Archive for the “Rhinebeck” Category

After reading many accounts of Rhinebeck written by several people, it seems many of us were rather restrained in our stash enhancements this time around. I’m not sure if that’s the result of the global financial situation or just that many of us are finding ourselves having more than enough stash these days, but I thought it was interesting. In that same vein, I tell you in all honesty

I bought no yarn at Rhinebeck.

It’s true! Not a single solitary skein came home with me. I certainly looked at many skeins of yarn and even had a list of certain vendors that I was specifically thinking might have something that would need to come home with me. Alas, it was not so. And I’m ok with that. What I did buy made me quite happy. My first purchase was a split with Annie.

Bijou Basin - Alpaca/Yak

Yak/Alpaca fiber that was over carded by the mill so as not to be suitable for machine spinning. We felt very sorry for them as we forked over our money and ran cackling from the scene whooping with glee quietly continued on. ;) When I am brave enough to start spinning it and have a finished yarn, it may take a trip to the dyepot. We’ll see.

Fiber Optic Superwash Merino

Superwash merino from Fiber Optic, purchased on Sunday. I spun up a sample of her fiber on Saturday night with my new spindle and decided that some needed to go home with me. One of my goals for Rhinebeck was to make some purchases of spinning fiber that I did not have to dye myself. ;)

Speaking of spindles…

Bosworth Spindle with Alpaca Silk

Oh hai Bosworth Midi that lept into my pocket before we left the festival on Saturday! You spin the alpaca/silk blend you are lounging on in that pic that was also purchased at Rhinebeck quite nicely!

And finally, I saved the best for last. Last year at Rhinebeck we found this interesting pottery booth (which turned out to be Wardell Pottery) that had mugs with “Alpaca Mom” and “Sheep Dad” and such on them. We lamented the lack of one for bunny parents to the owners then. Just before we were leaving the festival this year, we happened to wander almost accidentally past their booth again. And what did we find?!

Rabbit parent mugs!

The fact that these mugs also just *happen* to be in the appropriate colors for each of us was not lost on us as we laughed our way all the way to the front of the line. And get this, the people in the booth *remembered us* and were *so* happy that we came back! :-D It was definitely a Rhinebeck moment I won’t forget soon.

My fun didn’t end with Rhinebeck however. This past Thursday HWJF and I were lucky enough to go see a live taping of Wait, Wait Don’t Tell me! at Carnegie Hall!

Wait wait don't tell me at Carnegie Hall!

It was totally the best thing we’ve done in a long time. If you have a chance to go see them live, don’t miss it! It was hysterical!

And then, in a bout of sheer wool induced insanity, Sairy and I decided to hit Stitches East on Saturday. We met up with Annie there for a little while and perused the market place. I’ve never been to a Stitches show before, but the atmosphere was totally different then anything I’d been to before. The convention center setting was certain more industrial but we definitely weren’t worried about the weather. The market place wasn’t overwhelming in size and we were really able to see everything in just a couple of hours. The thing I found really shocking? Novelty yarn. EVERYWHERE. Weird.

My purchases were not as restrained this time, but I found some interesting stuff, mostly for gifts. Mom, if you’re reading this you may want to turn away now. Just sayin’. ;)

Luscious - Island Birds

Wool free sock yarn.

BMFA Lucious Silk - Winter Solstice

BMFA Luscious Silk which is 100% silk and certainly of the luscious variety.

Sereknity merino/silk - Campfire

4 oz. Merino/Silk in the campfire colorway. I sat down on Sunday and spun the whole dang thing up already. Incidentally, would you believe that my wheels both had copious amounts of DUST on them?! I haven’t touched one since August!!

Merino/silk spun up already!

It was yummy while it lasted. ;)

Finally, the siren song of cashmere could not be ignored any longer. We found the booth right when we came in, squished the yumminess and finally succumbed. I couldn’t choose between these two beauties so I took them both!

String Theory Caper Sock - Navy

String Theory Caper Sock - Atlantis

OMG it was worth every penny! This yarn is just too beautiful to go on feet so it may become something for a neck near me sometime soon. ;)

[For those of you keeping track for the STASH Kal, I added 1530 yds. to my stash. Having knit 3584 yds. up at last count that still puts me ahead by 2054 yds!]

