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Dear Ann,

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.




  • when i taught at vassar college, had a lovely visit to rhinebeck 🙂 great memories and such fun w/ stash expansion and meeting folks <3
    thanks !

  • Oh gosh my very first Rhinebeck!! Attended with my non-knitting Sister and by the end of the day she was asking Kay at her talk “where can a leftie learn to knit?” I’m so happy I went!! Thank you to Kay and all the knitterati who were so gracious as I fan-girled all over them!! I know I missed some things but will definitely attend again. So so fun!

    • Years ago I taught my left handed daughter to knit by sitting facing her to mirror the movements. It was not very successful. As an adult she tried again, right handed, but never really enjoyed the process. Some things just don’t translate very well.

    • I am left handed but knitting is the same whether you are right or left handed. The only thing I do different is I cast on with the yarn on my right hand but that doesn’t make any difference in the knitting. Just follow the pictures and the directions for knitting the same as right handers. You will be surprised how easy it is with a little practice!

      • I am also a lefty and I’m pretty sure I do everything the same as a right-handed knitter. Now you’ve made me wonder if I also cast on backward? Maybe? But definitely there is now difference in terms of knitting.

      • I’m grateful for this feedback from a leftie. I have heard this from other left-handers but as a right-hander I always feel a little bold giving this answer!

        • Yes, I am a super leftie but knitting was the only thing I ever learned right handed. It is easier to learn right handed, holding the yarn continental.

    • My sister is left handed and crochets left handed but I taught her to knit right handed.

      • Thank you for including us in your Rhinebeck recap! Don’t worry – Colin will have another new sweater for Rhinebeck 2022.

        • I can’t wait for the pattern for Dana’s sweater to be published! I want one!

        • That sweater is glorious! I’m off to look it up right NOW!

  • OMG where can we get the t-shirt “Introverted but willing to discuss knitting?” Possibly one of the greatest ever!!!

    • Etsy! There are tons of cute versions. I also love that T. My whole life summed up in a T-shirt!

    • Completely agree! I definitely need this t-shirt.

    • Me too—I’m on it. I want one.

      • Was thinking same! It describes my post pandemic self so well!

    • Same goes for me. I need this tee!

    • Apparently available at Etsy and Teepublic among others.

    • Ditto!! Gotta have IT!!!

      • Just ordered mine on Etsy!

  • I went too and I took a picture of those same very well-groomed goats. Also took a llama selfie, and was happy to see the Goat Nun. (Did not sample the garlic Brussels sprouts.)

    I was only there on Sunday but my daughter did snag a dickie pin from your vacated table. 🙂

  • I just retired and am thrilled at the thought that I will be able to join my fellow Knit & Knoshers at Rhinebeck for the first time next year. Thanks for all the great photos.

  • I met and spoke to Kay in the first few minutes of my Sunday foray and felt like I hit the jackpot. My day was complete before it had barely begun.

  • Love, love the photos – Kay what is the name of your sweater it is just fabulous!

    • I’m wearing 3 sweaters in the photos, and all of them are blue–I wonder how that happened? One is Hana by Junko Okamoto in Rowan Denim, one is the fabulous Simple Swoncho by Karida Collins in Neighborhood Fiber Company Organic Studio Worsted, and the Icelandic-style cardigan is Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Daytripper Cardigan.

  • This was probably (at least) my 10th visit (can’t say “consecutive” because – 2020) I definitely enjoyed the reduced crowds and a little more space in the buildings (although the booths were still pretty crazy crowded at times!) Mostly I loved walking around again wearing my homemade sweater, admiring other homemade garments and feeling free to comment and ask questions. There’s always a great vibe, and this year was no exception. For me it’s our “Girls Weekend” because I go with my Mom, SIL, daughter , and 2 neices. And we never leave empty-handed!!

  • Cakepalooza was produced by Alissa Baptista owner of cake wool co. Kristy hosted the virtual event of cakepalooza. We are just so proud of everyone involved in the event because it went fabulously.

