Tips on attending Rhinebeck, please!

I’m wondering if someone could give a few tips on going to Rhinebeck - New York Sheep and Wool Festival ( 2022 ) for the first time?

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I am so excited for you! It’s a lot of fun! I want back to a previous thread from 2017 and snipped my rules for Rhinebeck for you.

  1. Don’t buy anything that you can buy at your LYS or online. Go for the really special stuff.
  2. Don’t buy anything from the same vendor two years in a row (except for one alpaca farmer who I adore but every other year my boyfriend gets to pick the yarn.)
  3. If you are driving north to the fairgrounds on the Taconic, the Stewarts at Salt Point has really clean bathrooms. And Salt & Pepper potato chips which are awe-some!!!
  4. The food lines are usually really long but the people you chat with while you wait are lovely.
  5. Buy books last. They’re heavy.
  6. Shop. Animals. Shop. Animals. Eat. Shop. Animals. Break up your day.
  7. If there’s something fantastic, buy it when you see it. It might not be there when you go back for it.
  8. They have an ATM which is both a blessing and a curse.
  9. Bring a little notebook. I always believe I will remember everything but it’s way too much. I’ve been burned by the yarn fumes too many times and now I write things down as I go. Stick a pencil in your pony tail and you’ll be fine.
  10. Accept the fact that Rhinebeck is a full contact sport. It’s crowded and you definitely will be bumping into other people about every 10 seconds. No one ever gets mad about it. The rest of the world could learn a lot from knitters at Rhinebeck.
  11. There are also lots of cool finished products. It’s not just yarn and animals.
  12. We always finish up at the food building. Lots and lots of vendors. Local cheese, wine, small batch treats and everyone gives out samples. We always bring treats home and by home, I mean we eat them in the car.
  13. It’s not just for knitters. My boyfriend is a sheet metal worker and his buddy Joe is also a tinknocker and a punk rock bass player (he’s played with the Pogues). They both love going to Rhinebeck.

A few things have changed. Due to the “demands of the pandemic” there are fewer vendors and they’re spaced out; people are a little more sensitive about the bumping into people but it still happens all the time; and I have since dumped the boyfriend but the Rhinbeck is for everyone rule is still true.

A few more to add: You will see a lot of famous people from the online community in person. In my experience, every single one of them has been gracious and lovely. Especially Sonya Philip who I greeted as if we were separated at birth! I cringed - she laughed. Oh and Stephen West who very kindly didn’t call security on me. There will be a lot of non-famous people there who you also know from online but you don’t know what they look like. It’s a good idea to make plans with some of those folks to meet up at a specific time and specific place. The lawn has lots of big meetups going on so its a little bit Where’s Waldo but there are lots of good places to meet up with just a few people. (This is another reason why I stand firm in the belief that people should wear name tags every time they leave their house.) People like it a lot when you stop them and ask what that sweater/scarf/hat/etc. pattern is.

More to add about the ride from NY, also at the Salt Point exit on the Taconic, there is a really cute and delicious sandwich shop called Jeanie Beans. Just keep driving past the Stewarts and you’ll come to it at the curve in the road on the left. It looks like a house and if you’re lucky, you can eat your sandwich on the porch. They too have a very clean bathroom.

Wear comfortable shoes, dress in layers, hydrate, and make sure you bring a little knitting to take a break and just take the whole thing in. There’s something very special about looking out over a big crowd and knowing that you have at least one thing in common with every person there.

I should be easy to find as I will likely be in the back of a police car while Franklin Habit fills out a restraining order.


Definitely comfortable shoes, and layers! I’ve been there when the morning was sunny and 55, and the afternoon was snowing. Or the morning snowing, afternoon 60. We usually pack a lunch, but the food is good if you don’t mind the lines. Sit on the wall and people watch while you eat. I saw Annie Lennox one year! The first year you will want to buy all the stuff, but after that you can learn to plan and budget a little. Ha! Just kidding!
But you will find the atmosphere and friendliness of the crowd will restore your faith in humanity….


Hi! I’m just now seeing this and am thrilled with all you shared! Fabulous! Funny and it got me even more excited. Many thanks and I hope you’re one of them that I bump into this year!


Everything the others said, & to remember, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon!

Also that sometimes it’s HOT


Got it! Thanks!!!

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Bringing friends who don’t knit or crochet can be very fun - I’ve brought friends who are not fiber obsessed and they had so much fun, they mention about going again.

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That’s certainly good to know. Thank you!

I really appreciate the tips for navigating Rhinebeck. This will be my first time and I am going with knitting friends. Looking forward to the experience.