But that’s not all! If you thought going to Stitches right after Rhinebeck was crazy, how ’bout this!

Webs!

Sairy had never been to Webs. It’s 45 min. from the convention center. How could she resist when I made the suggestion? I made no purchases for myself after the carnage ones I made above. I simply enjoyed watching someone else seeing all that is Webs for the first time. :) She made some lovely purchases and will have an awesome sweater as a reminder of her first Webs trip at some point.

And now I must publicly thank Sairy for her expert driving skills. Had I known that we’d be driving back to NJ in a torrential monsoon like none that I have seen in a very long time we may have skipped the Webs detour. At one point we came upon a puddle so huge that I was sure the little Honda that we were in would be swallowed whole and we would not make it out the other side. It was one of those moments where I start to yell Oh Sh*t but didn’t even get to the Sh*t part. With no where else to go but in, head on, Sairy negotiated the danger expertly and we only had elevated heart rates to show for it in the end. We celebrated with a stiff drink later. Thanks for keeping me alive my friend!

But seriously? It was worth every moment. :)

How ’bout we save those FO’s for next time, eh? ;)

Comments 11 Comments »

Another Rhinebeck weekend is in the books and I just can’t believe how fast it flew by! Despite the less than stellar weather, especially on Sunday afternoon, smiles were present, hugs were many and we had a wonderful time! Unfortunately, I don’t have a heck of a lot of photographic evidence of my own since the camera was either with the sherpa HWJF or dead. :(

Friday night we traveled up after work and met up to Poughkeepsie with Sharon, Sairy and Annie for dinner. Then we had Annie follow us home where we relaxed for a bit while buttons were sewn on sweaters and many laughs were had. Saturday we were all up and out bright and early and were some of the first people in the doors as usual. Nothing makes for good parking like getting in early. The collective will of us all made the weather cold, but not wet and certainly not unbearable considering We Are Knitters and We Have Wool. I was very glad I decided to thrown on my Very Warm Hat though. For those that might be wondering, my February Lady Sweater was indeed completed on time, but was hidden under my coat the whole day (except when I chose to “flash” people. Ya had to be there. ;) ).

Rather than try to recreate what you had to be there for, here are a few pictures and explanations and probably a whole lot of links.

Who was that masked man?!
HWJF all bundled up and waiting to get in on Sunday. This was the first time I’ve *ever* seen the gate closed when we arrived! Someone in line behind us called us the Bonnie and Clyde of Rhinebeck. :) The camera died before I could get a pic of my own woolen wrappings.

Watching pumpkin chuckin' in the rain
A cute shot of us waiting to watch the Pumpkin Chuckin’. The highlight of HWJF’s Rhinebeck. :)

Bunny wheel
A wheel of bunnies! I did not try it for fear of possible love. I did try and electric spinner at one point though and nearly had to wipe the drool off my face.

You knit what?!
A candidate for You Knit What.

And now for links!

HWJF waiting on the potato line. Taken by someone who took pictures of around 60 hats during the festival!

I got to meet Lindsey! If it hadn’t been so cold I was going to try and get pics of us both bearing our surgery scars. LOL.

Annie and I got to meet Angie! Although it was far too short a get together.

I also had the pleasure of giving prizes away to Karen and Sarah with a little bit of coercion. ;) I hope you enjoy your prizes ladies!

There were so many other people we met and so many other experiences, but I really just can’t sum it up in a simple blog post. I’ll just say that if you ever get the chance to experience Rhinebeck, do not hesitate. It is not to be missed.

We also got some good work done on our wedding plans. I think we’ve picked our florist (just need to set up a trial) and our wedding bands have been ordered! I’m super excited about that last part. The jewler was way easier than the florist for some reason. And HWJF had a harder time picking out his ring then I did, which I’m still finding incredibly funny. :) They should be in before the holidays and I’ll post pics then.

Next time, I’ll give you pics of the Rhinebeck haul and some finished objects (there’s been quite a bit of knitting going on around here!). See you then!

Comments 11 Comments »

This post will probably be less exuberant than it might have been as I appear to be coming down with something again. Combine that with needing to work on Saturday and you’ve got yourself one grumpy Jessica. Perhaps I can pull myself out of the funk by reliving my Rhinebeck finds. We shall see.

