are we sick of the cake yet??

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events

what a week! i’ve been across the country and back(with practically no internet access anywhere to keep in touch with you) and gotten up for the day at 3:30 am three times in the last six days. from frosty new england to the frosty southwest desert, i’ve done so much talking and met so many incredible knitters that i can hardly figure out where to start. maybe just at the beginning, ok? we’ll see how far i get today and i might extend the travel journal into tomorrow, with a break later on to put out the spiraluscious pattern tonight.

first, there was rhinebeck, which was amazing. the wool show is one thing—it gets bigger all the time and has so very much to see. but the trip itself is what makes it a real event for me—six days and five nights of vacation with good friends, good food, good environment and good fiber; what could be better??

in fact, there is a real scarcity of yarn/fiber pictures among my 500 or so rhinebeck photos. ooops.
i really was playing hooky, you guys . . .

we started out very early thursday morning from ohio with the goal of getting to newburgh, NY in time to pick up our housemate david from the airport at 3pm

along the way we appreciated some groovy art at bathroom stops in pennsylvania

and awesome driving scenery along the taconic parkway in new york’s hudson valley

that is, we did once i figured out how to use my iPhone camera. poor david; i thought he was going to bust a gut trying not to laugh as i attempted to take photos with the camera held backwards.

i accidentally got this picture of him while i was trying to figure out how to use the viewfinder from the wrong side of the instrument. that might be what he means when he says i’m a nerd—i’m not quite sure—i’m a nerd in so very many ways. cough, ahem, oh yes—and then there was the thick folder of printed driving directions and maps i plopped in his lap once he got into the car; that may have been at fault, too. (shrug) hey, i needed a navigator and thought i’d help it along, you know?

we found the cottage with no trouble and were delighted when we drove in to find it was situated right in the barnyard of a beautiful thoroughbred farm, complete with a wide variety of small livestock and pets making up the welcoming party. there were ducks

and a fine goat standing atop the stone wall.
but the star of the show (and my fave) had to be butchie

who immediately let all of us know what game he liked best, and that if we wanted to enjoy our stay, all we had to do is play along—endlessly.

we think he liked david best, even though kim was angling every which way for the honor.

after we grabbed some food we settled in for the evening to knit. david worked on the start of a frost flowers stole and kim worked on her stonewall, which she is knitting up in some beautiful soldier-blue alpaca/silk she bought in ecuador last summer. but did i take a picture?? nooo—apparently being a naturally diligent blogger is not yet entirely ingrained in me.

i did some spinning on my joy wheel

this is the yarn i spun and plied in the evening from the woolen rabbit’s new line of splish-splash. rovings; it’s either dear prudence or fool on the hill colorway (i’m betting on the latter). it is really soft and drafts quite nicely; i spun and plied the whole braid i had in just a few hours.

kim and i got up very early the next day to go walking along the narrow roads of the surrounding the area—we needed to work up an appetite for the big day ahead.

the air was very crisp and the terrain beautiful—the trees were on fire with color and there was mist rising from the fields. we saw a lot of deer and discovered an old family cemetery

with graves dating back to 1810 (and maybe beyond; some of the oldest gravestones were very difficult to read as the letters had mostly worn away).

it was a pretty large burial ground and no wonder—this is the view looking outward from amongst the graves

who wouldn’t want to end up there some day??
i mean, if necessary, of course . . .

for friday we had a very special day planned; we had reservations for lunch in the escoffier room at the CIA. this has become an annual tradition that we all very much look forward to. we arrived early enough to take a little walk around the place

in the pastry kitchen they were just putting the final touches on some sort of pumpkin confections. it was a good thing there was a window between me and this full tray of café pastries

i wouldn’t want to have to wrestle that young chef for them.
in the dining room we were seated at my favorite table—it has a full view of the kitchen and we could watch the cycle of the lunch service.

