We missed you at Rhinebeck.
Cristina Shiffman, Jen Geigley, and I missed you, and everybody else missed you too. I know this because so many people asked for you. Or asked for me, thinking I was you. Or asked Cristina, thinking she was me.
It’s just a lot easier when you’re there, beloved co-bloggette.
The first New York Sheep & Wool Festival since the Covid-19 pandemic hit was weird and wonderful, with the wonderful outweighing the weird by a long shot.
Everyone was so darn happy to be there, and at other gatherings over the weekend, including Indie Untangled and a new one called Wool & Folk. Kristy Glass threw a party called Cake-palooza—of course she did!
People were good about wearing masks in the barns and the bookstore and other inside-ish places, whipping them off for a breath of outdoor air or to pose for a photo.
Social distancing opened up whole new opportunities to be awkward. Many alternative forms of physical expression stood in as poor substitutes for a hug. These included:
—Jumping up and down, saying your name to a person you knew who didn’t recognize you with your mask on.
—Exaggerated air hugs that came close to interpretive dance. All of a sudden, everybody was Martha Graham.
—Exuberant pats on backs, arms, heads, and sweater parts.
—Saying to hell with it via eye contact and just hugging and then going OH SORRY! ARE YOU OK?
Our little crew had a grand time. We were told the crowd was limited to 10,000 people a day, at a festival that usually sees more than 30,000 over the weekend. Vendors were spread out, so there was more space to browse the barns. There was a field of picnic tables behind the food court area—something we’ve always needed. It was grand.
A huge thank you to everyone who stopped by our table in the book barn (building D), perused and purchased the Field Guides and Skill Set, and came to my talk Saturday afternoon, which ended abruptly when news of a sudden storm forecast sent people running to their cars. (Yes, I’m saying it was the storm, not my talk. Shut up!)
Up top is a slide show of a few of our memories. Christine’s Colin got a new Rhinebeck sweater, so all’s right with the world. Of all the clever t-shirts that passed our table, we did have a favorite. The pastries at Bread Alone were just as sweet as we remembered. And on Saturday, Dana Williams-Johnson traveled with a group of friends all wearing the same fantastic striped cardigan design by Shay Johnson, which we hear will be published very soon. (It has pockets!)
Next year, you’re coming.