have you any wool?

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, designing, food and garden, lace/shawls, projects

ahhh, WHAT a weekend—there’s nothing like a little R,R&R (rest, relaxation, and rhinebeck), is there?

i know that for me, it is the ONE time each year that i forgo “being in touch” in favor of spending quality time eating, knitting, and making merry with my beloved friends, beckie and kim.

i don’t use my computer or cell phone; i only call home once a day, if that (and it helps that cell/internet service throughout the catskill region remains sketchy). it’s just grand to have a real getaway.

our vacation started with the long road trip east to new york’s hudson valley, site of all the fun for the next few days. normally we rent an adorable house, just big enough for three, but this year’s august storms washed out the road to our usual place, so we stayed in a kingston hotel, just across the river.

the trip was rainy and windy, and we fretted about the weather the whole way, but as we pulled into the hotel parking lot, we were rewarded by a sunshower and a rainbow, which boded well for the weekend.

friday was our big date with our good friends, nathalie and mary fischer at CIA and this year we once again ate in the ristorante caterina de’ medici.

while my lasagne entrée was a little too rich for me, the side of french fries i ordered was exquisite—not to be missed. we enjoyed every minute of our visit and our meal; there are some traditions i would not want to skip and this in one of them. the only thing missing was our friend woolen rabbit kim, but we won’t let her get away with being absent next year . . .

after lunch, we rolled ourselves back to our hotel where a cozy group was gathering on sofas, chairs, and tables around the fireplace as a barrier against the gray wet chill outside (par for the weekend, i’m afraid).

turns out that many of the knitters staying in our hotel were friends from the loopy retreats i’ve taught at and we spent a lovely late afternoon and evening knitting and catching up with them. one attendee came all the way from sweden and others flew in from texas, oklahoma, missouri, and california.

we were in bed by 10 pm that night, as we had a very big day planned for saturday . . .

here’s our entry to the fairgrounds, along with thousands of other wool-minded people. it was a chilly morning alright, but dry—at least at first. the clouds that day were fearsome and fast moving; it was one of those days of dramatic skies and spectacular changes in weather.

like a lot of knitters, we first made a beeline for the briar rose booth, as kim was on a mission to secure a couple of sweater and stole quantities.

while she shopped the yarn offerings, i perused the wealth of finished objects on display. chris likes to pair her yarns with my patterns and at the end of each summer, we commiserate about which new ones will look good in her fall booth with which yarn and who might knit them.

above, the inky dinky, knit by barb, is delightfully squishy and soft in nate’s sock yarn (it’s really a sport weight!), high peaks is handsome in pilgrim and pea vines is divine in sea pearl.

below, beckie admires the hourglass throw, which was knit by agnes in abundance

which we all like at least as much as the original, although my crappy cell phone photo doesn’t nearly do it justice. the colors are much richer and more muted in person—it’s a classic. i never did get to see the matterhorn set that cathy knit in fourth of july, but her rav photos are gorgeous.

and that was just a few—many, many more abounded, including a gorgeous rené pullover knit in fourth of july by our friend anne marie, for which chris received several purchase offers over the weekend.

but that piece belongs wholly to roger as demonstrated here; he was working that rené look as if he was born to fill the role.

see what i mean? move over, david . . .

omigosh, all that before 10 am, too.

next we hit the moving mud booth, another spot where goods sell out very quickly. kim scored some exceptional sea-urchin buttons in ocean colors that will perfectly complement some of her briar rose purchases.

i wasn’t looking for anything special, but i did find some earrings to match my pink shell bracelet and a card of buttons i couldn’t walk away from.

thank goodness we had a chance to visit the spirit trail booth during a pattern delivery the day before, or we may have gotten lost in the undertow—jen’s booth was rocking on its foundations all day. i’ll show you what i came home with in a bit, along with my briar rose take from sunday . . .

since we didn’t need to rush over there, we instead went calling at the miss babs booth in search of her new moo & ewe wool/milk blend. kim had seen it the day before and wanted to pick up a sweater’s worth; beckie was also intrigued.

i was so happy to see miss babs had a booth—she has been such a great supporter of my work and patterns, which are featured in her booths at many shows. it was even better to see how busy she was; go babs! she had a beautiful leaving sweater knit up in her northumbria BFL DK, and many scarf, shawl, and accessory patterns as well. her yummy sock yarn is one of david’s favorites.

while they were standing on line, i hooked up with honey badger deb (AKA cockeyed), who was visiting rhinebeck for the first time (and she’s going on to stitches next; how unfair of her!). we had a good chat as the line was long

next we did a quick stop in to visit peggy hart and her bedfellows blankets booth—i wanted to get another throw; the one we have is so great for napping. as usual, i’m going to show you all my show swag in the next post, but i’ll give you a little peek now . . .

