Thursday, October 20, 2005

WHY Rhinebeck is so cool.

Cause this is what I wondered before I went.

Here's what usually happens to me:
- neat festival of some sort is announced [and i have interest in the stuff, so i start to look forward to it]
- i imagine all the things that might be there. stuff i can't find anywhere else. affordable, of course. lots of choice. stuff i couldn't have imagined existing. stuff i've wanted to see in person but never got the chance.
- i get to said festival. everything's overpriced and beautiful or affordable and boring. same stuff i can get anywhere.

That is not the case with Rhinebeck. Most everything was affordable, beautiful and plentiful. If you are a wool lover you would have found more fiber than you could have spun in a lifetime, in every possible blend and colorway. Yarn too. And for me, the original Silk Ho™, there was more than I could have dreamed of. Every booth had something beautiful to look at and many, many booths had things I hadn't imagined existing or had only seen on web pages before...and I got to touch and feel before I bought.

And the wood. Oh, heavens. Norm Hall, what an amazing craftsman and artist. If I'm lucky enough to get the 1-yard tiger maple niddy noddy he agreed to make for me, I will never put it down. [The man has a 7-year waiting list for his wheels, so I'm not sure where custom niddy noddies fit in to his schedule... but I am hoping!]

But right now, I want to send BIG KNITTY KUDOS to Brooks Farm. Why? They had a finished Clapotis knitted up, hanging behind their cash table [see it up there on the right?] with one copy of the Knitty pattern in a plastic sleeve. And in their cash box, little yellow cards to hand out with the name of the pattern, Knitty's URL, the designer of the pattern AND the knitter of this particular scarf. That's the way to do it, people! I almost hugged them, I was so happy.

Okay, so back to our story. I actually woke up Saturday night at 3:15 a.m., dreaming of my return visit to Shadeyside Farm -- land of Mawata silk hankies. Oh yeah, baby -- she had to restock the shelf after I was done with her. It's also the home of the ultimate crack fiber, but until I give Jillian hers, I can't tell you what it is.

What started all this hanky fetishing was meeting the wonderful woman who runs Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks, and getting a little hanky tutorial. Steph "I have no interest in spinning" Roy and I bought hankies there and Ms Steph spent the whole car ride home turning them into roving. Nancy everyone says, YOU KNOW COLOR. More on hankies in Knittyspin. [man, this is killing my blogging! :-)]

Grafton Fibers caused me physical pain since they're strictly sheepy. Their shelves were like shelves in a bakery. Swirly round cakes of spinning fiber in luminous colors. Weep!

more of the haul:

the pink says "bamboo silk" which may mean it's bamboo+silk, or just that it's silky bamboo. probably the latter. i don't care. it's soft and PEEEEENK. from My Pollywogs. and the blue is a bag of soysilk I picked up at the Lendrum booth [or at least Mr G. Lendrum was there...not sure what booth that was].

you think I'd stop there? from shadeyside farm, silk roving in "latte" -- browns and greys, and a big bag of silk cocoons. for display, at the worst, but i might try to get brave and degum them. we shall see.

that's a hank of beautiful bombyx silk roving in "halle's berries" [not kidding] from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks. Sigh. the niddy noddy is a little one (1/2 yard), perfect for my small skeins of silk. Timbertops, made of yew.

a bag of silk hankies, also from Chasing Rainbows, in "pansies". i want to EAT it.

but what's this? looks like Socks that Rock from The Fold, but it can't be. Socks that Rock aren't Amy-friendly, but Sock Candy is! Cotton with a little lycra. just TRY to picture how happy i was when i spotted these on the wall. socks for me! woo hoo! [why isn't this stuff on their website?]

there is a big bag for miss jillian, so that will not be blogged. i also succumbed to the call of Morehouse Merino and bought a kit for my mom, but she may see this so that'll have to stay hidden too.

After this, every festival I attend will be a letdown.

As so many have already said, I met bloggers from all over this great land and I loved it. We stood around and chatted, showed each other where the best stuff was to be found, enabled like mad and broke fried cheese sticks [with marinara!] together. To my old friends and my new ones, thanks for making a great festival exponentially great.

p.s. by the way, for the record, I'll state that mud was NOT an issue. even the parking area -- all grass -- wasn't that bad, and the entire grounds have paved path with the majority [all but maybe 10] vendors being inside buildings. so don't be afraid of the mud!