The weather at Rhinebeck was perfect and fall colors were grand. We got there about ten minutes before the gates opened and they sold us tickets in line so we sailed thru the already ticketed group.
I met Anne Barkley Priest of Blue Island Farms, author of Trafficking in Sheep (available on Amazon.com) which I had read and enjoyed several years ago. She lives just across the river in Port Jervis. I bought one of her Blue Faced Leicester/Border Leicester cross fleeces. She said the fleeces she had there were more typical of BFL than BL.
The vendors we spoke to said they were doing very well, much better than the previous year. Several booths were completely out of biz cards. Merlin Tree had his new tiny wheels there. We saw Stephanie, just as we were leaving Bldg A. She had come up on Jill Deal's
After cappucinos we went to buy some sheep milk cheese and admire the skeins and handmade items in Bldg E. One of the gentlemen from Holy Trinity Weavers
was weaving a scarf in a handsome overshot pattern from a blend of handspun silk and ango
We were very surprised to see the Ouessant sheep, weighing less than 50 lbs at maturity. They are the smallest in the world, prompting all sorts of notions on my part of keeping some in the living room. I fear in our fields they would be seen as hors d’oeuvres by the local predators. There were Gotland sheep, also. Both breeds have come to the USA via artificial insemination into similar breeds. Ouessants were crossed on
Shetlands and the Gotland on several breeds including Finnsheep.
Then we found Tsocks at Holiday Yarns
and got to touch her entry in the Tour de Fleece - - the incredible 18 ply skein! Her blog
entry for July 21, 2010 includes a great video of her plying it.
Fred picked up her Ouelette and Scandinavian wheels for restoration and we headed for the Beekman Arms for lunch, passing
one of my all time favorite Victorian gothics, the DelaMater Inn