Wow, has it really been a month and a half since I last posted? Apparently so. I swear I was busy. Too busy, perhaps — my job keeps me pretty occupied. I’ve finally settled in and can devote brain space to things like knitting and designing and blogging. And..going to RHINEBECK.
I didn’t take a lot of pictures; I was too busy yakking with people and wandering around and buying ALL THE YARN. So were a lot of other people. This was the line at the Sanguine Gryphon booth:
We poked fun at signs:
and went to the Ravelry meetup on Saturday:
We knit and spun in a brewpub in Kingston:
and for the first time ever I had a knitted garment (not just an accessory) to wear this year.
The fact that I seamed it at 1 am Saturday and had to get help weaving in ends on Sunday morning while I hopped in the shower is inconsequential. Achievement Rhinebeck Sweater: Unlocked.
We rented a house this year and packed it full of awesome ladies:
and they were a huge part of why this weekend was so, so excellent. I am already looking forward to next year, but I supposed I should start knitting now, because. Well.
Guys, this was the best Rhinebeck ever. Let me show you.
This? This is me with Anne Hanson. We were waiting on line Saturday morning to get our passes and I realized that a) Anne was standing about 20 feet in front of us, and b) I was wearing my Honeybee shawlette, which she designed. So one of my roommates (thanks, Gingy!) marched me over to show off, and Anne pointed out I had it on upside down and promptly proceeded to take it off for me, put it on the right way, and tuck the ends in nicely. (I swear to Bob I can dress myself, really. I was putting on my coat and knits in the parking field and I had no mirror and it was windy. STOP LAUGHING.) Anyway, she kindly let Melissa take a picture of us, and was so gracious and wonderful that I am a fan for life. I already admired her prolific design skills, but now, more importantly, I admire her for being awesome. Thank you for making my weekend, Anne.
Here’s Jennifer, Gingy, and Melissa, showing off their October Leaves! (Gingy’s also wearing her hat, which I might just have ready to go by the end of the month…I think.) They threw up some knitta signs for you all. Not pictured is Melissa’s husband Doug and Liz, our last roommate. We spent so much time laughing this weekend that my sides ached by the time I went home. It was awesome.
I saw lots of famous knitting people, like in this fine example of kinnearing:
(Can you spot Jess from Ravelry and Vicki Howell?) I did not kinnear Kate Gilbert, but I did actually stand with her in a conversation while I got to pet the sample for Cityscape, which I’m going to make because it’s just glorious. And I got to see lots of friends old and new, like Sandi Wiseheart and Jennifer in the Holiday Yarns booth (two of my favorite people) and Rebecca and Glenna and Melanie, and gals from the LSG in NY gang, like Cleo and Liz. (And lots of people I never managed to find at all, or who couldn’t make it. Next year!) So much socializing.
And posing with nightgowns.
That’s Gingy and Liz, our fourth roommate. They are both awesome.
My shopping was…well, let’s just say that every year I claim I am going to be restrained and come back under budget, and every year it’s a vicious lie.
This pile includes sockweight from Holiday Yarns, some STR mill ends, more laceweight from Sliver Moon and A Touch of Twist, a mystery skein from the sale bin at Briar Rose in a beautiful teal, some BUGGA and Gaia Fingering from Sanguine Gryphon (so excited!) and fiber from Cloverleaf Farms, Ellen’s 1/2 Pint (another sale bin find) and an Abby Batt. (Since I too am an Abbie it seemed only appropriate.) As happens when you practice a thing, I am feeling more and more comfortable with my drop spindle, so getting more fiber to play with seemed like a good idea. There’s also a Nine Tailors sock kit from the Tsarina of Tsocks hiding in there, an early Christmas present from Jennifer, who loves me and is my favorite person. (Except for when Liz fetches up coffee for the room from the hotel’s breakfast buffet, at which point she becomes my favorite person.) It’s a really lovely little stash, and maybe by this time next year I’ll have even knit most of it up. I am really excited about that.
