But it was worth it! Man oh man oh man! was it worth it! We had decided early on that we wouldn't buy any alpacas (or sheep or goats), even though the Land Rover was big enough for one or two (though not big enough for a llama). Okay, we didn't have enough money to bring home any livestock, but the Souay sheep, the Icelandic sheep, and the Welsh Black Sheep all caught my fancy. I would have been happy to take any of them home. Of course, I live in a third floor walk up flat, have no yard, and have no knowledge of what it takes to be a shepherd (um, grass? shelter? I dunno), but still, I wanted to take them all home with me.
And there was yarn. Lots of yarn. I must admit, I bought a lot of it, and there was more that caught my fancy. I tried to stick with yarns I can't find at any of the yarn stores in my area, things I'd never seen before, or yarns from farms that usually only sell directly, or at festivals. I collected a fair number of cards from various yarn sites and will be organising a shopping tour via the internet at some point in the not-too-distant future.
So a couple of things we learned from our first time at Rhinebeck:
- Leave earlier if going on the first day of the festival. We got there at noon, they close at 5:00, and there was still much left to explore, booths unvisited, yarns unbought.
- Get there the night before. The gates open at 10:00, and it would have been better to have had more time there.
- Bring more money. I will need to save up for more stuff next year, especially if my goal is to get products that are not available locally, yarns or roving (first spinning lesson later this week, but that's fodder for another post) or even fleeces.
- Book a hotel and stay for the second day. One cannot truly see it all in one day. I am not so much interested in the livestock shows, since I'm not really in the market for livestock, but there were many more booths I'd've visited if I'd had the time.
- Bring more money.
- Hydrate. I didn't drink enough water.
Near the entrance to the festival, there were some animals for feeding, and this kangaroo, carrying a joey in her pouch. I wonder what kind of fleece one can get from a kangaroo, and how spinable it is?