this was the first day of the new student rotation, and though we couldn’t hear any of it, the chef-instructor seemed to spend a lot of time laying down the law throughout

nevertheless, the table service was consistently calm and enjoyable—we had the good fortune to once again be the guests of our friend frank (left, below), who was our waiter last year. this year he was doing a turn as maitre d’hotel

on the right there is jeff, who was our waiter for the afternoon.

kim was on something of a mission—she traveled to rhinebeck with the express stipulation that we would eat the winter squash soup at CIA again this year. now that’s a tall order, as the restaurant menu is constantly changing.

but as you can see

once in a while, the universe bends to one’s will.
actually the soup was a little differently flavored this year but kim deemed it “yummy”, and worth the trip. david and i had a sublime mushroom velout.
we moved on to appetizers and entrées, but i got so busy eating that i forgot to take pictures of those. however, i do remember now and again what’s really important

this was extraordinary. it’s a frozen lemon souffle with a layer of something crunchy accompanied by a blueberry sauce. jeff actually made it himself on the previous day when he was still in the pastry rotation

in this photo kim is deciding whether to go home to her family on tuesday or run away with jeff and eat just this for the rest of her life. she decided that she should go home but ordered a second dessert to console herself . . .

comforted by the fact that anything eaten at the CIA on the third friday in october has absolutely no calories. this one of course was the chocolate “brownie” which turned out to be a mere random label for a pile of muddy-dark chocolate of the type you might find in heaven.
again, yummy.

i love to watch the kitchen wind down after the intensity at the height of the main service. first, another, more important (i think), chef comes in to see how everything went

while the the wait staff relaxes a bit and begins to visit the tables to see how we enjoyed everything (as if they need to!)

the kitchen is quickly and efficiently returned to its immaculate pre-service state and slowly begins to empty of students

until we are left with just a clean, organized space awaiting the dinner frenzy.

we rolled ourselves out of our chairs; kim headed to the blookstore and i went outdoors for some air. when she came out after what seemed like hours, she had a surprise for us. as she was chatting up john fisher, the professor of table service and our maitre d’, and asking him to sign the cook book that she bought (he wrote it) she found out that john is a spinner

well, of course she had to run outside and drag us back in to talk to him about it. turns out that john has been spinning yarn for four years for his lovely wife natalie and adorable sister mary to knit into sweaters for him. we ended up having a good gab session right there and making plans to meet up over the weekend.

now i know that in this picture john doesn’t exactly look entirely thrilled to be hanging with us, but maybe this next photo from the ravelry party the next night will convince you that this is not just stalker-talk—we really did make friends with him (i got his card, too).

(ps: he spun the yarn used in that sweater he’s wearing)
next year, john, we’ll make plans to have dinner with you guys, ok??

that night we met up with the ravelry group at rosarita’s in kingston for margaritas . . . we ended up at a great table with kate, irene, and julia, from twist.

it was the perfect table for us—we had a blast talking to them and downing some “fortifications”. it was a challenge to get good photos in the available light, what with all the action . . these people just never stop moving

but they are fun and that’s what counts, right?

after that we got ourselves home to get a good night’s sleep for the big day saturday—we were in town to go to a wool show after all.

along with just about everyone else east of the mississippi river.
boy-howdie, was it ever packed that day—truly i’ve never seen anything like it at rhinebeck. you could not move inside the buildings at some points in the day, which i found kind of exciting (of course, i wasn’t looking to buy anything particular, so my patience was pretty high for that).

fortunately, there was plenty else to do. we watched the dog trials for a while, enjoyed the cool autumn air, and took our time seeing the fiber booths. it really was not a good environment for taking photos, though (sorry!). we also saw many friends, admired countless stunning creations, and were awed by new ideas and products everywhere.