    • We heard it was a grand time and are sorry we missed it.

  • My first time helping friend as a vendor. It WAS wonderful! Everyone was so happy AND grateful to be back together!
    Will you be going to New England?

  • My first fiber fest got to be Rhinebeck 2021! And it was indeed a glorious, joyous time, even as a solo traveler from NEPA. Yarn and smiles and Brussel sprouts and more yarn. I am sorry to have missed MDK but know I will get to try again next year!

    • Hey, fellow NEPA fiber person! I’m in Susquehanna Co!

  • I’ve now missed Rhinebeck THREE years in a row! Two years ago too energyless, from what turned out to be Lyme disease, last year, and this year because I thought it would be too much. And now I’ve seen the pictures, and I’m soooo sad I missed it. I. Going next year if I have to crawl on my hands and knees and wear a full hazmat suit!
    And next year, when I’m done Rhinebeck, I’m heading down to SAFF, which I also miss terribly….

  • It has been on my bucket list forever.

  • Missed seeing your lovely face, Ann!

    • Thanks for the great Rhinebeck pictures, Kay. Your Hana is wonderful, and looks beautiful on you, too! I am glad that the festival is back. It looks as if all had a great time. Next year in Rhinebeck!

  • I want a tee that says “Extroverted and will not shut up about knitting.” Someone please sell these!

    Some of us happen to be out and out (and out) extroverts. I have regularly accosted strangers wearing interesting knitwear.

    • Seriously! Introverts get all the attention!

      • Mary Lou and Deepa–That is exactly what an extrovert would say!

  • I had tickets for Rhinebeck, but decided to opt out. Now I’m a little sad that I did. But I did go to Wool & Folk which was absolutely lovely. Thank you to everyone sharing their Rhinebeck photos and stories!! Looking forward to Rhinebeck 2022

  • I think I am reading challenged this morning (more coffee please!) and I can’t find the slideshow. I can only get to the three pics in the title page.

    • There are arrows on the sides–hover in that area and you can click the arrow to advance the gallery.

  • I substituted w NJ Sheep And Wool – in September, which was lovely. A mini Rhinebeck.
    Maybe one year you can give it a visit!

    • I went in 2019 and had a blast! Definitely plan to return.

  • It was rather wonderful, and I’m grateful that I was able to be a part of it.
    Happy to see you, everyone, and all those beautiful wooly creatures.

  • ♥️♥️♥️

  • How I wish I could have been there!
    Those muffins, rolls, pastries!
    I have to go wipe my phone off now!

  • Loved the pictures! My friend that lives in Missouri and I are determined to go to the Rhinebeck. Hopefully next year!

  • My sister in Virginia had tickets for both of us but unfortunately the US border is still closed. I was so hopeful to go and to see her ..19 months is long, as it has been for many others. She stayed home as a result also. I am so very sorry to have missed it, hopefully next year.

    • We were definitely missing our Canadian friends.

  • I couldn’t have shared my first Rhinebeck with a more special crew. Thank you ladies of MDK for being the best NY Sheep and Wool guides and friends. A weekend I’ll never forget!

  • That is an awesome T-shirt!

  • I’m in love with that striped sweater!

  • Thanks for sharing the photos! Parent’s Weekend in St. Paul MN interfered with my attendance at Rhinebeck this year. I did make a point of visiting several LYS while out in St. Paul (shout out to #TheYarnery & #HarrietandAlice). Can’t wait for next year.

    • Such great yarn shops in that town (towns)—a great basis for one’s college choice.

  • It was amazing — my first Rhinebeck and hopefully not my last. Thanks for making a few minutes to chat Sunday!

    • Be devious! Still love your business card.

  • I’d like to know the turquoise colorful yoke sweater pattern, on the lady pictured with you. Her orange shirt went perfect, with that yoke.

    • That’s Christine, who is @minimoebius on Instagram. She knits so many sweaters I can’t keep track, but I’m sure you can find out from her IG feed.

