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NEW YORK STATE SHEEP & WOOL FESTIVAL

If you’re a fiber enthusiast, chances are you’ve heard about the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, also known to many as Rhinebeck.


Every third full weekend in October, fiber lovers from all over the world flock to New York State for one of the largest fiber festivals of the year, which takes place in Rhinebeck, New York. This year, New York State Sheep and Wool will take place on October 21st and 22nd. You can purchase tickets for the festival in advance on the New York State Sheep and Wool website or on the day of the festival at the gate.


New York State Sheep & Wool Festival 2023 Poster
Source: sheepandwool.com

This year, our very own Nara Takeda, the founder of KnitLeaks, will be there. So make sure to check out KnitLeaks' Instagram for some sneak peeks from the festival.

Keep on reading if you’re interested in what all New York State Sheep and Wool has to offer, and believe me, it’s a lot.



Workshops Galore

At New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, there are so many different workshops you can participate in. Some of the topics include:

  • Brioche knitting

  • Crochet

  • Spinning

  • Natural dying and hand painting yarn

  • Weaving

  • Stranded knitting

  • Lace knitting

  • Basket weaving

  • Broom Making

  • Darning

  • Embroidery

  • Felting and so much more!

The workshops start a couple of days before the festival itself and run from October 19th through October 22nd.



Activities

On top of the workshops, there are a variety of other activities to fill your time at the festival. There will be activities for children, demonstrations of sheep shearing, fiber art demos, and even a sheep dog demonstration.


There are also competitions and shows to see. You can attend a sheep show and sale, visit the photo contest, take in the fashion show, and peruse the hand-made items that fellow makers submitted to be judged.


Don’t forget the animals! You’ll be able to visit sheep, camelid fiber animals, and many other animals in the livestock display area.



Vendors

There will be vendors there selling everything you can imagine. This year, there will be over 250 vendors, so if you plan on attending, take a look at the New York State Sheep and Wool website so you can plan out which vendors you want to visit.



Used Equipment Auction

On Saturday, there will be a used equipment auction where used sheep and fiber equipment will be up for auction. The items typically for sale include shears, feeders, lambing pens, show equipment, spinning wheels, carders, and more.



Meet Your Favorite Designers

Perhaps one of the most exciting things about the weekend is the opportunity to run into some of your favorite designers. Many designers will announce a scheduled meet-up somewhere on the grounds, so if you are attending, make sure to check and see if your favorite designer is planning on doing a meet-up during the festival.



The Rhinebeck Sweater

Maybe you’ve heard about Rhinebeck Sweaters on social media and have wondered what in the world that is. Basically, it’s a sweater you decide to make specifically to wear when you attend the festival. Some designers will even host a Rhinebeck Sweater KAL (knit-a-long) in the months leading up to the festival, and then those who participated in the KAL will meet up at the festival all wearing their matching sweaters.


Fiber festivals are a ton of fun, and Rhinebeck is one of the most talked-about festivals year after year. If you have the opportunity to attend, you most definitely should. You will have an absolute blast, and the memories you make there will last a lifetime.


Before you attend Rhinebeck or any other fiber festival this fall, take a look at our article with some yarn festival survival tips to ensure you have the best possible time at whatever festival you attend.



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