this is kate-the-enabler with her gale stole (and her awesome rogue hoody). she was with a friend who had a cluaranach that matched mine, but i can’t seem to find a photo of us together (darn it!)
[well, tara was much more on the ball than me, so now we have a photo, yay]

at the end of the day we headed first for coffee, then to the ravelry party and got on line

which actually was kinda fun. it was pretty cold out there but we warmed up by chatting with our line neighbors who found clever ways to pass the time

once inside we grabbed a drink and mingled. there were bob cupcakes

for miles. and wall-to-wall people too. we actually couldn’t stay long because we wanted to go over to the small briar rose party that chris was throwing at her hotel

this is one very happy woman—i don’t think there was a single skein of yarn left in her booth by mid-afternoon on sunday. the place was so mobbed all day saturday that we just ducked and ran in. kim scored some excellent choices in several different fibers.

chris’s whole family was along this weekend to help out and cheer her on—they are just a happy, generous pack, they are and i always enjoy spending time with them. chris is such a special friend, too; it was SO so nice to have a good talk together.

and look who else was hanging with us on saturday night

that’s knitty’s amy singer and jennie the potter. we had an excellent visit—it was really good to catch up with amy (and amy, we should do it more often!).

while we chatted i worked on my mitts

i decided to cast on a pair in a natural colorway of my own handspun as well as the beautiful berry blend from new hue handspuns just to show how this mitt would look in a colorway that a lot of guys might like.

the next day was a little more of the same, but we also explored the building with the fiber exhibition for a good long while

this is the wall with the knitted lace entries

this piece won every award, i think, and deservedly—it is an incredible piece of work. there were woven rugs i lusted after and some i did not

though i did appreciate each of them greatly—how could you not??
we also looked in on the sheep-to-shawl competition—there were five teams i think in all and they were hard at work already by 10 am when we walked through.

this is our favorite team simply because they have the youngest member operating the loom.

overall i didn’t shop very much—i spent most of my money on a few things for the house. i got a nice handwoven rug, a deep, thick, coopworth sheepskin for david from hatchtown fibers, and a norm hall niddy-noddy (a great suggestion by amy).

i picked up just a couple of small bumps of coopworth fiber from hatchtown, one from stefania, and a couple of naturally dyed bumps of soft maine wool from bill huntington’s hope spinnery, a new vendor at the show i think (i could be wrong about that, though). i think i brought home less than a pound of fiber and i bought no yarn—can you believe it?

actually, i very much wanted to buy yarn from bill to knit a hat (it’s really soft; don’t let the maine wool label fool you . . . ) but i just could not decide on a color, so i opted for six ounces of spinning fiber for now. it was completely the right choice

about four ounces of it is a deep apricot with some gentle streaks of brown and gold; the other 2 ounces has yellow, pink, apricot, and some green. i’m spinning for a 3-ply yarn and hoping it will turn out to be about worsted weight. here’s a better photo of the actual colors

the fiber drafts like a dream—i got almost all the way through what i had before we left for home on tuesday. i’ll ply it wednesday night in spinning class (we are doing a make-up for the sunday classes we missed).

i’m thinking i might need some more of this stuff—and maybe now, in the quiet of my own home, i’ll be able to choose a yarn color as well.

on monday we went off to woodstock for the day for shoe shopping at pegasus shoes and browsing in thrift shops (which were sadly not very well stocked on this visit). we also had an excellent lunch at joshua’s.

on the way back we stopped here

for a much-anticipated visit—i was here a couple of years back and was looking forward very much to showing kim the place. crafts people is a quiet enclave deep in the woods of the catskills.

each of the four unassuming buildings is home to a gallery for a specific craft discipline—these galleries are fabulous inside.

i spent most of this visit in the pottery building

drooling over one astounding piece after another. i settled on some mugs (much needed at home) and a few small bowls. i have so enjoyed eating my lunch each day from the bowl i bought last time, that i thought a couple more would be a nice addition to our dish cupboard (but just a couple—we are severely limited for space that way).

kim found an aMAZing adam and eve ring that i forgot to take a picture of (maybe she’ll send us one . . . ); i’m hoping she puts my name on this piece in her will . . .

it was getting dark by then and we knew that we needed to head back to get ready to leave for home in the morning (pout). the weekend was suddenly over, but we had plenty to take back with us.

