Rhinebeck, USA


I made my second pilgrimage to the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool festival this year thanks to an intrepid, non-knitting friend/chauffeur. I navigated while she drove (and sang and searched for radio stations and only once attempted to merge onto a highway going the wrong direction).

We made it in one piece.

The air was crisp, the sky clear, the barns packed with people fawning over yarns and rugs and adorable sheep and camelids.

These were my kind of people. Fibre-y people. Dressed in their best Rhinebeck sweaters and shawls (hurriedly blocked the day before, I’m sure). They were eager to talk crimp and grist and skirting and twist and all those words that are so deliciously opaque to the rest of the world. They knew the fibre lover’s secret handshake.

They even had a llama jumping competition, for heaven’s sake!


There were a few whiffs of strangeness (foreignness) though: A couple “colours” spelled without the “u”. How gauche. Funny looking monochromatic banknotes. How confusing! A Trump bumper sticker on the back of an SUV, driven by a seemingly sane looking young woman.

A larger homemade Trump sign mounted to the side of a barn and illuminated by several small spotlights.

A small, worn sticker on the back of a bathroom stall door. In large block letters, in the centre of the sticker, were the instructions: “Stop. Don’t touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult.”

When I flushed and was able to get a closer look, I saw a small image of a smiling cartoon eagle at the top of the sticker, next to the words: “Harry the eagle says, if you see a gun…”

It was all so Almost familiar. They were all so Almost Canadian.

Just Trump-ier. And armed.


Purchases made at the fleece sale:

  • 1 Shetland fleece from a sheep named Xena
  • 1 Alpaca fleece from Lil Darling (who’s apparently expecting her first cria soon, mazel tov.)

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