Well well well. Rhinebeck. What do I say about Rhinebeck?
First of all, it didn't seem as big as I expected it to. This doesn't mean it wasn't big, it just means that it wasn't as vast as I had thought it was. It still was *plenty* big though - there were purveyors of marvellous fibre and yarns that I never managed to get back to again, much to my regret but the relief of my chequebook (how quaint! A chequebook, and vendors who are all too happy to take cheques - safer than cash and no merchant fees).
I got to see vendors of spinning wheels and spindles that I had heard all about for years, I got to see the cutest little teensy travelling wheel you ever did see (a wee Robin)
(seen here first with Etherknitter and then Risa, both headless as I have a very special knack of getting the very worst pics of people)
I saw Bloggers In Person that I have "known" or known of via blog for years (eg Risa, Etherknitter, Margene/Zeneedle, CaroleKnits, Enchanting Juno...)(do you really need me to link them?), I got to see superstars of the knitting world - the YarnHarlot (I am such a dreadful suck cos I gave her some hand-dyed Patonyle sock yarn, beloved by Australian knitters), the Mason-Dixon crew, oh gosh, all sorts of people! I met Kate Gilbert (whom I didn't recognise) wearing her Wisteria (which I did recognise) and saw Jillian Moreno (whom I did recognise). Sorry to those whose names I forget - there were so many of you! And to all those I missed - I keep finding more and more New Englnd bloggers that I didn't see! I hung out mostly with Risa and JessaLu. Jess knows the importance of 42 - that's instant cool points in my book!
(This fellow had the most magnificent horns)
I admit I was rather in a daze. The first day I was shellshocked by a long trip and three hours sleep, plus being woken up around three am my time (6am NYC time). Between that and having all these famous knit bloggers around me... and ALL THAT FIBRE! Did I take a single picture deliberately of any of the people I met? Umm, that would be a no. Ahem.
I ran around like a maniac, trying to find fleece. Everytime I saw a person carrying a bag of fleece, I wailed "They are carrying my fleece!" I raced through all of the sheds, not finding fleece. All I wanted was fleece. Oh woe was me!
(this ram has laydeez on his mind)
I found the sheep pens of my friend Myrtle from Black Pines Sheep in Co. I left her a message with my mobile number on it.
Then I found the fleece sale room. Alas, many of the fleeces were already gone. Except the romney (featured breed) fleeces. Alas I am not into the coarser wools - my dainty little self (ha!) can't deal with anything coarser than Romeldale-CVM or Corriedale. I eyeballed a very nice silvery-beige third place winning fleece but nearly had a heart attack when I discovered it was $35 per POUND! I thought $35 a kilogram (2.2lb) was a lot to pay! $77 a kilo is in my mind outrageous! I'm guessing they really wanted to keep that fleece.
Myrtle gave me a call and invited me up to the Travelling Trailer of Temptation. Oh golly! Surrounded by fleece, unravelled by want and tiredness, I succumbed to temptation. Four fleeces later...
(This sheep didn't like what was on offer in her pen - she kept trying to stick her neck out further and further to sample the straw bale that was greener, apparently, on the other side of the fence.)
I didn't do the Ravelry party - didn't even know where it was. I was pretty shattered already. Instead after dinner with Risa and JessaLu, I watched some of the Red Sox's play off against the Tampa Rays (baseball match) and then retired to bed.
Sunday I was much more combobulated and ready to deal with people. So many of the bloggers only get two chances per year to meet up that they hang around yakking and not shopping. Well much as it is nice to socialise, I wanted to shop! So I disappeared again. And I shopped with a vengeance! And I bought a pair of lovely sea blue gloves in a wool that is just a tad too coarse - did I mention that whilst it was brightly sunny, there was a viciously cold wind and I was half frozen, being used to 30C/85F and all? - and lost one glove within the hour. It was all the fondling of yarn and fibre. Gosh I was peeved with myself. The Michael Jackson look is so 20 years ago...
But I did find two more fleeces to buy - a white something that only cost $22 and a big white Cormo fleece that cost somewhat more than $22. And I found plenty of other bits and bobs and wish I had had time to get more.
(Red leaves - more to come on my travel blog)
May I say many thanks to Risa for putting up with me over the weekend and giving me a place to stay for two nights. Risa, if you are ever out this way, well you know who to call on!
So that is the bones of the Rhinebeck trip. Lots of people, lots of fibre, not enough time to look at it all! And boy, make sure that your bank account is healthy before you go cos it won't be afterwards!
So you wanna see what I got? You will have to wait! Heck, I have to wait for some of it - it is in a UPS truck rumbling its way across the country....