore for the rest of the day. I acquired yarn before even entering the gates. 

The parking area was empty when we arrived. We were in the second row.  The building in the distance is the gate.

People where being allowed through the gates although it was barely 8.30am in the morning but the roads to the halls were empty with a few ladies hurrying off to their classes. We spoke to a few carrying spinning wheels who were very excited and the classes sounded great but I cannot remember who they were with or what they were about.

While we were waiting for the exhibitors to ready themselves for business, we found this gorgeous sand sculpture which had suffered a bit under the night's rainfall. 

My first glimpse of Hall A which was actually 3 halls next to each other, each one with two aisles like this one. 

There were baskets on the right

and this fabric and rug stall

and my first glimpse of yarn on the left which I did not find very exciting.

Then it just kept getting better.

Woven scarves for sale on a rack at the next stand

and knitted hats in the middle of another yarn stall.

I think my heart actually stopped when I saw Golding Fibre Tools. The workmanship is absolutely exquisite. Just look at these gorgeous drop spindles

 and these lucets.

 Then there was yarn again.

This stall had the most beautiful felted Christmas decorations. Don't miss the beautiful log cabin quilt being used as a table cloth.


At the end of the row there were two ladies spinning on the Hitchhiker Spinning wheel.

Aren't they cute? I could fall in love.

Near this was the wonderful stall full of fleece of every kind

and against the far end, more traditional wheels on display for sale. 

This was only the first aisle and I did not even photograph every stall. 

Around the corner, I met the lovely ladies from Wales. Polly, the blurred lady (she was walking towards me) is the shepherdess of a small flock in Wales and all the yarn you see displayed, is from about 40 sheep that she tends. Her shawls are all hand knitted by contracted knitters. We had a long chat and she was lovely. I was sad to bid her adieu

but I had spotted the Skacel Stall and the lace work was absolutely beautiful.

You can barely see the shawl behind the lady which is a brown and cream crocheted lace and when I admired it, she gave me a copy of the Piecework magazine which has the pattern in it. They are planning to attend Woolfest or Wonderwool here next year, I am not sure which as they spoke about both.

The next stall was a felting stall with pretty bags all along the top. As you can see it is getting a lot busier now and there will be many more blurred people in the photos.

This roving / tops is waiting to find a new home.

I fell in love with several of the buttons. Why did I not win the lottery before I left home?

This is the first stall, Handspun by Stefania, where I spent money. Can you spot the hole in the wall of roving? It is where 7.7 ounces of Indigo Dyed Coopworth & Silk once lived before it found a happy home in Hampshire. I cannot wait to spin it. Don't miss the tops of the spindles at the bottom of the shot.

I spent a long time contemplating yarn in the Spirit Trails booth. I was looking for some Cormo to spin which they only had in a colourway that I did not like so I left without any purchase. The ladies where very helpful and friendly and they had several bags of rare breeds fibre dotted around the stall that did tempt me.

All too soon, I was back at the entrance to the hall where this lady was spinning on this lovely wheel which her husband built for her. He had a small picture of the wheel from which he reproduced it from. It has a 'Sleeping Beauty Spindle' at the bottom of the perpendicular shaft. The wheel is very thin and has three grooves in it. She is busy replacing the drive band in this shot. The wheel is 15 years old and when they came across a real one, found that the size of her wheel was only out by about 10%. It was very interesting talking to her.

Outside the hall, against the wall of the one opposite, this man was preparing pumpkins for Halloween.

Now folks, this post is ONE hall. It got a great deal more busy after this and good photographs were very hard to take. I have a busy few days ahead this week but will attempt to post the next part in the middle of the week. I hope you all enjoy this.


  1. ohhhhh its all to dye for !!! absolutely amazing..

  2. oh my...i could not begin to imagine this at all. what wonderful items and your narrative is so helpful in seeing the details that might otherwise be missed. i'm going to provide some acquaintances with this so they, too, can wander through and see the delights through your eyes and words. thanks so much!

  3. Feel free, Barbara. I hope they all enjoy it too:)

  4. You had a yarning good time my friend.. thank you for sharing !