Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bright and early on Saturday, I was up, out the door to grab a latte and a brioche at Calico Cat patisserie. I was at the Duchess County Fairgrounds by 8:15 a.m. and was surprised to see they were letting people in. So I walked around checking out my favorite vendors and ran into Margie and Charlie who had also come early. At 9:00 a.m. sharp, I was at Hatchtown's booth and bought four of their beautiful handcrafted spindles. Here's one of them.

Unfortunately for me, I had to ship two boxes of Rhinebeck purchases via UPS because I could never have fit all that stuff into my carry-on suitcase -- so I have to wait until Friday and Monday for all of my wonderful fibers and things to arrive.

After Hatchtown, I rushed over to Foxfire Fibers and bought some of Barbara Parry's scrumptious snow white Cormo wool roving and some of her cashmere/silk roving. My last "must-see" vendor was Buckwheat Bridge Angoras where I bought some of Sara's colorful solar dyed yarns -- kid mohair/cormo wool blends. Once I left those vendors, I was able to kick back, relax and just enjoy looking at all the wonderful booths and things for sale. I just love the Rhinebeck show, and other similar shows, because the individual farmers and animal breeders are there with fibers from their flocks. You can get some amazing spinning fibers and fleeces at these shows. You have to be a spinner to appreciate a stinky raw fleece.

I knew Margie would be looking for raw fleeces so I made my way over to the mohair and alpaca tent where a fleece sale was in progress. I bought an amazing caramel colored alpaca fleece, extremely soft, and Margie bought a colored mohair fleece, a prize winner. Then we started to meander through each of the buildings and stopped along the way at the barns with all of the different sheep breeds. A sheep auction was in progress and we stopped to watch. I couldn't believe how fast the auctioneer talked. We also watched some sheep judging. Margie bought a beautiful white Blueface Leicester fleece from a young woman who was showing her sheep. Here are pictures of some of the many sheep we saw. I think the first are Romney; the second are Cotswold and the third are Blueface Leicester.

We then walked over to watch the sheep dog trials. I couldn't get a good picture, but it is amazing to see how these dogs have been trained to herd a group of sheep through quite a long obstacle course of gates.

There was tasty food in abundance, like fried dough. Yum! Handcut french fries. We had deep fried artichokes and hand-pressed apple cider. I just had to take a picture of the baskets of apples in the cider guy's booth. These were fresh off the trees.

More shopping. Here's Margie looking in a booth after just having purchased a couple of bags of roving from Persimmon Tree -- fall colors. I got some, too; just couldn't resist the beautiful colors.

We stopped by one of my favorite booths: Wild Apple Hill Farm from Hudson, NY. They have a flock of Shetland sheep and have really nice fleeces. I love this booth and have bought from them many times. Margie bought a ewe lamb fleece.

About 3:00 p.m., I parted with Margie. She went off to find Charlie and I went to meet my friends from NYC (Jan and Jim) for dinner at Gigi Trattoria, another one of the great little restaurants in Rhinebeck. Again, comfort food -- lasagna bolognese and a nice glass of Chianti, then off to my room to spin a little on my new Hatchtown and to knit.
Next chapter - More Rhinebeck Festival

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