Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool is one of my favorite days of the year. Everyone I know, knows this. Jess isn’t available the third Sunday of October… ever. She’s at Rhinebeck, and she’s giddy. GIDDY!

This year I drove up by myself, after a night around the campfire… We’ll just say I didn’t leave as early as I wanted to. It happens. Everything was perfect… the weather, the people, and the crowd size. I spoke to vendors and the occasional fiber enthusiast that I may have bumped into. I got lunch from one of my favorite vendor, bought yarn, fiber, and combs. It was just a great day.

Massive tree

Suddenly, I found myself surrounded my Valkyries. Since I was able to do whatever I wanted (a perk of being alone), I asked a lot about wheels and fiber tools and anything I ever wanted to know. Rhinebck vendors, you were so nice, and patient, and full of information. I was learning about spinning wheels, and discussing what I may want in the future. (maybe a Louet?) It was awesome.

The next booth was a man and a lady and a card table. The man was seated and combing up some Romney wool. And just like that I learned about combs and was standing there combing out the fiber. I hate my carders and the combs made my hands and the fiber so much easier to deal with. They were so nice, and I wish I had gotten their names. There was combing and giggling. I bought some right on the spot, and even got to take my combed Romney home.

I enjoyed that Romney for about 3 seconds once I got home. I left it on the table, and Freddie grabbed it. Freddie’s my puppy. It was already ruined with puppy slobber by the time I got him to drop it. Maybe he thought it was a squirrel, and he was protecting me? Probably not, but he’s cute… so I’ll run with that. I tossed the Romney. Dog drool grosses me out. Thanks, Freddie.

Valkyrie combs
My new Valkyrie combs! Honestly, my biggest concern is impaling myself with these bad boys.
Freddie's dog shame
“I chewed Jess’ Romney fiber that she combed at Rhinebeck. It smelled like dog breath/butt, and was ruined… FOREVER.” – Freddie… Also, I suck at writing out dog shaming notes.

Bunny people are the most iiiiinteresting people. There seemed to be more angora vendors at Rhinebeck this year. I chatted with a nice man about plucking vs. cutting the angora wool off of the rabbit; the differences, the problems, how plucking can turn your hand into THE CLAW. It’s nice to chat with other adults about adult stuff. It’s even better if you’re discussing a similar interest with that adult.

This was enough motivation for me to give Miss Priscilla a full trim and grooming session. See? Rhinebeck is good for everyone.

Angora wool
Priscilla’s wool… I can’t even describe to you how soft this is.

Miss Priscilla was a hot mess, and I was a jerk for allowing her to get that way. I’ve been procrastinating. The day after Rhinebeck, I made sure she was my priority. She had some mats, and her wool was releasing on its own. I cut off the mats that are always (unless I keep it short always) around her ears and by her mouth. I like to trim the rest of her face just so she can see. When her hair is long, she’s a bit more jumpy. Probably because she can’t see me coming.

She was plucked (Not like a chicken… it’s a gentle technique that only works on rabbits that release their fur.), and then I trimmed the undercoat to about an inch. She looks like a rabbit now. It’s so weird. But the fiber is gorgeous. I’ll probably spin it and ply it with another type of fiber. I love how that looks. Priscilla is much more comfortable in her short hair. Everyone wins.

Angora rabbit
I think my favorite thing in the world is a bunny yawn. They always look so ferocious.

Did you go to Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival this year? What goodies did you score? Are there other festivals in the Northeast that you attend?


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