So, for those of us in the Northeast, and, to be honest, all over the country, the third weekend of October is generally treated as a holiday...no, not for that Columbus dude...for the holiest of holies...RHINEBECK SHEEP AND WOOL FESTIVAL!!!
As most of you know, this was my first time staying the entire weekend - and gosh, what a blast it was!! The ever lovely Kim (yarnyoldkim) arranged for our house back in March (!!!) and it could not have been better for our large group. There was plenty of space for knitting and spinning...and finishing sweaters to be worn the next day! Oh, and don't forget the food...yum. While unable to partake in all things cheesy, the company of friends, old and new, certainly made the atmosphere perfect.
Our caravans of knitters all arrived on Friday night and a group of us went to a diner in Red Hook for dinner. While not exactly "homemade from scratch", it was a great time to chat with new friends and ease into the weekend festivities.
On Saturday we all headed off to the festival around 8:30, in time for the gates to open at 9am. Some of us, me included, flew off to find the Jennie the Potter booth, while others split off to go to Sanquine Gryphon. When the potter group was finished, some of us were snagged by Caro and Stitchy to "volunteer" to model handknits for a Cooperative Press book. What a great way to start the morning! Then it was off to go see what was happening at Sanguine Gryphon ourselves. HO-LEE-CAN-NOLI!!! The line to pay was already 30 (??) people long! Lucky for us, Misa (Craftivore) was already on line, which gave the rest of us an opportunity to peruse the yarn and then join her. While we were waiting, and waiting, and waiting, Ann Weaver walked by with her husband, Chris, and the rest of our 2 hour wait blew by like the breeze! Ann was able to sell some of her new book, White Whale Vol 1, and I didn't realize, until I was going to bed that evening, that she listed my name in the book as a Sample Knitter. Oh, hooray, that was cool!
After S.G. we wandered here and there, looking at vendors and eventually jumped on line for Artichokes at 11:15...which was perfect timing because when we finished eating, it was time for the Ravelry meet-up! And there were SO many folks to hug and meet IRL!! I saw Cathy, Chawne, Maryse, Pam, Ysolda, Danielle, Heather, Jaya, Elspeth, Stacy, Andrea and so on and so on. Everywhere I turned...friends! The hugs were abundant and the smiles were wide.
From there I wandered with Gab-Fab to the food building for a little R&R...which was just in time for the rain storm where many of our friends got soaked! For the next hour or so, the food demonstration area became our "home base" as folks (mainly me) came and went to do quick meet ups or get food. During this time I was able to meet LibLiz (zomg, I wanted to stick her in my pocket and bring her home with me) and Marie (Courtney, Lilly and Caroline too!!). It's so nice to see people who you've swapped with and spoken to and emailed with for years.
The rest of the day is kind of a blur - there was yarn, books, food, walking. Then crash and burn at the house! Seeing as I had been fighting a cold since the week before, my allergies caught up with me and I had full-on sneezes and runny nose - blerg. I opted to change out of my festival clothes and into my pj's - and decided to stay home and have a pb&j for dinner (instead of going out). In the end, about half of us stayed home to knit, spin and rest while the others went over to Fork in the Road for a yummy meal. Afterward, some others hung out at our house and, after much torture, I finally gave in and accepted a drop-spindle lesson from Kirsten! Yes, I've gotten a taste of the dark side!! It was another late night and we fell into bed around 11pm.
Alas, Sunday inevitably arrived and our happy group started packing to leave for a few more hours of wandering at the fairgrounds and our drives home (from heaven)! My family came up for the day and I met up with them around lunch time. We made the usual food vendor visits, played a few kiddie games, and even got hot chocolate for the ride home. I also purchased some fiber from Into The Whirled since Kirsten was nice enough to loan me one of her drop spindles. Yeah, she's a great enabler!
I napped for a few hours after I got back home and tried to get as much sleep as possible. It's now the end of the work day on Monday and I am, truly, running on empty. Some say we're Rhinebeckoholics who have Rhinebeck overdosed. But the truth of the matter is - when you're with the people you love doing the craft you love, there is no other way to feel afterward, except sad and tired from the natural high.
Here are my Rhinebeck designs...and a couple other goodies :o)