Yesterday was our whirlwind trip to Rhinebeck for the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival. The weather was beautiful, the children were good, and there were so many things to see, smell, touch, hear, and taste! To see some of the sensory goodness, check out our Flikr folder with pictures from the day.
Before going I experienced a variety of emotions. When we first decided to go, I was excited. As the date came closer, I became less excited because I started thinking about what I was going to do there, what was the purpose of the trip? When I was reading people talk about the festival on Ravelry, it seemed like it was supposed to be one big shopping fest. Hmmm… how is that going to help me try to live more simply, reduce my consumerism? I’m going to take the 4+ hour drive (one-way) to buy more stuff? Do I really need anything? And I don’t spin, and that is a big focus of this festival (or so it seemed). Between those thoughts and other things going on in my life (see my “Drowning” post) I was less than excited as the day drew near.
But once we got there, I was happy to be there even if I don’t ever go again. I did do a little buying, some yarn to make holiday gifts for my in-laws. Other than that, we bought some sweet treats (fudge, and some vegan tasties) and some naturally made soap samples.
The kids loved all of the things to see and do. L3 was fascinated by all the spinning wheels. I think he stopped and watched every single one on which someone was working everytime we passed one. Of course he wanted to touch all of them, too! L4 loved all of the rabbits. The other animals made her nervous, at first, but eventually she enjoyed them all.
For me, seeing the sheep, goats, llamas, and alpacas in the flesh was inspiring. First, I knew there were different kinds of sheep, but I didn’t realize the range of variety! Observing the animals, seeing some of them get “haircuts” and then seeing the fibers, the spinning, the weaving and, of course, the knitting, gave me a new appreciation for the fiber arts. So much energy is put into the entire process! A skein or ball of yarn is so much more than the its tactile softness or visual brightness, it has such a history of creation. All the more so when it is a handpainted or handspun yarn (or both!).
As I knit the gift socks out of the yarn purchased from the small, independent farms/vendors at the show, I think I’ll be more contemplative than usual. I didn’t just buy “stuff” this time. I purchased a whole chain of energy for this product, and am going to continue to add to its energy history before it reaches its final destination. It would be far easier and “cheaper” to simply buy socks for the intended recipients. But my own energy and intent would be lost, as well as something greater. I can’t quite articulate what I mean here, but perhaps you understand what I mean?
If you’re reading, Amy, I’m glad were were able to make the trip together!
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