Spending a weekend surrounded by good friends, under clear blue skies and surrounded by beautiful colors and sheep and llamas and alpacas, will make anybody feel at peace with the world. I plan to hold onto my Rhinebeck zen as long as possible, because it’s the best feeling in the world.
If you’d like to see all of the pictures, I present this handy slideshow:
Thanks, Melissa & Doug for driving and all your delicious acer & mead, and Gingy & Liz & Jennifer for being excellent roommates and all of you for being so much fun. I haven’t had such a good time in a long time.
Next year I’ll stick to my shopping list. Really. STOP LAUGHING.
Last weekend I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival with Melissa and her husband Doug. It was very hot. We didn’t stay long. We had a list of tasks to accomplish (lamb sandwich, visiting The Fold, grabbing requests for a friend) and as soon as we had our list checked off we ran for the car and the air conditioning.
But we got some good stuff! Melissa, for example? She bought a wheel:
And we got splashed by the alpaca babies as they stayed hydrated:
(Their keeper had a fan for them. I think some of the sheep in the longsheds would have staged a rebellion if they’d known.)
And I brought home some really lovely stuff:
Including a small Kromski niddy-noddy, some STR and Acero, and two skeins from Miss Babs, who is a new discovery. I’m especially excited about the “Jingle Jingle” colorway (the red/green/gold one in front) which I think will make an awesome Christmasey shawlette.
Once we’d gotten to the car and cooled off, we headed further south to meet up with B and her husband J. B went to college with Melissa and I; they were roommates and I lived down the hall, and we spent two years as a little Gang of Awesome. B’s due date has been fast approaching and we all thought it would be good to get together for an evening to catch up before the baby arrived. We did, and it was marvelous, and then we drove back to Melissa and Doug’s house and crashed, wiped out by some tasty beer and all the sun.
And we woke up in the morning to be greeted by the news that overnight, B had gone into labor, three weeks early, and Baby Zoe was charming everyone in sight:
Here she is, all snuggled up in the blanket I made for her, which is a pattern from Kristen Rengren’s terrific Vintage Baby Knits. I sized the pattern down by half, and it came out absolutely delightful, as you can see. (More details in its own post, I promise!) I love, love, love getting the chance to see things I’ve knit getting used, and I really appreciate J letting me use his picture to brag about his new arrival. I don’t have enough words for how adorable she is, and I’m looking forward to meeting her in person!
The best weekend of the knitter’s year is now over. My stash acquisitions (there were many) have been photographed and entered into Ravelry, and I am working on shaking my post-Rav cold. But that’s not what you came for, I know. You came for PICTURES.
I aim to please.
I had one of the best weekends ever. Highlights include:
-walking in on Saturday morning at 8:45, going straight to the Fold’s booth (do not pass Go, do not collect $100), grabbing a mill end and a Rare Gem and paying and moving on by 9:30
-bumping into Rebecca and Glenna a half hour later as they were finishing up their turn on the Fold’s line
-being one of the first in line for the famous CHICKEN POT PIES.
-meeting some of the many girls and boys of LSG over the course of the weekend. (The name is ironic. Mostly. Lazy people would never have gotten that excited over Rav username bingo.)
-getting my picture taken with YsoldaBob:
-leaving Saturday to catch an early dinner and making an unexpected but wonderful detour through the Vanderbilt mansion grounds, to find the most inspiring views:
-scoring yarn from old favorites (STR, A Touch of Twist, Holiday Yarns) and new (Sliver Moon, Briar Rose). So much yarn. Did I mention I bought yarn?
-the Ravelry party, where I helped Melissa liquor up the room with a keg of her homemade vanilla mead. And where I won a prize. A very very nice prize:
That is a skein of qivuit yarn. It was the grand prize in the Ravelry party’s raffle, and they called my number, and now it’s mine. I’m going to make a Pretty Thing out of it.
If anybody asks you about Kanye-ing Mary-Heather to proclaim that Ysolda had the best Bob of all time, well. I blame everything on LSG and the mead. And I thank Ravelry very much for the wonderful party and the amazing gift. I missed which company donated it but I thank them too!
-Knitting on the Big Sock — that purple row is mine!
