Rhinebeck sucked.

…or Thoughts from a Rhinebeck Newbie

I wanted to love it the way everyone else does. I wanted to have a great time and make knitterly/bloggerly connections. I was so excited to see the sheep and the yarn and the spinners. I thought it would be great, and there were a few things that were good. But mostly, it was bad.

Good things:
1. Meeting Casey, the Father of Ravelry, at the Ravelry gathering (Mama Rav was too busy). I thanked him for all his hard work. Secretly, I wanted to kiss him. Ravelry is awesome and I love love love it.

2. The sheep auction. Usually when you see a sheep out in the pasture, their wool is all matted and covered in shit and dirt and they are smell-y! Or, they’ve just been shorn and they are stressed and naked and looking as they’ve just been violated. The sheep at the auction had been primped and cleaned and fluffed and perfumed. They were beautiful and it made we want to bring one home and let it sleep in my bed. Except, sheep aren’t cheap!

3. The drive up there. It was beautiful. I love this time of year.

Bad things:
1. The crowds. Were. Enormous. I wanted to show my kids the animals in the 4-H pens, but you had to wade through crowds two deep just to get to the railing. I wanted to admire all the beautiful, locally grown and processed yarns (and maybe even squish a few), but people were packed in, elbow to elbow in every single booth. On one hand, I am thrilled and awed by the sheer number of enthusiasts that exist for things having to do with sheep and wool. On the other hand, the vast crowds were noisy and rude and I find it incredibly difficult to shop for yarn when I am getting dirty looks for having a stroller. Oh yes, there was a definite anti-child vibe in the place. People, it’s a family event, you need to expect there to be children in attendance. I might add that the numerous children there were all exceedingly well behaved, including my own.

2. The food–not that good and very pricey.

3. No yarn deals–no show specials. The few booths I managed to squeeze myself into offered nothing I couldn’t get at my LYS (or online) for the same price (or less). A huge disappointment. I don’t think I’ll go back next year. Or next year. Or ever. I found the whole affair to be a stressful, money-sucking waste of gasoline.

Did you go to Rhinebeck? What, if anything, did you see or buy or learn? Is there any reason I should try and go back? If you loved it, tell me why.