after that, a car run was i order to drop off our heavier items and by then it was just about time to head over to our knitspot ravelry group meetup, which is now a well-established rhinebeck tradition for saturday lunch and one we look forward to with relish.

many attendees are members of our fall in full color club, so club knits were on full display, among other favorites. above, melissa and kristin show off their september club projects—two hazeline shawlettes in bugga! (they are pattern-only/eBook members, so they provide their own yarn each month).

speaking of kristin, here is my favorite photo of the weekend—me and baby julia, who is laughing at me (smart kid); she’s dressed in an inky dinky jacket knit from alpaca produced on the family farm.

now, we fawn over all babies in our group, but julia is special—she was born soon after rhinebeck last year—about three months earlier than expected—and she holds a dear place in our hearts. i’ll never forget how we all sighed in relief on the day she came home from the hospital, swaddled in her rosebuddie shawl (which kristin knit while she watched her grow in the NICU). more than a few tears were shed over baby pictures that day . . .

baby olivia and hattie were also in the house, sporting knits and lovely smiles—olivia was just a tiny newborn when i saw her last february in albany. i feel honored to see these babies at all stages over a period of time; hattie has joined us each year for our picnic—i’ve known olivia since she was a bun in the oven.

craig from great northern yarns and his daughter irene came down for the show—irene loves all animals and was in heaven; craig loves knitters and was also in heaven; he had some new colors of his cashmere/mink DK yarn on hand to pass around for us to pet.

those terrific ladies from shall we knit? yarn shop in waterloo were on hand to celebrate with us, but i don’t think they ate much, as they had hit up the fried pickle booth just beforehand; lise must be remembering the taste (i haven’t been brave enough to try that one, but they assure me it’s good).

carole, who traveled to brussels with cookie, me and alice in july, came over for a hug and to share her finished les abeilles, which she started on the train home from our trip. i love it! in fact, i was knitting this pattern all weekend myself as a gift for my mom (don’t tell her until after christmas!).

besides pretty much organizing the whole event, our gracious moderator chief operating officer cathy took lots of great photos and also baked the prize winning recipe in our brownie throwdown (hey, you gotta get that caffeine and sugar for the second half somehow, right??).

heh, in fact, we decided to ditch the whole notion of healthy eating in favor of a completely chocolate-fortified lunch—and i’m sure the vendors all thank us for that, haha. and in case that wasn’t enough, beckie, kim, and i were distributing knitspot chocolate covered almonds throughout the day

just as we were making noises about getting a group photo, we got blasted with a ferocious three-minute rainshower, but most of us stuck around for the money shot

told you the knitspot group was the best on on ravelry!

with most of our wishlist priority items purchased, we took our afternoon shopping at a more leisurely pace. i really didn’t have any yarn needs and with just one or two non-yarn items to look for, i was free to peruse the variety of offerings—probably way more dangerous than having a list.

i found this super-cuddly alpaca and organic cotton headband at the red maple sportswear booth, which will be great for running as the weather gets colder. i have an old fleece balaclava with alpaca content that i adore . . . i didn’t know i could find similar items; i’ll be haunting that site.

some people will kill for chocolate, but i love cheese and this year i thought to get some to take home—the better to extend the rhinebeck mood. cow’s milk cheese from sprout creek farm and sheep cheeses from beaverbook farm (those are mainly to make cookie jealous, haha, but i do love them).

late in the day i was surprised to run into norm hall, who i thought had not made it to the show this year. i was overjoyed to see him and tentatively asked if by any chance he had one of his tensioned lazy kates left to sell. norm usually only gets a few things finished for the show and those sell out by 9:30, so i wasn’t expecting a yes

but lo and behold, i got one—YES!
really, this was the only thing i went to the fair desiring, so i was especially glad to bring it home along with a few bobbins. and i told him that i hope that bench he’s working on in the photo is also for me—i’ve been on the list for one and i’ll be checking on it over the winter . . .

we actually stayed until last call on saturday, which is unusual for us, but since we had a dinner date with chris’s family and needed to pick up pizzas, we hung in there.

dinner in tow, we headed to the riverside area where the briar rose clan was encamped and had a lovely evening visit with them over pizza, beer, and knitting. it was heavenly.

in fact, i got lots of knitting done this weekend, since beckie and kim did all the highway driving and i drove the local country roads all week. i finished both shawlettes that i packed to take along—that les abeilles goes super fast. and the new one turned out pretty well; now for the pattern.

i’ll give you a closer look at them when i block—hopefully tomorrow, but probably on saturday.

the next day dawned warm-ish and fairly sunny. we headed out early once again to catch the rest of the show that we hadn’t seen on saturday. i ran across marilyn magnus’s booth, where i’d purchased handwoven rugs in the past and saw a spritely green one that had my name all over it; i couldn’t resist.

we hadn’t hit the food building yet and since our friend john was in a sheep to shawl event there, we headed over (john’s the smiley one. and the male one).