-Meeting Sandi Wiseheart in the Holiday Yarns booth and spending almost half an hour chatting and joking and letting her help separate me from my money in exchange for more yarn. Turns out Sandi’s a kindred spirit and I’m very happy to have met her and learned that fact.
-Spending the weekend with Melissa, one of my oldest and dearest friends. Lounging in our hotel room at the end of the day, drinking tea and discussing what to make with our yarn was the perfect way to end a day of Rhinebeck.
I’m already looking forward to next year, and happily pouring over my new stash deciding what to knit first. Oh, who am I kidding — I know perfectly well what’s getting knit first!
Vermont is lovely in October. You should all get yourself a sister in Vermont so you can visit her and see things like this:
This is the view from Grand Isle when you’re waiting for the ferry over Lake Champlain.
And this is the view of my sister’s new Basset puppy Eeyore, investigating my sock while we wait. He’s a sweetheart and a snuggler and likes to drool.
The reason for my visit was to have a road trip to the Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival. So naturally it rained. Buckets and buckets of rain. (I’m sensing a theme for 2009 fiber festivals, which concerns me for Rhinebeck…) Our visit was short, since rain doesn’t really encourage lingering to watch llamas and our driver was pretty tired after a long week, but I got a few nice pictures in between raindrops:
I picked up some sock yarn from Green Mountain Spinnery and the Periwinkle Sheep, and even found a vendor whose name I stupidly neglected to note who had a pile of Opal Harry Potter sock yarn — so a skein of the Ron colorway might have found its way into my stash at last.
I wish the weather had been a little better, although it sounds like all the vendors did very well in spite of the rain, and I’d definitely love to try again in the future, if my sister is willing. But even if not I’ll be going back to Vermont as often as I can manage, because it’s so beautiful and restful. Think of all the knitting you can do surrounded by mountains like that…
This was my second year attending MDSW. It was not anywhere near as hot as last year.
It was, however, much rainier, so I didn’t have the camera out much. I spotted some fun things, though:
1. Model sheep – literally; he posed when he saw me pick up my camera 2. Natural dyes, waiting for yarn 3. If you cross it, they will make a sign 4. Losing battle 5. Charlotte would be proud! 6. Please touch everything? OK!
I also (almost literally) bumped into Casey, Jess, and MH from Ravelry, but I didn’t want to interrupt, as they were deep in conversation with… Ysolda Teague! To prove it, I kinneared her:
Those are her socks. Please note my awesome kinnearing abilities.
But the best part? BOOTY.
This is my new Golding drop spindle, which I have already spun a wee mini-skein with (the skein is soso, the spindle divine). I’m in love, and I want more. Perhaps I could set up a charity?
And the yarn and fiber, including a bag of discontinued Soft Angora from Cherry Tree Hill, several different kinds of fiber to play with, some indy sock yarn, more STR and Touch of Twist, and a few more Koigu mill ends for a project. I am very very pleased. Also under budget… really!
Despite the rain I had a ton of fun with Melissa and Snarfy, even when they mocked me for my affection for Wawa.
Now the next question is, can I knit this all up before Rhinebeck?
I observed what I am now calling the Highest of High Holy Holidays in the knitter’s pantheon last week. Rhinebeck is something we knitters wait all year for, saving our pennies and making lists, and frantically knitting items to showoff to the crowd. It’s overwhelming and sheep-scented and the longest lines are tied for the Fold (where they sell STR) and the booth that sells the homemade pot pies.
I had the joy of hosting my dear friend J for the weekend when she flew down from Toronto to join me, and we took the train into the city and then up to Croton, where Melissa met us to drive the rest of the way up and we all proceeded to dive in headfirst. Here, have some pictures:
1. My train station, long before sunrise 2. Grand Central at dawn 3. Display at Brooks Farm 4. This sign speaks for itself, doesnâ€™t it? 5. One of many seasonally appropriate displays 6. Lace display at A Touch of Twist (my absolute favorite) 7. The line for Franklinâ€™s book signing at Carolina Homespun 8. Franklin & Me! 9. Pumpkin Carving 10. Melissa showing off some colorway serendipity. 11. Summoning People for the Ethical Treatment of Muppets! 12. Outside the Horticulture building 13. Ready for his close-up 14. A strange and mysterious creature 15. Shearing aftermath 16. Hanging out 17. Making a run for it 18. Longest Stocking Ever 19. Llama 20. Alpaca 21. J making friends with a llama (and lookit her beautiful shaw!) 22. Colorwork 23. Late in the day the sun started doing beautiful things with yarn 24. Lesson time 25. Read the dunce cap 26. Flame Tree 27. I had to wonder if this U-Haul was for a vendor or some lucky shopper! 28. This followed Melissa home (lucky girl)!