My shopping list was pretty specific this year. I really wanted to get a few certain things and get them early so I could spend the rest of the festival enjoying the sights and sounds with HWJF and the gang. I really wanted this Rhinebeck to be less about the “stuff”, but I certainly wasn’t coming home empty handed. :)

On the yarn front, I had a few specific needs for future holiday gifts. I was lucky enough to find these two skeins:

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They are Oasis Yarns “Seduction”. One hundred percent silk and about 300 yards a piece. They are already on the needles but that’s all I can say since the recipient does read the blog now and then. ;)

There was some serious restraint in the sock yarn category this year. Only one skein!

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Aussi Sock, which I used for a pair of socks for my Grandfather for last Christmas. It’s a nice wool yarn with a good nylon content. It’s also intended for holiday gift giving this year.

The only other yarn I purchased was for myself. Seven skeins of this yummy stuff:

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That would be Green Mountain Spinnery Maine Organic. I do believe this will become “Portland” from “A Fine Fleece” sometime down the road. It’s a really lovely yarn and I’m glad I made my purchase early because it was all gone on Sunday!

There were two purchases for the benefit of my spinning wheels. The higher speed whorl mentioned in the previous post and this:

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The bug and the matchless should be nice and shiny when I get done with them with this stuff. And lord knows they could both use it.

Next there was the fiber. I must have carried one of my new drop spindles around in my hand nearly all day on Saturday looking for something I was dying to spin on it. After consulting with Christine, I finally decided to give silk caps another go.

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These two will get spun and plied together, mostly because there was a third one that was spun and became a victim of my first attempt at Andean plying. I got the plying going fine, it was the silk sticking to itself that made it a disaster.

I also picked up a two pound bump of a dyed wool at the same booth. Don’t ask me to tell you what it was at the moment or show you a picture because I just couldn’t seem to do it justice. HWJF and I both liked it so much that there may have to be a his and hers sweater from it. Maybe I’ll be able to get a better pic for next post.

I needed a couple of things for the shop as well. I bought a few bags of silk for dyeing and blending into future batts.

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I also found a good deal on some Corriedale roving.

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These will probably be going into my first fiber club. More details on that soon!

As you saw from the photos in the last post, I didn’t make it out of the fleece sale empty handed. I had gone in thinking I’d try to find a nice chocolate brown polworth for myself. Unfortunately, there was no polworth to be seen, but when I came back to this beauty three times I figured it was trying to say “Take me home!”

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Sorry for the amazingly craptastic pictures, but this was the best I could do with the time I had. It’s a Romney/Border Leicester cross (if I remember correctly) from a farm in PA. Very clean and very healthy looking. The color goes from a lovely black to a bit of a chocolate brown toward some of the tips. At 6 lbs. 10 oz. (despite the fact that some of that weight will be lost in the processing) I think it’s going to make a lovely sweater or two. Check out that staple length!

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That’s at least 4 inches if not more. And yes, despite the grand plans I had of dropping this and the two Shetland fleeces that I bought earlier in the year at a processor, I’ll be doing the whole deal on my own.

Going back to shop needs, at the end of the day on Sunday my mission to find some washed, undyed mohair locks seemed to have been thwarted. Until I decided on this:

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That would be a 5 lb. mohair fleece from the mohair fleece sale. I figured since I couldn’t find what I wanted, I’ll just do it myself. And since it had a second place ribbon on it, I figured I couldn’t go wrong! Even my Mom thought it was lovely. I think the color variations will be very interesting when complemented with some dye.

My final purchase of the day, as we walked toward the gates and I discovered there was a little cash still burning a hole in my pocket was this:

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Sairy had gotten one earlier in the day and I just couldn’t resist. It’s got a black sheep and a white sheep on it and a skein of blue yarn. What could be more perfect?

But of course, I have saved my first purchase and the very best purchase for last. The two Golding Spindles that HWJF bought for me as part of my Christmas present for this year! First up:

1st spindle

This is the Celtic Ring #2. It has a 2 3/4″ handcarved Cherry Whorl with a walnut shaft and weighs 1.3 oz. This is one of their more standard designs.

1st spindle and silk

It’s seen here on 2 oz. of dyed silk from Chasing Rainbows that I picked up at the Carolina Homespun booth along with my faster wheel whorl. It’s a fantastic spindle as far as I’m concerned and I’m really enjoying spinning up the silk on it.

