32 Things You’ll Find At A Sheep And Wool Festival

The New York State Sheep and Wool Festival takes place annually in New York’s Hudson Valley; it’s pretty much the best place to go if you’re at all interested in cuddly animals, adorable children, sweaters — or more yarn than you’ve ever seen in your entire life.

1. Lots of yarn:

The weekend festival always takes place during the third weekend in October and stars food carts, yarn vendors, and sheep breeders. Thousands of people attend each year.

I’ve gone for the past five years and I always promise myself I won’t spend any money on yarn or food. Like clockwork, every year I find myself in line for the ATM with a maple cotton candy in one hand and a bag full of artisan-spun merino yarn in the other. (I knit, btw.)

2. Judgmental sheep:

“You can’t sit with us.”

3. Star-crossed sheep lovers:

“I’m sorry, Cliff, I just can’t.” “But, Simone!”

4. Sheep who were not at all interested in the adorable children who came to squeal over them:

5. Said adorable children trying to get away from their yarn-obsessed parents:

If my mom made me wear a wool handknit hat and sweater on a warm, sunny day, I might try to escape too.

6. Children wearing handknits:

7. Children playing in the autumn leaves:

8. Athletic dogs doing tricks:

In the “Paw Stars” competition, dogs from local shelters got to show off their tricks. There was even a race where they competed against little kids (the dogs won each round, although the kids didn’t seem to care). This dog’s name is Moshi and he puts any liberal arts college’s entire Ultimate Frisbee team to shame.

Do not attempt to duplicate, you will fail.

9. A dog with a heartwarming rags-to-riches backstory:

This pit bull, named Santiago, was rescued from the streets of Poughkeepsie and is now the Land’s End 2012 spokesdog.

He’s an alum of the Animal Farm Foundation, which is dedicated to securing equal treatment and opportunity for pit bulls.

And he was friendly!

10. Beautiful handmade sweaters:

Like this cabled Aran pullover.

And this jacket, which matched the fall colors of the Hudson Valley perfectly.

11. Knitted accessories:

Like this girl’s scarf, which was over ten feet long. She was a student at nearby Renssalaer Polytechnic and this was her first time at the festival.

Her friend cable-knit his own socks.

This group of friends modified the Fiddlehead pattern in order to make their complementing hats.

12. Lemurs:

Plenty of non-sheep animals attend the festival, even those who aren’t known for their fiber-producing qualities.

13. A rabbit who was exactly the same size as his full-grown tortoise friend:

14. A little girl dressed as a sheep who was pretty excited about that fact:

Although she didn’t seem to adhere to the sign.

15. Rabbits totally unfazed by all the attention they were getting:

There were a staggering number of rabbits in attendance.

16. A woman actually buying a rabbit to take home with her:

I overheard her tell her friends, “Bob isn’t going to like this!”

17. A rogue bunny trying to bond with what she thinks is a fellow rabbit.

18. Punny food vendors:

Who WOULDN’T want to eat at the “Clam Box,” is my question.

19. Knitted sweaters and scarves for sale:

20. And knitted wine glass holders:

Which I hadn’t even known were a Thing.

21. A felted family of gnomes:

Felting is a process where wool is agitated, either by hand or in the hot wash, in order to create a thicker, denser fabric. We already knew that everything could be knitted (see: deer heads, bicycles, armchairs) but these vendors proved that everything can be felted as well.

22. Felted ice cream:

23. Felted seabirds:

24. Felted seascapes:

25. A felted real-life married couple:

26. These beautiful felted bags:

They’re available from Julia Hilbrandt, who will also make custom orders.

27. A felted pig:

The seal was handknit and it is honestly a miracle that I managed to leave this booth without purchasing it.

28. Even felted soap:

You make it by knitting around soap and then felting the finished product. It’s mildly exfoliant. Doesn’t that one on the top left kind of look like the giant eyeball? Buy these from Utopia Bath, Ltd..

29. Buttons!

30. Roving, or unspun yarn:

It’s probably the closest you can get to grabbing handfuls of actual heavenly clouds.

31. Spinners turning the roving into yarn:

This vendor, named Rich, had spent all day spinning at his booth.

32. Llamas, who sadly leave promptly at the end of the day:

Luckily, there’s always next year.

Photos by Alanna Okun for BuzzFeed.

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