Monday, October 23, 2006

MORE Rhinebeck

I'm glad I went to Rhinebeck yesterday. On the way it occurred to me that the last time I'd been, the old Kingston-Rhinebeck bridge had been in place. The new bridge is quite spiffy, with shoulders (I've never seen a bridge with shoulders before... hm, wonder if cyclists are allowed to use them). The festival has changed as well. Most noticeably, there's MORE.

There's MORE at Rhinebeck

In general, I like the Rhinebeck vibe. To me, autumn (= sweater weather) is an ideal time for a fiber festival. I like the plainspoken signs advertising fried dough and other fine produce of the Hudson River valley, the earnest young 4-H volunteers, the glorious turning leaves. I'm glad the vendors are predominantly small and regional rather than huge retailers. The live music and juggling and broom guy all add to the pleasant ambience.

Even so, by the time I took this photo, the cumulative impact of MORE had become staggering. It was after I made the newbie spinner's doh! discovery that fiber takes up 'way more space than yarn. After I had given up trying to carry stuff in a succession of larger and larger tote bags and just crammed everything into a garbage kitchen bag, except for the scarf for my ISE3 pal and my Blogger Bingo button. After learning that thundering hordes had descended on The Fold and bought all the Socks That Rock. After the llama parade and the petting zoo with kangaroos, albino boa constrictor, and alligator (???) and the catapult versus trebuchet pumpkin flinging competition. After chicken pot pie and apple crisp and cheese-tasting. Long after the milkshake that Kristen recommended, which was indeed very tasty. Lo, I had reached the point where obsolete interjections and improbable delicacies like deep fried pickles begin to seem intriguing (yea, without the need for wine-tasting or mad science beforehand). It must have been the potent combination of fiber fumes and exhaustion.

I suppose that combination explains why a knit blogger informed me with greatly exaggerated accuracy that I wasn't there. Well, I may not have been all there and I didn't get Bingo!, but I did chat briefly with Bingoists Andrea, Cara, Debbie, Jessica, Mel, and Risa, among others, and even spotted Dolores in the Red Maple Sportswear booth. I also gushed over chatted with Jonathan Bosworth of Journey Wheel, who made my featherweight spindle; Joan Berner of Cloverleaf Farms, who dyed the Blue Face Leicester roving that I won blue ribbons with; and Galina Khmeleva of Skaska Designs, who graciously inscribed a copy of her book Gossamer Webs to me in Russian.

No doubt the fiber fumes also explain the extreme giddiness in the carpool going home. And why I accidentally bought (and drank) a vile diet Vanilla Pepsi ("it was cold") at the rest stop when I meant to get a regular Pepsi. Many, many thanks to Karen, Paige, and super-organized super-motivated Risa for driving!

Once at home, I spun up some micro-skeins. Skeins 1-6 are from fiber acquired at Rhinebeck. Skeins 7 and 8 are from my dyeing experiments for the Twisted Knitters D-S-K-along. Teehee, they look like those collectible STR keychains.

  1. Lincoln lambswool from Four Directions Weaving
  2. Lincoln x in Cappuccino colorway from Barneswallow Farm, Dewittville, NY
  3. Black Blue Face Leicester from Barneswallow Farm
  4. Baby Camel from Barneswallow Farm
  5. Blue Moon Fiber Arts Superwash Merino in Purple Rain colorway from The Fold
  6. Hyperfine Merino (15 microns) from The Fold
  7. Kool-Aid dyed Finn
  8. Kool-Aid dyed mystery blend

I'm happy with them, although I can't believe 7 and 8 look so... preppy.

Not pictured are the tangled messes I spun from the vast quantity of Border Leicester (the featured breed) and Blue Face Leicester that I bought. The samples seemed nice, but what came home with me turned out to be mostly long, coarse hair that's almost impossible to spin. I tend to underspin and yet given the least opportunity these both counterspin with a will, as if badly overspun, and their long hairs interlock into irreversible pigtails. Given I have beautifully behaved, not hairy BFL, I can only conclude this is from an inferior vendor, sold to an insufficiently wary buyer. Maybe studying mohair spinning techniques would help overcome these difficulties, but I'm inclined to think three words apply: caveat emptor and f-f-f-felt!

Anyway, that was my Rhinebeck 2006. It occurs to me that Sunday people have a completely different experience than Saturday people and commuters a different experience than overnighters. One of these days I'd like to take a Friday class (I'm kicking myself for missing this year's with Beth Brown-Reinsel), stay over, bicycle around a bit, tour the mansions and other historic attractions. There really is MORE to Rhinebeck.


secretpal7 said...

there's another blogger who did go to that class, and she said it was fantastic, to include some guy who came wearing a gansey. he was also part of the committee that runs rhinebeck, so they unloaded on him, lol. maybe she'll be back next year?

and do'nt feel bad, i got burnt on ebay with crappy pilly semi-felted roving myself. i blend it with other stuff so i get rid of it, and usually use it for charity knitting, like Afghans for Afghanistan and Dulaan

Zarzuela said...

Love your mini-skiens. I got some of the Barnswallow farm Lincoln myself. Someone recommended it last year and now I'm looking forward to trying it out on the new wheel. :) How was the STR roving to work with?

Do try to get to see some more of the Rhinebeck area when you can. Having grown up there I can vouch for just how amazing it is, especially this time of year.


Deborah said...

Ok, after tallying up the receipts I'm talking a private poll, whadju spend? I did over $350. My favorite place was the Persimmon and Bria Rose. What about you??

Cara said...

So good to see you! You were definitely there. ;-)

vanessa said...

whah, i was one of your squares, but i don't think we met up! but after a while at the blogger meet up my brain was fried ;-)
i can't get blogger to upload my photos.