But if you think that one is fabulous, take a look at this:

2nd spindle front

This is the Celtic Ring style with a vintage sterling silver ring. The entire spindle is handcarved from walnut and weighs 1.31 oz. What you see on it is my first attempt at spinning a silk cap since my previous disaster and before I ruined it. ;)

2nd spindle side

We talked to Mr. Golding as we were checking out and he said he’s only made one like this because of what a pain it was to make. The ring is set into the whorl and that space had to be carefully carved out for it to fit.

2nd spindle back

As you can see here, even the underside is beautifully carved. This baby likes to spin For-ever! It’s awesome! I adore them both and they will be the perfect memory of a perfect weekend for a long time to come. Yes friends, I’m finally a spindle convert! :-D

And now I must return to the real world rather than my fiber induced dreams. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

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As always, I find it difficult to put Rhinebeck weekend into words. It’s a glut of fibery goodness and stash acquisition what with all the fantastic vendors and things to see, pet and buy, but it’s also so much more for me. It’s a home coming since I get to stay with my folks, spend a bit of time with them and visit the area where all my childhood memories were made. It’s officially fall for me as I discovered again this year and we traveled over the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge Saturday morning for the first time and got to take in the breathtaking early morning view of the Hudson River and the fall foliage in full display. And this year, it was even more special since I got to share my love of everything this weekend offers me with HWJF and got to see him experience his first Rhinebeck.

My first stop of Saturday was the Golding Spindle booth. It was a little early and they were still setting up, but once I was able to get in I started trying to make a decision. HWJF had told me in advance that this would be my Christmas present.

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(When the heck did my hair get so long?)

It wasn’t an easy decision and I probably drove Kristy, Sharon and Sairy crazy as they waited for me to make up my mind. Once I finally made my selections, it was on to the rest of the show.

We got to meet up with Anne and her son and watch him start to experience his first Rhinebeck. He got to pet some Alpacas! Lucky kid.

After that things become a blur of intermittently meeting up with friends and drooling over the good stuff with the occasional infusion of a hot cider or some other fair food (I finally tried the artichokes. They are as good as reported. HWJF even had some.) to keep us going. As you can see from the picture of me in the Goldings booth, the weather was rather cool which sadly kept my sweater, despite it’s alpaca content, hidden under my coat for the majority of the festival. I was asked by fellow NJ FiberFanatics Laurie, Marilyn and Linda to show the sweater at one point and HWJF comment at how wrong it looked for me to be opening my coat in that manner. ;)

At one point rather early on Saturday I sent two new spinners off to find their perfect wheels. Lucky for them Carolina Homespun and brought two lady bugs with them for the festival or there may have been a fight. ;)

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I think those smiles say it all. Yay for new addicts spinners!! :-D

Speaking of gateway drugs, I hear fleece is one of them.

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Not that I would know anything about that. ;) While I waited in the line to get into the fleece sale HWJF brought me food and ran some of my stuff and Kristy’s to the car. The women behind me on line commented that “He’s good.” and “You better hang on to him!”. Yes. Yes I plan to. :)

We even got to see friends from a different context at this festival.

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That’s our friend Will from Bassoon Camp in the lovely green and white sweater with some of his friends and relatives. The sweater was made by the very nice woman to his immediate right. Yay for knitters and bassoon appreciators!

When we were all shopped out and quite tired of the cold on Saturday we made our way out of the fairgrounds (in record time. Yay for knowing back roads!) and across the river to Panera to have dinner and get the new spinners set up on their new wheels. It’s not every day you see three ladybugs in Panera!

three bugs at panera

I also got to try out my new high speed whorl. Now I don’t have to treadle like a mofo to get the laceweight I’m making for shop orders done! Whee!!

spinning with sairy and sharon

We made our way over to the Ravelry party later on only to find a scene of chaos as far as parking when. Sairy and Sharon decided to skip it but Kristy, HWJF and I stayed for about an hour, during which time the cops were called and HWJF had to move the car. Fun times. At least there was beer and food. We also got to see Sarah, Chris and Carolyn as well as run into Kim for a second time (we saw her and Yvonne at the Fold in the morning).

