Knitter’s Heaven . . . with Food

That’s how I can describe Rhinebeck in 4 words. Yesterday was the big day. I went to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, New York with four wonderful additions to the list of people I proudly call my friends.

Allow me to tell my story with the help of some visual aids.

Rarely is there a Sunday in my life where I will set my alarm clock. For this adventure, it was set for 5:45 AM and I bounced out of bed at 6:00 on the dot. Okay, I slid out of bed, but I was bouncing on the inside. This was the view from the driver’s seat as I pulled off the highway to meet the girls. (Yes, Mom. I had come to a complete stop at the red light before I raised the camera. I know I shouldn’t take pictures while driving. It’s kind of like what your middle child’s daughter said about her many years ago, “My mommy doesn’t drink and drive. She only drinks at the stop lights.” I only take pictures at the stop lights.)

The sun wasn’t even above the horizon yet.

After fueling ourselves on Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, we hit the road for a pretty drive with lots of fall foliage to admire. This is what I knit in the car as the Mad Knitter was driving us to our destination. It’s another Baby Cuteness Cardigan made with Opal 6-fach self-patterning sock yarn. Not my usual baby colors, but it’s good-looking and will be great for a baby boy.


We all felt like little kids as we walked through the gates. It was the first time each of us had been to Rhinebeck, and we were drooling. These are a few shots of the festival – some of the outside tents and booths. The majority of the yarn/knitting booths were inside buildings. Some of the buildings are usually meant for livestock during the Dutchess County Fair (this event was on their fairgrounds), so we were walking on hay with lots of high wooden edgings for us to carefully step over. Happy to report that I did not witness nor hear of any shoppers falling on their faces. Yikes. I worried about that all day.

The weather was gorgeous – sunny and warm, but not too hot. Perfect.

There was an overwhelming amount of vendors to see. One building after another filled with yarn, knitted items, fleece, roving, spinning supplies, needle holders, gadgets and gizmos . . . So much to look at – and to buy. After going through our first building, I felt like I’d gotten my money’s worth for the $10 admission fee. Amazing.

We took a lunch break. The Yankee Lagniappe stood in an extremely long, slow-moving line to get fried artichokes. I don’t understand that at all. I mean, she could have gotten the deep fried pickles or the deep fried garlic.

I went to get a humongous cinnamon and sugar pretzel while CostumeChick and Wife”Mom”Knitter had lamburgers. Really – and they loved them. The Mad Knitter had what she called a hockey puck hamburger, but she didn’t seem to care much after her brush with celebrity – or should I say celebrities? She bought the Mason-Dixon Knitting book had it signed by Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner. Then, she met Jess and Casey from Ravelry. She kindly brought me over to meet them and I got a button to wear to identify myself to other Ravelers. I was a dum-dum and left my camera at out lunch table, so I didn’t get to take a picture. Here’s my button, at least.

After lunch, we headed toward more of the vendor buildings and we even braved some of the animal buildings. Do you recognize this guy? No, it’s not my last boyfriend. He’s a very handsome alpaca and I braved a through-the-fence picture before he spit again. I guess he doesn’t like aggressive women.

This guy, however, had a crush on me. Just look at the way he was staring at me. He was in the middle of an obnoxious cat-call as I snapped the picture. Puh-lease. I was just there for the yarn.

At one point, the Mad Knitter, CostumeChick and I went out to the parking lot so they could pick up their Ravelry t-shirts and we could put out purchases in the car. My return stamp looked like a prison tattoo.

Toward the end of our day, as we walked through the last few buildings, look what/who we saw! It’s the Kauni Cardigan on the back of the Yarn Harlot. Okay, so it does appear that we were stalking her. We weren’t. Really. Well, the Mad Knitter was, but I can’t be responsible for the actions of everyone else, can I? (She had stalked her earlier in the day – and a few months before at RJ Julia Bookseller. She has an issue. She’ll work on it.)

