Posted by: Kate | October 18, 2008

Fiber, Fiber Everywhere

I spent the day at the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival, known amongst knitters, crocheters, spinners, and general fiber addicts as Rhinebeck, because that’s where it is.

I was up and out of the house by 6:30 in the morning so as to be at the fairgrounds by the noon meetup, planned by members of Ravelry and Knitty.  I picked Gretchen up at 7:00, and trusted Google when it told me that we should be pulling in the parking lot around 11:45a.  Imagine my utter surprise and shock when, despite a 45-minute side trip due to poor directions (psst… hey, Google Maps people… including words like “left” and “right” in your directions would be super-duper-helpful, OK?), we were parked and inside the main gate before 11:30.

This has nothing to do with any tendency on my part to perhaps exceed the posted speed limits on major highways.  At all.  Ever.

Back in May, we had attended the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival.  This one is… bigger.  Ridiculous, hugely, much much bigger.

Let me just state, publicly and for the record, my intense gratitude to Willem for staying home with the kids for the weekend while I went out to play.  The three of them would have enjoyed this sheep extravaganza for about an hour, and then would have become overwhelmed, bored, crowded and tired of standing in line long before I would have been remotely ready to pack up and head out.  And they, collectively, would have burst into flames when it took more than an hour just to get out of the parking lot at the end of the day.  So, thanks, Willem.  I’ll let you win at Scrabble next time.

Much to see here, much yarn to touch and enjoy and ogle,.. and, yeah, buy.  Gretchen went into the dark side and purchased a spindle and roving so as to make her own yarn; I’ve remained on the straight and narrow and continued to only purchase yarn in its final, yarnlike state.

There were also people.  Lots of them.  Most notably, of course, is Barb, an online friend for a while who is far more attractive and fun in person than as a collection of letters on a screen (and she ain’t so bad there, either), with whom we were able to spend the afternoon despite her stringent attempts to not find us.  We met up with a few others that had, until today, potentially been big, hairy, sweaty men with questionable motives and odd fetishes (they may, of course, still have questionable motives and odd fetishes, but none of them were big and hairy and sweaty and men all at the same time).

Most definitely not sweaty.  At all.  It is cold in upstate New York in October, even on a perfectly gorgeous sunny day.  (It’s late and I’m very tired, so you’ll forgive me for being unable to suppress the need to make the Octobrrrrrrrr pun.)  Happily, my new alpaca sweater kept me nice and warm, but after a day wandering aroud mostly-outdoors and then an hour or two at an outdoor party held by Ravelry at the Elks Club (which was attended by, I would guess, 500 women and maybe 50 men… likely completely the reverse of the normal gender distribution at an Elks Club function), I’ve been chilled to the core and can’t stop shivering.

We’re planning to spend much of the day tomorrow back at the fairgrounds, and will drive home sometime in the afternoon, in a leisurely and law-abiding fashion.

Ravelry/Knitty meetup, Saturday 12:00p
(We just barely missed the official group photo, so this will have to do.)

Jesh & Gretchen

Barb & Franklin, author of The Panopticon

I doubt Gretchen and I would have recognized him, but since Barb got a photo, we did, too. He was ever so gracious.

With ZantiMissKnit and ZantiMrKnit at the Ravelry shindig Saturday night


  1. Looks like a great day!

  2. oh how fun…definitely let me in on what you bought!!!! I am very curious. 🙂 I am so glad you are enjoying yourself. Don’t forget a warm bath and a yummy warm drink. 😉

  3. So. Jealous.

  4. I love Rhinebeck, it’s a beautiful town. My brother lived in Redhook up until about a year ago, so we were frequently in the area. Nice weekend!

  5. Darn… I probably saw you at some point. See… this is why I shouldn’t buy a wheel in the first hour I’m there… it erases everything else I wanted to do from my brain.

  6. […] I arrived home from my weekend away, and, before using the bathroom or eating or sitting down, immediately bundled Jacob into the […]

  7. OK, I really need to move back to New England. I’m desperately jealous of your weekend, especially the meeting Franklin part!

  8. Thanks for the photos Kate!! I so wish I could go with you all sometime. I’m glad you had so much fun!! What did you buy?

  9. Great photos! I didn’t even look for any “‘knitting celebs”, so didn’t see any except for AmyKnitty.

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