After a long day we headed home only to stop in our tracks about two miles from home when we found a loose horse on the side of the road at 10pm. I jumped out of the car to secure it before it got hit only to find myself standing on the side of the road freezing my ass off with a strange horses’ halter in my hand and no clue what door to bang on to find the owner. Luckily, one of the locals who knew where he belonged came along and woke up a neighbor who took him off my hands. I still can’t believe how many people kept driving and didn’t stop. As my Dad would say “The country ain’t what it used to be!”

Sunday found me driving to the train station to send Kristy on her way fairly early and then back to the festival on my own while HWJF and my Mom dealt with the car trouble that could have made this a very short weekend for us (luckily it was just a bum battery and was replaced without issue, but getting it jumped twice on Friday was looking dubious for a while). I met up with Sharon and Sairy again.

I observed a weak moment.

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And a funny one.

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And many others before they had to head back to NJ. HWJF, my Mom and I continued on for a while. I finally made HWJF pose with his Cobblestone next to another.

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I definitely like my model better. ;)

Mom and I indulged in a little fried dough before she left. HWJF and I finally got to see some animals.

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We also finally got to see Kris at the Coopworth breed display and watch a future spinner get their first lesson.

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And there might have been another fleece purchase. ;)

By that time the festival had wound down and I made one more purchase before we headed home. Tired, cold and happy. When asked if he would ever come with me again, HWJF’s response was the title of this post. I think I got a little teary. :)

If all that wasn’t enough, on our way home on Monday we decided to go for a “little” walk at Mohonk.

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You’re going to want to clicky to biggie those pictures! Trust me!

I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. HWJF did not complain once and kept us all in stitches (ha!) most of the time. Yep. I think I’ll keep him.

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(Sorry for the lack of linky love but I’ll never get this posted if I don’t do it now. More on the stash acquisitions in the next post. Thanks for reading if you actually got this far!)

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Comments 25 Comments »

Trees

What do you say about a thing so wonderful? It seems like we wait all year for this and in the blink of an eye, it’s over. I was quite sad leaving the grounds yesterday, but I have a lot of great memories and fiber to keep my consoled until next time.

Unfortunately it seems that I had a serious dose of camnesia during the majority of the festival so there aren’t many pics “during” but I definitely have several “after”. Kristy and I arrived just after 8am and went right in to find this glorious sight:

pristine str

Pristine wall ‘o STR. It didn’t stay that way for long. Trust me. Neither of us made a purchase there deciding that we had plenty sitting on the shelf at home. We then went over to the Little Barn booth and a Rhinebeck miracle happened. Remember the fiber that I was spinning and wanted to make a sweater out of? Remember how I ran out?

Rhinebeck Miracle!!

THEY HAD IT!!!

Much bouncing up and down and squeeing was the result. They were ready to take my money early so I once again was going back to the car before 9am. I guess I’m just a power shopper. ;) Besides the Toney Road fiber I bought mostly undyed stuff. That should keep me busy for a while.

After that we ended up meeting up with Ann and our trio did our leisurely turns through each barn while Kristy checked things off on her list and made notes for later. There were several purchases along the way of course. Before we knew it, we needed some nourishment and ended up having lunch with Jody and her friends. Then it was time for the blogger meet-up where I did manage a couple of pictures.

Me and Debby

I got to meet Debby and her photographer husband which was very nice. :)

Me and Julie

I caught up with Julie again. She was easy to find with the Steeler’s hat. :)

Jersey Girls

There was a chance for a Jersey girls group shot with Kim, Deb and Kristy.

Jess and Jess

And I just had to get a picture with Jess who presented me with the most beautiful pair of hand cranked socks (I won them in a blog contest she had. Yes, again. I am banned from contests on her blog for a while. ;) )! They couldn’t be a more perfect color and look:

They fit!

They fit like a dream! You should really check out the picot edge too. I will be treasuring these for some time to come. And she even included this:

Sheepy Pez

Too cute! Thanks again Jess!!