kim and i drove together and she spent one more day visiting us in canton

she sat in the office with me while i went through email and got the pictures ready for this post. but once i was done i just couldn’t make her wait while i continued working at the computer—it was a gorgeous day and my friend was here for just 24 more hours—i knew we should spend it together doing something fun.

so out we went to explore the neighborhood and stockpile some chocolate sustenance for her to take home.

we had a little knitting-and-potluck get-together that evening with beckie and karen who came to rhinebeck with us last year (but sadly, couldn’t make it this time).

the next morning we were off again—up early and to the airport so she could go home to san diego and i could go on to teach my workshops in new mexico.

sigh—i really wanted that visit to last longer, but we’ll just have to do it again, right kim?

ok, now, i have run on long enough for today i think—if you stuck with me this far i am bowing at your virtual feet.

i have tons of photos from my second trip to share and lots of excitement about that experience. tune in for another installment tomorrow (probably in the evening—i really do have lots of photos to go through!).

42 thoughts on “are we sick of the cake yet??

  1. Photos are one of those things you think you’re taking tons of them, but so often the pictures you’re really looking for are the ones to be found only in memory. Looking forward to New Mexico, one of my favorite places.

  2. To just pick one of the comments I could make on this post: you seem like the best possible type of driver to navigate for.

  3. It was so nice to talk to you at Rhinebeck, and I’ve been eagerly anticipating your post!
    It looks like you had an amazing trip, and I can’t wait to see what you got up to in New Mexico — I was there this summer, and it’s one of my favorite places in the world!

  4. Butchie must be related to my dog Percy. He plays fetch obsessively. At this very moment there are three toys next to me with which he has tried to persuade me to play more and more and more fetch . . . welcome home! We’re not sick of the cake, it just makes us hungry.

  5. What a lovely trip. Thank you for sharing, I sure wish that I could have joined you for that amazing meal, and the trip to Rhinebeck!

  6. Loks like you all had a wonderful getaway! I am already dreaming of a first trip to Rhinebeck next year. I sooooo wanted to join you and the group for knitting at the ranch, but it just wasn’t in the budget this year. I am really looking forward to your post about it! I’m off to purchase the gorgeous cowl pattern…

  7. I can attest to the fact that the mushroom soup at the CIA was absolutely wonderful, and that it was a rare pleasure to enjoy your company over the weekend. I cannot think of a better way to enjoy Rhinebeck.

  8. Thank you so much for the vicarious pleasure of living through your trip from a distance! I particularly love the graveyard pictures (I love old family graveyards; I can only imagine all of the stories buried there…). Every single bit of the trip sounds just perfect. Welcome home — I hope you’ve got some time to recover this week 🙂

  9. NO WAY ANNE!!!!! I was TOO Butchie’s fave ball thrower!! Ha haha!!! Didn’t we have the BEST time???

  10. Of course I stuck with you to the end… I have to in order to live vicariously through you 😉
    I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to come experience that wonder that is Rhinebeck at some point in the future…
    It looks like you had the best of times, which I’m certain you deserved!

  11. So glad you had a great time – of course how could you not with a great guy along sporting a utilikilt!

    Just know that you were missed and we are all wishing we could have been along on the trip. Rest up!

  12. It was a lot of fun, wasn’t it? I think I might actually have spied you somewhere in the scrimmage of people.

    Now we have to wait an entire year. Sigh!

  13. You had a wonderful time, I can tell by the photos. Thanks for the efforts to download and post all of the photos. I love the cemetery pictures! Your new pattern is so pretty and different. Thanks for your hard work, as always.

  14. Wow….this is a wonderful week’s worth of pictures!! I am SO going with you guys next year!! I love how you befriended Spinner John…too fun!

  15. Your whole trip story was great fun to read, but I want that tree with the face. That must be from a potter’s house, right? I used to be a potter until I smashed an elbow to irreparable pieces, and that just looks like potter humor to me.

