Rhinebeck Review

On Sunday, I went to the NY Sheep and Wool Festival, known by most people in the knitting/fiber community as just “Rhinebeck” (because of the town where it takes place). This is the 3rd time I’ve gone, and let me tell you, it was the best one yet.

I’ll be honest, in the past I’ve actually found Rhinebeck really overwhelming. There are just so many people and vendors and choice and you hardly know where to look. I don’t usually come in with a plan of what I’m looking for, and so the past two times I didn’t even really end up with that much yarn. I think the order in which we did things the last time too was also not great, we ended in the more popular areas at the end of the day, and sometimes it was hard to even get near some of the really popular booths, much less actually look to buy some yarn. This year we went on Saturday instead of Sunday, and the combo of that, there being less people due to COVID, and there also being less vendors due to COVID really made the whole thing a lot better. We also switched around our order so that we did those popular areas first, so we could actually stop and look at things. All of us bought way more stuff than we had in the past!

Four white women stand in front of a tree wearing purple hand knit sweaters and matching face masks
Leah, Kristin, me, and Jen

First things first, our color matching sweaters were a huge hit. So many people stopped and commented on our looks and how they loved that we were matching. I kind of felt like a celebrity! Kristin’s bird colorwork was definitely the showstopper, but overall people really liked that we matched. We’re excited to go back next year and see if people liked it mostly because it was purple, and people really like purple, or if it was just the matching. We’re hoping to find like an emerald green for next year, we’re just working our way through all the jewel tones since that looks good on all of us. 💎

Rheinbeck for me has always really been about spending a day with these awesome ladies, and this year was the first year we were actually able to all be together! The first year we went, Jen was out of the country, and the second year Kristin had just had a baby (3 days earlier). Getting to go together did not disappoint. I love these crafty friendships that I’ve formed. Leah and I are basically the same person when in comes to our taste in yarn and colors, as demonstrated by the fact that we actually bought the same skeins of yarn at one of the booths!

Two women take a selfie holding two matching skeins of yarn
Leah and I are basically the same person

We got to Rhinebeck just before the gates opened, and were able to make it through everything, (including actually being able to get one of the apple cider donuts without an hour long wait!) by about noon, so we decided to leave the festival and head into town to have lunch there. We grabbed a burger at this great place and then walked around a little bit looking for a tea for Kristin’s friend who had spent the day with us (she’s not a knitter but she was visiting Kristin so came along for the ride). It was actually great to do that, still spend some time together but actually have a place to sit down and have non-fair food.

5 skeins of yarn, some buttons, and a pattern book sit on a sheet.
Rheinbeck haul!

This is what I ended up getting! Like I said before, it’s definitely the most yarn I bought at any Rhinebeck so far, but all awesome stuff that I can see myself using.

  • The two smaller blue skeins on the left had gotten left out in the rain 😥 so they were deeply discounted. I felt so bad for that booth, they were outside but I guess there were supposed to be wind gusts overnight so they had to take down their tent and a lot got really wet. These weren’t too badly wet or felted, and I have plans to make a pair of Mesotherm Socks out of them as I’ve been meaning to re-knit that pattern.
  • The grey speckled skein is a random skein of sock yarn, no real plans for that, but that was the first yarn of the day I got.
  • The two skeins are the ones I got matching with Leah. I might make a Play it By Queer shawl with the pink-y one and another skein, as I think that will break up the variegation really well.
  • There’s one button stand that I also went to last time that’s really awesome, I got some cool peal buttons and these little brass ones. I have no knitting projects planned that currently require buttons, but it’s always good to have stash.
  • And finally, I picked up a copy of Embody! This is actually the one thing I did want to specifically look for. While I have no real need or desire to completely move to a minimalist wardrobe, I really love the idea of creating basic pieces that will last and are fully fitted to me. There is so much amazing stuff packed into this book, each pattern can be customized in so many ways and Jackie walks you through how to pick the best size and edit it to meet your needs.

So, that was Rhinebeck! It was really an awesome day, and the best one yet.


  1. It sounds like a wonderful, fun, amazing weekend. I guess the silver lining to COVID is less crowds and more things available to find waiting for you in a booth? So glad they were able to do an in-person event this year and glad you had a great time.

  2. What a wonderful day!! And yes, going with knitting friends is the best. Brilliant to knit up sweaters in matching colors. All the sweaters look great. Makes me think of a bridal party where they wear the same color but not the same dress. All wearing the same pattern is maybe a little too “cutesy”?? Emerald green for next year sounds fantastic. Love the yarns you found. Your new dress looks great with your sweater. I’m liking that sweater you took a picture of. Do you know the pattern?

  3. I went to the lamb booth too. I had a cup of the barley and lamb soup. So delicious. I typically go home for lunch, but the lamb smelled so freakin yummy.

  4. Rhinebeck sounds like a fun time! I’ve gone to yarn shows before, but they’ve all been vendor-focused without the fair aspect. Sheep to shawl is something that I’ve wanted to observe in person for ages. And I am so jealous of that doughnut, it looks amazing.

  5. OMG I love your sweater gang so much! You really had a fantastic idea and I love how unique every one of you made theirs! No wonder people stopped to talk and admire you – I’ll be looking forward to year green. 🙂
    I absolutely love your haul. The yarn is beautiful, and while I am not into fashion at all, I think it is super smart to have something like a capsule wardrobe that will fit you with no compromises made. Please share what you are going to make from it – do you know what your first project will be?

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