I shopped til I dropped, too:
In this picture are:
– two kits from Holiday Yarns/the Tsock Tsarina (Oktoberfest socks and the Vintage Leaves) and a skein of Jennifer’s Sock Flock yarn in Candy Cane (which I think wants to be these socks
-from A Touch of Twist: four skeins of fingering weight Impressions in Oriental Lantern and Phoenix from the Ashes, which I think will make some awesome colorwork mittens; three skeins of Zephyr lace in Admiral blue. (These guys are my absolute favorites. They make great yarns, and Melissa bought her new wheel from them.)
-one skein Done Roving Happy Feet sock yarn in Cherry Pits
-two skeins of sock yarn from Sliver Moon Farm in Grape Ice, which I think would make really beautiful Rivendell socks
-two skeins of Socks That Rock, one in Loch Ness (hiding because I have Sekrit Holiday Plans for it) and one Rare Gem in a beautiful magenta
-copy of the Lenore socks pattern by the Harlot from last year’s Rockin’ Sock club
-many, many skeins from Wild Apple Farms 100% wool: one each of the red and natural for myself to make a christmas stocking (I have an idea for one with candy cane stripes and an afterthought heel) and ten skeins of the light sheep grey, which I think will make a smashing Eris cardigan/a>.
-autographed copy of Franklin’s book.
Not a bad haul at all.
Then I fell asleep on the train home, took J to the museum on Sunday, and was so worn out by the end of the weekend I couldn’t even manage typing. And now the week is nearly over, and I have no excuses to not be working on my master’s capstone… except for the knowledge of all this new yarn, calling out to me. I need more arms, clearly.
That would be my haul, including four skeins of A Touch of Twist Alpaca in Andean Trails (2000 yards of it!), a beautiful purple-and-green Merino/Tencel sock weight skein from Ellen’s Half Pint Farms, some brown-silver-grey Brooks Farm Acero (on sale, even!), and some beautiful eggplant colored cotton/silk/flax, which was going for 500 yards for nine bucks. I got two. I wish I could remember the vendor’s name!
And yes, that is a bag of Koigu mill ends under all that. Would you like a close up? Of course you would, it’s Koigu.
Isn’t that pretty? I had an awful lot of fun fighting my way into a booth that made the 6 train at rush hour look abandoned, picking out a three hundred dollar bag of ends, and then whittling it down to something more reasonable. I think it’ll become a shawl, or maybe I’ll just keep it and pet it an awful lot.
I really enjoyed the festival, although it was very crowded. Compared to Rhinebeck, the grounds were much smaller, making for more densely populated tents and barns. Getting anywhere to see or feel yarn was a struggle, and the lines for food and bathrooms were prohibitively long. I was in attendance with my good friends Missy, Eman and Kel, and all four of us were twitchy from the crowds by 1 pm — but we’d also walked through every barn and shed, seen a bunch of baaaaby animals, and pretty much gotten everything on our lists, plus some. So we decamped to the Ellicott Mills Brewing Company in Ellicott City, for a three plus hour lunch before heading off our separate ways.
Lots of good yarn, cute critters, tasty food and beer and good company — and I didn’t get sunburned! And my “Learned to Knit in Prison” bag (from The Panopticon) got quite a few laughs. (Also just the right size for controlling the stash enhancement — I decided when the bag was full I was done shopping. Worked out quite well.)
In the interim I have pumped out a few FOs, which I will write up in more detail, but here’s a look anyhow: