We Went to Rhinebeck

This post should have been part of a series of posts where we prepare for Rhinebeck, talk about our journey getting our stock together, and then go.

I didn’t get that done.  Picture me weighing and packaging just-finished roving from the flock the night before I left, because that’s about the pace things were taking.

We had already been invited to display our Bluefaced Leicester sheep in the breed barn, so we were committed to bringing sheep to the venue.  Then, we found out we would have a substitute vending space – awesome!  Except that we didn’t really have enough yarn to fill out a booth, so we would have to try to do some in-fill.   Fortunately, Kingdom Fleece and Fiberworks had some space in their processing calendar, so we had the lambs shorn and sent their soft, beautiful fleeces to Elizabeth.

So I left Vermont at 5am on Friday with 17 lbs of roving and 25 lbs of yarn in the truck cab, my display for both my booth and the BFL breed display in the bed of the truck, and two lambs for the breed display in the trailer.  I picked up some Icelandics in need of a ride down in Duxbury, and arrived at Rhinebeck right at 1pm.  I wish that Google Maps had a setting for navigation with a trailer.  I wasn’t keen to pay Thruway tolls for trailering, and I also had to keep de-selecting routes that used the Taconic Parkway (trailers not permitted there).  Did you get that, Google?  Good.

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Packed to the gills.  And yes, yes I do use a little booster to see in my F150.

Setting up went quickly once Mom arrived, and before we knew it Saturday morning arrived.  I thought that the attendees might come in at a jogging pace, but we weren’t near any of the “hot” vendors so we were just casually populated with shoppers until our booth felt full.  Kind helpers from Ravelry joined us to help answer questions and guide customers.  I owe a big thank you to Liz, Nance and Betsy for getting us food and water, and to Alisa and Alison for answering key Rhinebeck questions and being ready with a good phone charger.

We observed some interesting outcomes in our booth.  We sold more kep patterns with our Northern Borders yarn than we did mitten patterns with our Derby Line yarn.  Colors seem to be hit or miss with different crowds, but I will be planning on making more solid colors next year, even though variegated yarn is FUN!  We will have notecards for sale on the site soon.  Mom enjoyed interacting with fellow Kep-makers from her Facebook based Kep group and just chatting about the sheep and knitting.  Mom really makes the booth possible, since she is the real fiber expert on staff.

Sunday was a bit of a letdown, mainly because I will freely admit that our booth looked picked-over after Saturday and we were quite low on yarn.  We didn’t have all of the colors and kits that people wanted to buy available.  Good information for next year, when I anticipate having twice as much yarn made for a nice, lush booth.

It is a real credit to the organizational skills of Rhinebeck managers that the show ended at 4 pm but it only took an hour and change to pack Mom up with all of the booth contents and fixtures, and then 45 minutes more for me to pick up the sheep and take them home.  This will be my last year bringing sheep to Rhinebeck, so next year will be much more straightforward.

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Next year, I will have a banner instead of two aluminum signs.

 

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