Sheep Wool, Mudd and Climbing – Oh My

Last weekend we headed to the “NYS Sheep and Wool Festival” in Rhinebeck NY for a NLKnitting road trip.  With the leaves changing, it was the perfect time to be on the road.

CourT: I left the HB behind for the weekend, but he wasn’t bored. He joined with a group of good friends and participated in the “Tough Mudder” challenge. It’s a 12 mile obstacle course so challenging, they offer you a free tattoo with completion!

While he was off getting bruised up and dirty, we drove up to Rhinebeck and had an amazing day taking photos for our store: Coffee & T. We found a gorgeous farm for pumpkin picking. Sadly, we were too late to pick the pumpkins but they let us use the land for a photo shoot! The items are in the store now, so you should check them out for Model-sake at least.

Eve: We stayed in a hostel in New Paltz, which is rock climbing territory.  In fact, I think every person at our hostel besides us, was there for climbing or hiking.  We met rock enthusiast brothers Jon and Rob and traded stories about our respective pastimes.  An interesting fact about Jon, he paid $20 for a pair of wool socks, but only $40 for a rock climbing harness.  He preferred to save money and buy used even though it’s the one thing keeping him from falling to his death.  We were concerned…Tara offered to knit him a new one.

Tara had already been busy knitting (What a shocker…) She surprised CourT and I with hats!  They were perfect for the fall weather and walking around the festival. You can’t go to a sheep and wool festival without wearing something knitted.



CourT: The festival is very similar to a county fair. My hometown county fair was actually bigger than Rhinebeck. But that didn’t stop our excitement around the event. Barley found a lot of great new friends.

EVE:  There were seemingly endless yarn possibilities and to be honest, I was a little intimidated.

I wondered if my skills could ever live up to the merchandise displayed in so many beautiful colors and textures.  I couldn’t keep my hands to myself whenever I walked by a fleece, they felt like clouds in a bag.

I was amazed by how many people were spinning their own yarn.  I liked the ‘farm to yarn’ that I saw happening right in front of me. I think that is why I selected a plain un-dyed wool.  This will be my first time working with natural fiber and I like that my finished scarf will have a raw look that connects it back to it’s source.


CourT: I found two stores that I purchased a little fiber-fun from. First up is a local-to-me shop right off the World Trade Center stop in NYC. I found some pretty fingering weight alpaca (about 700 yards) for $36….It spoke to me and said it wanted to be worn around my neck, so I let it come home with me.

The second was a lovely shop from Maine, “Bartletty yarns, Inc.” The man running the shop when I stopped in – and his wife – run the shop together (so I understood.) It’s a long running farm from 1821 and they still spin the wool on a wheel! His wife hand dyes a big portion of the yarn that was available in the booth, so I bought two skeins of 100% wool in a bright teal….It smells like hay still, but I find it oddly comforting.

All in all, I think it all wrapped up into a great weekend. We got to play with animals, touch a lot of soft fiber and see the wonderful leaves change to shades of gold.