tips for after sheep and wool

The days after a sheep and wool festival (or any large event) are ones which can cause a range of emotions. Today, the day after Rhinebeck is one of work and recovery. To help you process, I gathered a few of my favorite tips for recovering from a large creative event.

My Number One Tip – Pause

two goats: a dark grey and a light natural colored laying on hay in a barn

There are a few post-event emotions that seem to occur whether you’re a first-time attendee or have years of shows under your belt. You’re likely exhausted, exhilarated, excited, and overwhelmed all at once.

That’s ok!

Perhaps like me you are introverted and enjoy a routine schedule. You find it challenging to get back to the day to day after a large social event.

On days like today I carve extra time to for myself in the morning before I attempt to settle into my workday. I recommend at least 5 minutes and think 15 is even better. I like to sit in quiet contemplation, please do this however is best for you1.

These events can be overstimulating, and I’ve found that pausing before taking time to formally process allows for it to be done in a more meaningful manner. Why? The pause allows a bit of distance to take place both cognitively and temporally, yet not too long that details are forgotten. My experience is that this allows me to write the details that will prove relevant later. When I skip this step, I find there are larger gaps in my records than exist otherwise.

Three additional tips for Processing your Sheep and Wool Experience

two page spread of an orange lined notebook on a wooden desk with keyboard, mini watercolor set, pen, and date stamp visible.
please click to expand image full size
  1. Write it down. It’s an established fact that I love notebooks. So much so that I offer some of my favorites in my shop2. As I process the event, I first focus on bold strokes in a first pass. These are the basic details. Who, what, where, and whys.
  2. Write more. Throughout the week, I write and draw more and fill in gaps. For example, since the photo I’ve added a note about how fast the women’s room line moved3. Here I also try to record the initial ideas and plans I have for new acquisitions. Scribbles for potential blog posts or sketches designs begin to make an appearance.
  3. Review. I also use this time to review my records for my yarn, fiber, books, and notions. While I should always update my database, that doesn’t always happen timely. I know some yarn that came in over the summer didn’t make it into Ravelry. This week I’m inventorying my storage bins and adding missing entries. Books are catalogued in LibraryThing. While I don’t track my needles and notions in a database, I properly store them.

I know this tip is out of order chronologically, but I’ll put it here anyway: as soon as I get home, I take a photo4 of what I purchased so I can help record details about what/who/where — we know that labels disappear. I no longer post “here’s my haul” pics to social media, but I take one for reference. I found this sort of display can cause extra feelings for everyone and they are rarely end positive.

Additional tips:


Are you looking for some tools to help you process your experience?

Are you preparing for a festival? Check out my tips.

  1. What are ways to make time for yourself? Some ideas include: sitting on a bench and breathing autumn air, taking a walk in the woods, napping with a kitten (or puppy), writing in a journal, painting, or sitting with your favorite beverage and a favorite book to (re)read. ↩︎
  2. Are these sold out? I also offer notebooks at PSG Studio. ↩︎
  3. The one near the first aide stations/building G. ↩︎
  4. Are you more curious than my cat about what I purchased? If you really want to see a photo, please ask. I bought 5 oz of fiber, and 3165 meters of yarn (880g) over a few vendors and skeins. ↩︎

This post was first published in 2017 and updated for 2023.

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