Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rhinebeck: the New York Sheep & Wool Festival, Part II

So, where did I last leave off? Ah, yes, I had just finished describing some of the "bling bling" that I purchased from The Rams Head Studio people, yes? The pin to the left is also from them and I think it really sets the tone of what the New York Sheep and Wool Festival, also known simply as "Rhinebeck," is all about -- the fiber!! And lots of it!
That and all the buttons and tools associated with playing with it!  {VBG}

After exhausing a weeks' worth of hunting online for the perfect "butterfly" buttons I wanted for the felted bag I have been working on, I found several at the Festival.  Right there!  And what a selection!  The children, Mini~Dee, Dee Jr., and The Kid, had fun helping me select them.

Then we were off to start visiting the various barns and check out all the goodies available for adoption.  Everything was so tempting, but I behaved!  I kept my sights narrowed onto felting supplies -- from needles to variety fiber packages.  

After some time had passed we heard Margaret had arrived, so we started our way back to the Author's Tent.  We stopped along the way so the children check out the Tortoises when out of nowhere -- ZAP!  I was attacked by a bee!  Now being highly allergic I should have just gone into sheer panic and started screaming "Medic!," but I didn't as I didn't want to frighten the children.  I stayed calm and we went directly to the First Aid where I was treated promptly.  Fortunately for me it turned out to be a bee bite and not a sting!  I didn't need to use my epi-pen and be rushed to the nearest hospital!  Whew!  So I'll take a bee bite and a loss of shopping time over that ANYTIME!! 

After being observed for a lengthy time by the medical folks for any possible alergic reaction, I was given the green light to continue on with enjoying the Festival.  After lunch we made our way back to the Author's Tent.  There were a lot of big name Knit authors there, but with me not being a knitter, I didn't know who they were.  We hooked up with Margaret, and had fun chatting with her.  She treated the kids to balloons, and I treated myself to an autographed felting book -- "Hand Felted Jewelry and Beads: 25 Artful Designs" by Carol Cypher -- oh the possibilities!  (But that will be another blog entry for another time!)  

One vendor completely blew a sale: earlier in the morning I gave the children spending money that they could use to purchase whatever they fancied.  They had their eye on some felted goodies by one vendor but couldn't afford their prices.  (That lead into a great conversation of handmade value vs. machine made value.)  As we wondered on, we stopped at another vendor selling drop spindles.  My son reached out to investigate one that had caught his eye and just as he did a man yelled at him, "Hey kid! Don't touch that!"

Dee Jr. was taken aback; those that know him know he is a good boy, not a wild child needing to be brought under control.  He had done nothing wrong; he looked at me nearly in tears.  I took this to be a great opportunitty to teach another life lesson.  I turned to my son and said, "Do you see the error in this man's selling approach?"   I watched my son blink hard to fight back the tears.  I continued on, in front of this man, saying "...had this man asked you if you were interested in learning how and explained the process to you, you might have made a purchase here with the spending money in your pocket."  Then I turned to the man and said, "Too bad for you,"  and we walked away.  This was the only negative, aside from the bee attack, we experienced.   All the other vendors embraced the children's visit, which, IMHO, is good because they are tomorrow's fiber artists!

Dee's bounty from the 2007 NY Sheep & Wool Festival, Rhinebeck, NYFortunately, Nancy, another member of the HHCC CGOA Chapter, had a much better experience in getting a drop spindle for her young daughter -- and she tells me she's now a pro at spinning with the drop spindle! ... you can read about it here.   (I do want to note there were many vendors selling drop spindles, but the man that yelled at my son dampened his spirits.  I told Dee Jr. I have a drop spindle from a previous Sheep & Wool Festival and if he wants, he can use it.  We'll see if his interest in it perks up again.)   

As the day quickly started to wind down, we ended our adventure with fried dough and a scenic drive home with the sun just starting to set over the orange and red tree tops.  I'm thinking that for next year, I just may need to go with a two-day pass! 
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Anonymous said...

It's a shame some folks are such dolts! That one vendor snapping at your son, that's just uncalled for. And good for you to tell him so.

Next year, we must coordinate, so at least we can say "howdy" to eacy other at the festival:)

Anonymous said...

good that you educated the vendor. Some vendors act as if you're supposed to just buy something and get out of their way. In fact, I think they'd prefer you just toss the money at them. I won't buy from those vendors, no matter what they are selling...