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee was very kind and friendly after she turned around to find out what the hullaballoo was all about and she even took a picture with us. We admired her sweater and explained that we had to take a picture of it. She said that it wouldn’t be hard to see her in it in the future because she was never going to take it off. It’s really beautiful. We chatted for a little bit, and then she needed to get back to the wool.


A few minutes later, we saw this. No, we weren’t stalking. We just came upon the scene. The Yarn Harlot is talking with another woman who was wearing the same Kauni Cardigan. How could I not take a picture of that?


After a bit more last-chance shopping, we headed home with our purchases and our happy memories of a great day. This is what I bought:

Being the furthest thing from a yarn-snob, I followed Wife”Mom”Knitter’s lead and bought 4 skeins of Cotton & Eco-Spun yarn for $1.79 each. (!) 167 yards on each skein. (!) As you can see from the label, it’s a blend of organic cotton and recycled soda bottles. I love the idea of that. It does have a plastic-y feel to it, so we were thinking it might be great for a market bag or some other kind of bag. I doubt it would be suitable for a hat – imagine the sweating. My mother suggested kids’ mittens. They might be water-resistant. Good idea.

With advice from CostumeChick, I bought a bajillion yard hank of beautiful laceweight wool. Okay, it’s only 1,375 yards. I’m going to try my first lace shawl. Can’t wait. Just have to choose a pattern.

I bought some pretty dyed-roving. It can be used for spinning my own yarn (don’t thing I’m ready for that, although I’m tempted to try it) or for felting. I have some plans for it for Christmas gifts, so I won’t tell you what I’m going to make.

At the top of the picture below is my ball. Doesn’t everyone need a ball? It’s a felted ball made of fleece. $4.00. Had to have it. I can toss it, roll it, hold it, or squeeze it. It’s my ball. If you’re nice, I might let you hold it. Also pictured is my favorite new gadget!

It’s called a Lucet. It’s made of wood and it’s used to make “strong, tightly woven square-shaped cord.” The cord it makes is durable and stays tied if you tie it. The Lucet was “used during the mid-to-late 18th century and for a time during the Edwardian era.” You can use any kind of yarn, string, thread or floss with it. I tried it out at lunchtime and I was making a mess. I went back to the booth and the woman who sold it to me gave me a quick lesson. With some practice, I think I’ve got it. Did I need this tool? Nope. Did I have to have it? Yup. I love gadgets. I especially love them when they work.

I had a fantastic day and I’m so happy I went. In the picture below, I’m the one with the big smile on my face. Wait – we all have big smiles. I’m the one in the middle, holding my ball.


I’m grateful to have been invited to take the last seat in the car and to have the opportunity to enjoy the big event with a great group of girls. It wouldn’t have been the same without them to laugh with and ooh-and-ahh with. We’ll do it again next year, and we’re already making plans for new yarn adventures to go on while we’re waiting for October 2008.

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6 Responses to “Knitter’s Heaven . . . with Food”

  1. Catherine Says:

    Ooh! That organic cotton/ soda bottle yarn seems really interesting. Sounds like a bag is a good idea!

  2. JennM Says:

    Hey there Knelley,

    I had so much fun with you guys yesterday!!!! There are DEFINITELY more road trips in our future. Holding your ball….hehehe. That’s almost as bad as when Yankee thought the guy said pull my finger.

  3. jennsquared Says:

    It looks like you had a lot of fun!

    I’m in TN for a conference and click over to Day 3 towards the end. My SWE friends had a little moment about you šŸ™‚

  4. mad knitter Says:

    Fun, Fun, Fun!!!! I had such a blast with you on the trip! It was so neat to see the pics and be transported back there, if only for a minute! What a great day šŸ™‚

  5. Erin Says:

    I’m so glad (and jealous) that you all had so much fun last weekend. Enjoy your yarn!

  6. Sheila Says:

    I’ve been very envious of everyone who has the chance to go to something like this. Everyone is smiling! I don’t think we have anything this size in the west. So, what’s up with that blue ball? The lucet I understand; the blue ball, not so much.

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