After the meet up I got to spend some time with my Mom while more wandering and more purchases were accomplished. Eventually Mom went home and Kristy and I made our way out of the festival for dinner and then headed over to Morehouse. I was shocked and saddened to learn that they will no longer be maintaining the brick and mortar store in the near future. Apparently the online business has made it too much for the staff to handle. That news sorely tempted me into snatching up some yarn, but I let Kristy do it instead. :)

We then made our way over to the Ravelry party (thank goodness I had enough brains to bring the GPS. I never would have found it otherwise) which was a ton of fun even if it was a bit crowded. While I was skeptical in the beginning, I’m very appreciative of what is going on with this amazing resource and what it has done for the fiber community. I was even gifted with this:

Gift Fiber

A beautiful wool/mohair/angora roving from PoMo Golightly. She sadly found out she was allergic to the angora the hard way and decided to just give it all away. Ann remembered I was a spinner and I became the lucky recipient! Thank you again!! At the end of the party we went out on the patio to cool down and did a little more knitting and talking fiber with Tina and her lovely sherpa husband before heading home. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

On Sunday I sadly said goodbye to Kristy, dropped her off at the train station and headed back over to the festival. I met up with Risa fairly early on and spent most of the day making sure that she didn’t loose her Crazy Fiber Lady reputation. I mean, she only had one skein of lace weight when I first saw her. Totally unacceptable!! ;) I briefly ran into Eklectica and Tina as well as Brooke and several others (sorry if I’m forgetting you!) who I had not had much chance to talk to or had missed during the first day and yet there are still people I didn’t get to see or meet! If it weren’t for the fact that I was nearly crippled from all the walking or standing, I would really wish there were a couple more days for this festival.

Monday I was lucky enough to be able to take the day off work, so my Mom drove me back to NJ and we had lunch outside with a certain new family member:

Sandy at lunch

ETA: That’s Sandy, my Mom’s Brussels Griffon.

Who also got to meet her “niece”.

Sandy meets Simba

Believe it or not, it was a very quiet and polite meeting (although the picture doesn’t quite capture it that way). I’m still shocked about that.

Re-entry will not be an easy task today, but I definitely have a wonderful weekend to look back on.

So what else did I buy you ask? From Cloverleaf Farm:

Merino-Silk and BFL

Merino/Silk (on the left in the reds and pinks) and BFL.

Ingeo for Mom

Ingeo (a corn fiber) to spin up into something nice for my Mom.

Bamboo for mom

Some bamboo, also intended to be used for my Mom. The color is much more brown and coppery than I could capture here.

I did buy one skein of yarn, but it is a gift for a friend, so I’m not going to post it here.

Grafton batts

Two grafton batts from Seaport Yarns. I snatched these up early and hope they’ll become enough for a nice shawl.

Merino for HWJF

I ended the festival purchases with this pumpkin colored merino for the boy I left at home. :)

Risa and I ended the day on Sunday with smoothies that I just had to snap a pic of:

Fruity drinks

All drinks are better when they come with umbrellas. :)

Oh yeah. And one other thing followed me home:

Schacht!

:-D

Comments 33 Comments »

Unless you’ve been blogging under a rock for a while, you know that this weekend is an important weekend in the fiber world. It’s that time of year again! That’s right!

RHINEBECK!!!

Rhinebeck has a special charm for me since I grew up about 30 min. from the festival. I remember going to the Duchess County Fair as a kid and I also have a vague memory of some “sheep thing” going on there in the fall and thinking “who the heck would go to that?”.

Ummm… yeah. That was then, this is now.

RHINEBECK, RHINEBECK, RHINEBECK!! :-D

I go to Rhinebeck now. It’s extra special since I get to go home and spend the weekend at my parents (read: more money for yarn and fiber) and my Mom will come along with me for part of one of the days. This year I’m also very lucky to be hosting Kristy at my folks house for a couple of nights. As much as Mom enjoys herself and likes to come along despite being allergic to just about all the animal fibers (believe me, we tried everything last year!), and as much as I love her coming with me, it will be really nice to go with someone who is into this whole “yarn thing” as much as me. :)

Rhinebeck coming around again also has a special meaning for me this year because it is the one year anniversary of something coming home with me:

My lovely lendrum

My wonderful Lendrum on which I’ve spun many a skein of yarn in the last year. I still almost can’t believe I was crazy enough to buy a wheel at a fiber festival, but I’m so glad I did! I’ve been really happy with it and wheel spinning is definitely what it’s all about for me. Spindles are cool, but the wheel is the way to go in my opinion.

