…let me sum up: YAY RHINEBECK YAY. I’m sure the blogosphere is already flooded with Rhinebeck posts, and um…this is another one. And one from a newbie Rhinebeck-er at that. So this’ll be a post with lots of photos and I may ramble a little bit.
I flew down on Friday and met up with Rebecca, who graciously offered me her sofabed for the weekend. Saturday morning we convened with all of her best knitting buds (Abbie, Catarina, Holly, Lori – a cross-stitcher, but game for the trip nonetheless – Margarita, and Will) from the city, piled into a rented minivan and we were off in time to get to the fair by 10:30.
This is Margarita with the totally awesome sheep purse, and her husband Will at the wheel. Will is great. He is the model of a supportive and fantastic spouse and drove the minivan both ways even though someone else could have done a leg of it, and even looked forward to visiting the Gem & Mineral show portion of the event.
When we arrived the ticket lines were quite short, which was great, although I happily admit I was getting a little twitchy and impatient. “OMG I can’t stand it,” I think I said as we pulled into the parking lot. There was a little travelling-zoo thing set up near the entrance gates with kangaroos and wallabies and lemurs, and they were nice and adorable, although I think by this point I was also whimpering “but the yarn is over there…” (I am nothing if not goal-oriented) and we moved towards the many, many buildings filled with vendors and sheep.
I should mention that I did have a defined mental list of things to buy (a sweater’s worth of something worsted, a drop spindle and some roving for me to keep practicing on), and this did not include sock yarn. But then, the first building we went into was the one with The Fold, vendor of Socks That Rock, and I promptly made the personal executive decision on behalf of my credit card (who may not be speaking to me right now) to add some STR to my purchases. For the first time ever, the Canadian dollar is high enough that I can read price tags in the US and not mentally have to add a few bucks to each price, and more than that – by buying at Rhinebeck I could save on shipping! And it was worth it. I got knee-sock amounts of the ‘Garnet Dreams’ and ‘Jasper’ colourways in Mediumweight.
And you know what? Waiting in that line for 15-20 minutes or whatever it was was also totally worth it. In fact, I have become an advocate for finding lines to wait in at Rhinebeck. That’s when you get to talk to people. You’re forced into at least a few minutes of not going anywhere, and it’s good conversation potential. And that’s when I met Faith:
The conversation went something like this:
Faith: “So, what are you going to make with your Socks that Rock?”
Me: “Oh, I think some socks.”
Faith: ::nods sagely::
Faith: “What kind of heel do you prefer?”
Me: “Oh, definitely the heel flap. It’s so comfy.”
Faith: “Totally. I also enjoy the heel flap.”
[pause for waiting, waiting, and more waiting]
Me: “So, do you have a blog?”
Faith: “Why yes, I do. It’s called No More Sweaters.”
Me: “Really? I read that blog! I’m Glenna, I write Knitting to Stay Sane.”
Faith: “Really? I read that blog too! I’d hug you if my arms weren’t full of yarn right now.”
It was too hilarious. There need to be more opportunities for experiences like this out in the world. But anyhoo, I bought my unexpected armload of STR and then re-joined the group only to discover that Rebecca had purchased a spinning wheel. She’d been planning this in the back of her mind pre-Rhinebeck and once she tried the Ashford Kiwi she was lost. We all
were very jealous supported her on this.
We carried on for a bit of browsing and then R patiently went with me at noon to the Blogger meetup, where my Blogger Bingo card finally scored a few more hits, including Lisa, aka the Tsock Tsarina, wearing the kick-ass-ingest shawl ever:
And this gal who I really enjoyed chatting with and who had the greatest t-shirt, and now I completely blank out on her name. ::sheepish::
By the end of the day I did pretty well (I think) with the Bingo, finding 13 of the 25 names on my card. Really, you had to either know who you were looking for or be super eagle-eyed and spot the Bingo Logos on people’s buttons and bags and tees. I was fairly pleased with my system, which involved doing the self-laminating on the card and using some scrapbooking sticky buttons obtained from the dollar store. I thought this was all totally normal and then realized no one else did this much over-achieving. ::more sheepish:: Note for next time: pencils and markers are fine.
Lunchtime was more lines. The hunger made the lines a little more unbearable at this point, but still, there was good chatting. R and I stood behind Chante and her friend Kim, who were spinning away masterfully on their drop spindles. I was mildly awed and have since vowed to learn to spin that finely. (And the chicken pot pies were deeeeeeeelicious.) Chante, incidentally, along with a few other knitters, did the Blogger Bingo method of taking a digital photo of everyone she found on her card. Visual proof, plus a nice documented record of the weekend!
There were other Torontonians there too, and at various points I saw Jacquie, Laura, Megan, and Emily had newly-1-yr-old Clara on her hip:
I wish I’d had more time to talk to everyone. It seemed like the day was made up of fleeting conversations, hazy purchases, yarn clutching, and lots of sugar (in the form of maple sugar cotton candy) and energy on the side. Of course, there were also sheep:
(I like to think that while the sheep are being shorn, baa-ing and being stubborn the whole way, that they are saying things like “perhaps maybe we should DISCUSS THIS FIRST…”)
And there were bunnies:
And then, of course, there was the yarn. Plenty of it.
(Best signage ever.)
There were so many people there – 12,000, according to the New York Times. There were several people from the blogs I wanted to look out for and didn’t see. I am not sharp enough to keep an eye on the yarn and the people all at the same time, I think. ;) I was glad to be there with a small group to anchor me. If I had been alone I might have been either totally overwhelmed, or over-focussed on my list and had all my tasks purchases done in 2 hours and then wandered bewildered from one food stand to the next. Heh. I hear the Ravelry party was quite the shindig on Saturday night. Our merry band headed back to NYC and that was okay, because we were just plain beat I think.
And then we knitted on the subway. Fitting, no?
Kitty was happy to have me back.
I realized in all of this that I forgot to do one important thing – photograph the purchases! I will try to rectify this and post again. Perhaps I’ll include a few NYC photos as well – that was the second half of the trip, a day and a half of worth of NYC tacked on to a full knitterly day.
Can I do it all again?