  16. Thank you for the vicarious trip to Rhinebeck; I enjoyed every moment of it! 😉 What a wonderful time you had with friends and fibery goodness and (yummy) food – can’t miss with that combo! I loved seeing the photos of you wearing Cluaranch.

  17. I loved your travel story, thank you so much for sharing so much about your trip and the setting. Like Linda in NC says, I enjoyed every moment of it: the food, the traveling, the autumn setting, the surroundings, the people. You made me feel a little bit like I was there. I’d love to really get there someday.

  18. Hooray, you came back! I’ve missed your blog! Thank you so much for sharing all your pictures and experiences with us. I most especially love old cemeteries, so many stories to find in them.

  19. Hi Anne!

    I’m the friend who was also wearing Cluaranach at Rhinebeck! I’ll send you an email with my blog post about the trip, along with some pictures of the 2 of us together, if you’d like.

    I’ve been waiting for your post to tell you that I won a Knitspot prize at the Ravelry party!!! I won the Knitting Notions prize, which is hysterical because for some reason I thought they’d be at Rhinebeck, and was quite disappointed when I found out they weren’t there on Saturday morning.

    Anyway, it was wonderful to meet you (and Kim, of course. I also posted a picture of her in all her fabulousness).

  20. Wow. All I can say is, “I want to party with you, girl!”

    But I don’t know if I could keep up. I’m exhausted just reading the post!

  21. I am *so* unbelievably glad to see that CIA changed the truly hideous table service student uniforms. If it hadn’t been made of acrylic, I would have burned mine the day of graduation! I can tell you from experience that those students barely notice your presents on the other side of the glass, LOL. They have a lot on their minds- and the first day of a rotation in the restaurants is *always* very rough.

  22. I’m so glad you’re back, been missing your posts. 🙂 It sounds like you had a wonderful time and I think I’m going to try to make it out to Rhinebeck next year…it would be my first trip but it looks too wonderful to pass up!!! 🙂

  23. It was so nice to meet you and Kim (& David) in person at Rhinebeck!
    Granted, it was slightly overwhelming for this first time attendee — for example, I completely missed the fiber exhibition building, and also the dog and other exhibitions. I think I need to come a day earlier another time to get my bearings! And, even though I didn’t come to buy yarn (I came to meet up with friends), somehow some yarn followed me home, including some of Chris’, of course. But I was limited by what my suitcase could hold, and actually put some back (not so at Wisconsin Sheep & Wool, where Briar Rose also was and where I drove….).

    I had a wonderful time, despite the nippy weather that led me to put on all my woollies and look like a bag lady! What a contrast, to go from gorgeous Hudson Valley fall to the Southwest for you.

  24. welcome back! it’s ok that you’re short on fibery pictures – the lovely scenery more than makes up for it. (in fact, makes me want to go to new york next fall just for the setting…who cares about fiber fests?)

  25. Oh.My.God. It’s official: you have to be three of the best-looking knitters on the planet and I am SO living vicariously!

    BTW: is Kim sadly blogless? I cannot find her and feel that I need to become one of her biggest fans, as I already have with you and David. 🙂

  26. Thanks for the wonderful narrative of your trip! The photos were fantastic! I missed your blogging while you were gone, but this was worth it! I love the shawl you wore at Rhinebeck. What pattern/yarn is it? Glad to have you back 🙂

  27. Oh my goodness! I always think “eh, why Rhinebeck?” Now I know why. Holy cow, reading all this fun, you almost forget about the yarn! Thank you for all the good ideas for next year.

  28. YOU MADE ME SO HOMESICK FOR NEW MEXICO. I have been going to NM since the early 50s. I need a good NM trip now. I hope to retire there. I am going to plan on going to the next knitting event at Ghost Ranch. WOWIE ZOWIE.
    Thanks for such a wonderful post.

  29. what great photos! i miss those old cemetaries, and the maples in fall. maybe someday i’ll get over my disappointment that i never knew about rhinebeck until after i moved from massachusetts, but it won’t be any time soon. it sounds like a blast. and bob cupcakes! *sigh*

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