the winning team even got their fringes tied before the cutoff time of 12 noon; john’s team came in second. as i was lingering around the edges of the spectator area, i noticed something that brought a smile to my face

a fiore di melanzana stole with a nice red ribbon on it, which was knit and entered by susan who knit it for a friend’s wedding, then entered it in the fair on a whim. we left our calling card of congratulations in the form of a candy packet and when i got home, i had a nice note from her in my rav mailbox. congratulations susan!

next, i was moseying along, looking for beckie and kim and maybe some more cheese and i ran into stephanie and friends, got talking about green and how much we like it and next thing i know i’m on her blog, haha (ok, maybe carrying a green rug, wearing green shoes and socks, and carrying a green bag had something to do with it; i didn’t notice all that, but steph did. and they call me a designer . . .).

i just wish now that i had a photo too . . . steph is on a book tour to promote her new title by the way—all wound up—so if she’s coming anywhere near your town, this is a great opportunity to see her and hear her speak (oh man, she’s going to be in austin and dallas next; i wonder if my brother would go listen to her for me?)

ok, now i just noticed what time it is and wow—i have WAY overstayed my deadline. i have work to do! i’ll be back next time with the yarn and fiber post—special and new things that our yarnies shared with me at the show. til then . . .

ooooh, one last thing—information about our spring/summer 2012 club has been posted in our ravelry groups here and here (it’s the same in both places; you only need to look at one to get all of it). if you’ve been wondering whether another club is coming, it IS, and we are finalizing plans now. take a look at the preliminaries; more and final details will be available very soon.

21 thoughts on “have you any wool?

  1. Well, gloomy weather notwithstanding, it looks like you had fun! When I saw the weather report last week, I was afraid you might have some rain. Can’t wait to see all the new yarn & other goodies!

  2. It sounds like great fun, and a bit overwhelming. My husband and I are contemplating Rhinebeck to celebrate my 50th next year–my birthday is actually during it next year. 🙂

  3. Wow, what a wonderful time you had, Anne. Loved hearing all about it. Your shawlettes are beautiful, whether they’re blocked or not. Your mom will love hers.

    So glad you got your tensioned Lazy Kate and bobbins.

    And I’m *really, really* happy that you’re continuing with the neutrals club next year : )

  4. It looks like you had an amazing time! I am SO jealous. Hopefully next year I will get there, and hopefully will be able to meet you!

  5. It all looks like so much fun! Sigh! I wish it was a week later so it coincided with our half term!! It would be great to meet up with all the Knitspotters! I’d come bearing chocolate, along with the rest of the Norfolk gang!

  6. For sure, next year, I’m going to Rhinebeck! My husband says to fly, but I sort of like the idea of a road trip with my sister….hmmm. Thanks for the cheerful post first thing this morning (morning for me, anyway)!

  7. Thanks for sharing your trip to Rhinebeck! I look forward to your annual accounts of your trips. I think it’s great that you take the time for yourself and have a mini-vacation. I also feel honored that I am inadvertently on your blog. I’m the second person in line in the second photo. 🙂

  8. Thanks Anne for such a photo rich post on the Rhinebeck that I really missed along with you, Kim, and Becky! Wah! Glad you all had a super time despite the weather. Your Norm Hall kate is beautiful as are the bobbins. Got a chance to see a friends this week. Definitely on my list of must haves along with his Mariah. Drool.

  9. Thanks for the promotion to COO, Anne! As always, it was such fun to see you, Kim and Beckie, and the chocolate picnic was a blast. Hope more of the Knitspot Nation can join us next year.

  10. Good Times! SOMEday I’m going to be able to go and have all the fun too. In the meantime – what a great post! ALMOST like being there – (well – maybe – LOL)

  11. What a great taste of Rhinebeck! Love Chris’ Rene sweater – he does wear it well. And the wool throws, the pink earrings, the knitspotters’ gathering, it all looks so fun! Can’t wait to see the rest of the yarn pron. thank you for sharing!

  12. I’ve been patiently waiting for your Rhinebeck recap. Thank you for the photo-rich blog post. It made my day – what can I say? I have to live vicariously through those who get to go every year. :o)

  13. Great post on Rhinebeck -I’ve finally marked it on my calendar so hopefully I can plan a trip next year!

    I hope your brother will go listen to Stephanie – she/ll love it! I got to see her in Baltimore – a great time, wonderful knitters, and it was great to see all the projects. There was a brother stand-in there for his 2 sisters after their car broke down – funny, they asked him to go get the book and get it signed and listen for them and not for help!

    Love the Rene’ sweater! Already ordered the pattern – have at least 2 sweaters with yarn already on hand ahead of it but really want to make it.

    Gorgeous Moving Mud buttons – love her work

  14. Thanks for the tour. I love the Briar Rose yarns so it was extra fun to see all those pics. On of my goals is to make it to Rhinebeck….someday.

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