Mar 22nd 2023

We are all finally back from our time at Rhinebeck—the formal name is New York State Sheep and Wool Festival. The countryside in upstate New York is beautiful and the autumn colors were spectacular.

Of course there are other things at the festival such as wine and cheese. I was able to get over to that building and saw (but didn’t sample) lots of New York wines. Samples were everywhere and I am pretty sure people could have plenty of chances to try the different wines from New York.

I wanted to buy some cheese to take home and did find one booth with New York cheese, but the biggest booth with the biggest crowds were along the wall. I tried to peer between the folks up front and saw signs that said “Wisconsin….” . When I finally got to the front I asked about New York cheese and was told that they had a few from Vermont, some from Italy, but the majority was from Wisconsin! I knew I wouldn’t have to buy any and have to deal with airport sniffing dogs.

Being the newbies we were in the far back of the farthest building but many old and new customers found us and we had some wonderful neighbors. The sweet husband of the dyer from the booth next to ours told us an “all American” story: She had lost her job and he was worried about his but her “hobby” as a dyer seems to be doing exceptionally well.

She had done all the dying she could in preparation for the last minute chance to get into Rhinebeck while doing the temp job she had. They are struggling with some of the things that all entrepreneurs face: the fear of leaving a job; the expenses of getting set up to be full time; figuring out how to find the time to have an internet presence and all the unknowns. The great news is that customers loved her yarn and she had lots of SOLD OUT signs up on the racks. Her company name is Bittersweet Woolery.

We also shared Rhinebeck 1st show experiences and received some excellent local suggestions from another first timer neighbor into the whirled.

Now that we are back we are thinking “HOLIDAY” and we have some exciting patterns to share with you from the winners of the design contest. Many people came to the booth showing significant others, friends, and family members the needles and reminding them of special occasions or the upcoming holidays. One of the things I told folks over and over at Rhinebeck who were looking for ways to let their friends and family know what they were looking for was to set up an account and CREATE A WISH LIST!

Honestly those near and dear to you who are non knitters have no clue what you would like. You can help people at your office, your friends, your family— make that list.