This weekend was the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, one of those fiber pilgrimages that you put in the calendar a year ahead of time, along with the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in May and Clara Parkes's Knitter's Review Retreat in November. Imagine a space the size of about ten football fields filled with barns and tents full of sheep, llamas, alpacas, goats, and rabbits and their corresponding yarn! Here are some bad pictures of very cute animals:
One of the reasons I was there this year (other than smelling the wool, which is intoxicating to me) was the Storey Publishing team's contribution to the Keep the Fleece initiative, a fund-raising arm of Heifer International. Linda Cortwright, publisher of Wild Fibers magazine and a superwoman in her own right, organized Keep the Fleece not only to make it easy for people to donate money to Heifer International but to entice knitters to make "The World's Longest Scarf," with donations to be made for each knitted inch. Here is our publisher, Pam Art, tagging scarf sections to be knitted together by a team of intrepid needle wielders.
I actually didn't end up buying any yarn this year (a first since I've been coming for the last seven or eight years!) because I keep thinking that when I shuffle off this mortal coil, I'll be buried with all the yarn I have yet to knit, no matter what incredible age I live to. And that coffin will have to be the size of a large pleasure boat to hold it all.
But I go because it's great to see what new stuff is out there in the world and to meet the people who create and craft with that beautiful stuff. I'll give a shout out to Red Maple Sportswear, who make and sell beautiful alpaca garments and accessories; they were one of the sponsors of the Wild Fibers dinner and offered a coupon for the willpower-challenged, like me, to their booth of delights. I got a gorgeous alpaca wrap in a pale sea green that I'll keep at my desk for chilly meetings in drafty conference rooms and to remind myself of the joy that I get from the craft of fiber-making.
Amy Greeman, Director of Publicity