However, I have recently discovered via the Cult of Lendrum group on Ravelry that I have neglected a very important aspect of life with my Lendrum.

I haven’t given my wheel a name!!

You are shocked and appalled. I know. I hang my head in shame.

But this is where you come in! (I know. You’ve been wondering when the heck I was going to get around to the good part, right?!) It’s contest time!

Help me name my wheel! Send your name suggestion to Jessica [at] zarzuelaknitsandcrochets [dot] com with the subject Wheel Name by midnight EST on October 26th. Make it a good one! If you’ve read this blog for a while you know about my likes and dislikes, what I knit, what colors I like. Be creative! I don’t plan on giving up this wheel any time soon so I want a great name for it. Something that expresses something about my personality and how much I love spinning.

One entry per person please!

What will you get in return? Glad you asked!

Grand Prize

If I choose your name for my wheel you will win a skein of custom dyed, handspun yarn of at least 200 yards in your choice of several different types of fiber (such as BFL, Cheviot, Merino, etc.) (sorry but I can’t afford cashmere y’all!). We will work together to come up with something special to fit your color pallet (yes, that really does mean it does not have to be blue! Although, I have no idea why you wouldn’t want blue. ;) ). If you are a spinner yourself, you will have the option of choosing to just receive the dyed fiber unspun if you like (approximately 4 oz. worth).

Runner Up

All entries will be thrown in a hat and one runner up will be chosen at random to receive a skein of my handspun yarn that I will choose for you. You can see some of what I’ve spun up lately in this flickr set and some fiber that has been dyed that I hope to spin soon in this set.

That’s all there is to it, so get those suggestions in! And if you see me this weekend, do feel free to come up and say hello. I’m a square again for Bingo both days and I also have plans to attend the Morehouse Party and the Ravelry party and maybe even crash a hotel lobby. ;) Sleep is so over-rated! For those that can’t make it, I will be high on wool fumes enough for many and will report back ASAP. ;) There may even be some mobile blogging if the Treo cooperates.

Have a great weekend everyone! :)

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I know I said I wouldn’t be back until Monday, but I just had to share. I’m really on Knitty D and the City! I’m the Jessica that’s interviewed at the STR booth. I’m really glad that I didn’t sound like as much of a bumbling idiot as I thought I did afterward (dude, it was *early*. And there were wool fumes!). Now if I could only change my voice……..

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Wow. Just wow. I’m sure you’ve probably read many reviews of Rhinebeck and the fun we all had there so I will attempt to keep this mercifully short while sharing the important things that happened and telling you about the awesome people I met, now that I have gotten a little sleep and can almost walk again.

First, the sweater didn’t make it. I woke up at 6:20am Saturday morning after staying up until almost 11pm the night before and feverishly sewed and sewed. I even sewed in the car on the way to the festival. But I just didn’t make it. I had it with me and searched for buttons to no avail as well. That’s just the way it goes sometimes I guess. It is currently patiently waiting for a button band while I work on a sample that must be done by Friday.

My Mom went with me on Saturday and we were some of the crazy people that got there around 9am. I made a bee line for the Fold‘s booth where they were sold out of lightweight (!) Socks That Rock, but had plenty of medium. I bought enough for a pair for HWJF, two or three pairs for myself, and I even succumbed to the special merino/tencel blend that they had several skeins of for an unbelieveable $34! But how can you resist these colors?:

str

I’m insane. I know. I also ran into Knitty D and the City and spoke into the mic for them. You may hear my voice on the next podcast. Then it was off to Grafton Fibers because I figured if Stephanie mentioned them on the blog they had to be good and they would also be sold out quickly. I picked up one beautiful batt for a time when I am a much better spinner than I am now. Behold:

grafton

Yummy or what?

After that, I caught up with my Mom again (she told me to run ahead and she’d catch up) and we slowed down a bit and went through all that there was to see. And lord is there a lot to see! Fiber, yarn, tools, you name it, it was there. One of the greatest things about going to something like this is that you get to *feel* all of the things you’ve seen online but were too cheap unsure about to order. Nothing like a hands-on experience to fuel the stash aquisition! Sadly, I was so involved in checking everything out on both days that the regular camera didn’t even make it out of the bag. Good thing the mobile blogging worked for the most part!

