Friday, October 23, 2009

Sheep and Wool Festival

An escape from my routine was welcome last weekend, and I ventured on a five hour drive to New York for the Sheep and Wool Festival. I had signed up several months ago for a spinning class, and have been looking forward to learning more and improving my abilities.

It was a good day for travel, and I arrived in Rhinebeck without any problems. I stayed at the Beekman Arms hotel, which was founded in 1766. I was thrilled to find a large antique market with 40 vendors next door. Nice village with lots of shops to explore.

The Inn has a wonderful history dating back to the opening of the original tavern in 1700. Although the price was high for my budget, I wanted to stay in the old building full of antiques. The Inn was built about the same time as our home, but more formal. Needless to say I was given a room in a separate building with little character. On a positive note it did have a beautiful four poster old bed that filled the room so much that I couldn't get a photo of it. And it was quiet and private compared to the main building. I had a decantur of brandy waiting for me and I partook a few sips as I unpacked.

Here are a few shots of the main building, which is rather dark just like our house! Every old fireplace needs a firearm above it in case of a raid or wild critter.

The library was comfortable, but I was just browsing through.

I loved this large corner cabinet. It had a lot of wear and you could tell it would have some wonderful stories if it could speak.

Being a strange person who likes to hook rugs I can envision patterns in everything. This is part of the pattern of the bedspread, and would make a nice design for a little table mat.

The next morning I headed to the festival grounds for my all day spinning class. The teacher had gotten the flu and cancelled all her classes! Luckily the people running the show were able to find someone who was able to teach the techniques for the classes, and was willing. The problem was that she was from Michigan! She drove all night (11 hours) to make it to our first class.

The area we were in was similar to a large garage, and was barely heated. And it was only 35 degrees outside! Spinning is done barefoot, or in your best hand knit socks. But on the cement floor it was cold! Our class was about spinning from the fold, and long draw spinning which is holding the fiber in one hand to spin. It was a good class, but we all had to use both hands quite frequently. I enjoyed the class and met some great women. I love looking at the different wheels and their wood and how they are made. We spun with sheep wool and mohair. Love, love, love mohair to spin with!!!

After class it was almost dark so I retired to my room and hooked on my rug all evening. The fairgrounds were only a mile from the hotel. The next day (Friday) was a free day as the festival wasn't starting until Saturday. I headed back to the fairgrounds to meet up with Linda R. as she was setting up her punchneedle supplies for her vending space. She and her better half had taken a class on making Shaker boxes. She made one, but he continued with his new skills and made a beautiful set of stacked oval boxes that he showed me. This is the smallest, barely 2" long but fully detailed. It was amazing. The tacks are actually pins as tacks would have been too large.

I later explored the antique shop by the hotel and found the prices to be extremely high. I checked out some other shops but a 'nor easter had come in and it was raw, pouring and windy. Back to my room!
Saturday dawned with sunshine but it was cold. I'll share pictures of the actual festival on another day.


theolde stone house said...

Hi Miz
I so love that you a learning all about spinning. Sounds like you had a graet time.
Love the pictures of the Inn. I would love to hear the stories from that cupboard too.


WoolenSails said...

Sounds like a fun retreat, it is a shame it was so cold and your teacher was sick. Seems no one can escape this one. I can't wait to see pictures of the show and Linda's booth.


Crescent Lane Hooker said...

I LOVE your blog Miz and I am now 'stalking' it. It is like reading a travel and history story, places I may never see or hear about. I always thought that spinning would be interesting to do, but I'm sticking to rug hooking . . . another hobby and my hubby kicks me out on my ear. Thanks for your blog on the 'Sheep and Wool Festival". Anxious to read more about it.