      • Darn, she has a private account. Maybe she’s on Ravelry.

        • Hi Francis, it’s the Roost Pullover by Amy Christoffers. I have a Rav project page with the details. – Best, Christine

  • I wish I had been there. It’s a dream of mine. A few years ago, I had just come home from the hospital, recovering from a terrible case of food poisoning with sepsis. My friend called me from Rhinebeck, asking for help with purchasing yarn, which she wanted me to make into a vest for her. She even got me some! It really, really made my day!

  • The surroundings are beautiful! The picture of the huge barn with everyone named to one side was interesting.

  • I want to go! — on my list for next year. looks heavenly! thanks for all the photos.

  • One day I will get to Rhinebeck!

  • Help! What is the name of the beautiful striped/intarsia wrap being held up by your companion in the shot where you are holding up your Daytripper? I feel like I should know it, but I have searched the heck out of my Ravelry favorites without success…

  • How wonderful it all was!! Even though limited attendees it still felt like Rhinebeck. I was sad I missed you all since I was there Saturday only. But Hubs and I had a grand time. He loves the food and wine building and was so happy it was still there. Wish it would have been colder but I wore a shawl instead of a sweater. Next year for sure!!!

  • fun to see Kay in her indigo cotton pull out among it all. Photogenic cables

  • Rhinebeck, looks so fun. I may need to put it on my festival list. I so want things to be more normal. Glad you all had a great time.

  • My first Rhinebeck! I saw your table but didn’t see you so I guess I’ve got to go back next year.

  • Arrrgggh. I’m so jealous. My daughter went walkabout (driveabout?) with my car that weekend, probably to keep me out of the crowds. I was hoping you’d wear your Hana and that I could, very inappropriately, ask to try it on. Haha. I love the design but have shrunk (vertically only) to under 5′ and am afraid oversize might mean overwhelming. It looks beautiful on you, however, and the scarves of your pals are both fantastic. Next year, if I have to crawl.

  • It was so great seeing you at Rhinebeck and thank you so much for my Dickie pins. I gave them out to my friends. It was such a happy day and time!

  • Where can I get a tee-shirt that says “Introvert but will follow people around until I get the name of that sweater pattern that they are wearing”? Recognized your Simple Swoncho and the Destination cardigan from the photos but for the life of me could not pick out your Hana. Happy to see that it was indeed represented. Too introverted to wear a tee shirt that would say “Some Day My Rhinebeck Will Come.” But the wish is certainly there!

  • Oh! Just spotted it (after finger-enlarging photos). Right after the bakery extravaganza. So striking!

  • That is the BEST SHIRT EVER

  • One day, when all this pandemic malarky is over, I’m filling the freezer, leaving a list of instructions, jumping on a plane, and going to Rhinebeck. I shall knit a Rhinebeck sweater and bring the minimal amount of clothing in the largest suitcase I own, allowing plenty of room for stocking up with lovely, lovely yarn and knitterly things.

  • Denim mask to go with the Rowan Denim sweater. Nice!

  • Buttons! What vendor had all the buttons? I’m always on the lookout for new buttons! Couldn’t get to Rhinebeck this year, but will next year!

  • Always fun to peer at Rhinebeck snaps – and happy to see the cashmeres 🙂

  • Loved Rhinebeck it’s been 7 years for me since I was there, when I bought a puppy at the festival. My favorite purchase was a beautiful wooden handmade swift by Yarn tech. A treasure.

  • Next year I’m going to have to remember to get to Bread Alone really early because I don’t remember that amazing display from before! Wow, yum. I was at Wool and Folk and can absolutely recommend it for the venue and vendors–so wonderful and relaxing. And Indie Untangled was sponsored this year by my own LYS: Scratch Supply Co. Jessica and Karen are wonderful and did an amazing job. Soon we’ll have a week’s worth of min-festivals to attend in the Upper Hudson Valley and won’t that be glorious?

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