While we shopped, I’d hear the occasional chorus of “She’s a square!” and much meeting and greeting and looking for pens and either triumphantly marking off a square or sadly saying “Nice to meet you anyway” was done. HWJF was nice enough to make some buisness cards for me with the blog address on them (Did you get here because of a card? Please say hello in the comments!) so I handed all of them out throughout the weekend. I have to say, Stitchy, you are a genious! I never would have met all the awesome people I did without this game. It was such a great icebreaker and although I’m sure it was a ton of work to put together, I really hope it happens again next year!

So who did I meet? Well, from my bingo card there was Cygknit from CT, Claudia who most of you probably know, Hannah who had a T-shirt of her blog (so cool!), Ina from NJ (there *are* other knitters and spinners in the state beyond the local area!), and Ruth whose nickname became her blog, Bethe with a great blog name, one of the many Jennys, and Diane of IndigoDi. Off the bingo card I talked to Dawn, Cara, Margene, Stephanie, Chris, Karen, Anne, Risa (who I spent an hour or so with and bought a ton of fiber with on Sunday), and Missy B (who I met over lunch on Sat., hung out with at Morehouse that night and ran into again on Sun. She came all the way from California!), Katie, Jodi and probably a dozen others that I just can’t remember off the top of my head (please say hello if I forgot you!). You saw the picture from the blogger meet up. It was C-R-A-Z-Y, but in a totally good way. The only community that I’ve ever been a part of that even comes close to matching this knit/crochet blogging community is the one from bassoon camp. This whole blogging thing has put me in touch with so many amazing people now! I just regret that I didn’t get to spend more time with some of them, and that I completely missed some people that I really wanted to meet.

Obviously, the biggest purchase of the weekend was my new spinning wheel! :) After seeing all that there was to see I went back to the Misty Mountain Farm booth because of the price on this Lendrum wheel that just didn’t seem like it could really be that low. I asked to try it and a Louet and based on my trials with several other brands I totally fell in love with the Lendrum. I had a bit of difficulty getting it started (the rayon yarn might have had something to do with that) but after I got going it was like a dream. The price was right and the accessories were good, but I walked away for a little while. After talking to a friend of my Mom’s that we ran into, I realized that I should just do it, and I did. I even got cheered as I walked to the car with it (whoever you were, if you’re reading this, please leave a comment! I was high on wool fumes!)!

Sunday I went back, met up with Eklectica and Sunflowerfairy and bought a bunch more fiber to use with the wheel. I did pass up one thing that day. A local farmer had a sign out about having wool for sale, so I stopped on the way to the festival. She had three raw fleeces in a *huge* garbage bag for $20. If I wouldn’t have had to spend another $50 on hand cards or deal with shipping it out to be processed, I think I would have went for it. Maybe another time though.

One really bizzare happening: I ran into a friend of mine. From High School! That I hadn’t seen in probably close to 8 or 9 years! It was the most surreal thing but as soon as I saw her, her name just came flying out of my mouth and the next thing I know we’re hugging in the middle of a barn while people are trying to get past us! It was great to catch up for a few min. before I had to run off. I gave her my blog URL so I hope she stops by to say hello. It was great to see you Missy!

So here’s the pic of the rest of the purchases:

haul

There’s the wheel with the lazy kate, three extra bobbins and 1 or 2 yard niddy noddy, a bag of natural moth repelant (I figured I want to protect all that fiber!), what remains of the pound of fiber that came with the wheel, 3 oz. of white from Morehouse Merino, three batts from Barneswallow Farm, and several packages from the Little Barn. Expect to see a lot more spinning around here for obvious reasons. :)

And now that I’ve done more links in one post than I probably have *ever*, I gotta go play with some of that fiber! :)

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It’s time to go home……

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Morehouse afterparty

Originally uploaded by summerofsocks2006.

The trip to Morehouse after dinner was definitely it. The refreshments were very nice (hot cider, YUM!) and the company was even better. I had a lovely conversation with some other blogger bingo participants and got some great tips on wool-free yarns from none other than Amy Singer of Knitty! By 9pm though, it was either go home or fall asleep at the (steering) wheel. I chose go home…..and play with the spinning wheel before bed! :-)

Expect more from day two this afternoon. Any picture requests?

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