Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rhinebeck - Day #1

I was lucky enough to go to New York Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck this year with a great group of friends Andrea, Tina, Jessica and Alison. I had no idea what to expect. I have been to fiber festivals in the past but none of this size or this far from home. We left early Friday morning because we had an 8 hour drive. The drive seemed to fly by because we were all so excited to get there. Tina and I managed to stay up the whole time chatting which was a good thing because Tina was driving. Andrea, Jessica and Alison were sleeping in the back and we have the pictures to prove it. Too bad they are on Tina's phone and not mine or I would show you.

We stayed at the Comfort Inn in Saguerties. We were a bit worried because it was suppose to be a two star hotel. Thankfully the rooms were nice and we didn't have bed bugs which was a bonus. Diner consisted of Subway and a glass of wine from plastic cups. We made sure to keep it classy. I think we all crashed by 10:30 or 11:00 PM on Friday. We wanted to get to bed so we could get an early start.

I guess I was the only crazy one that got up at 5:15 - 5:30. We were on the road by 8:00 AM so we could get to the festival nice and early. Our hotel was about 17 miles from the Fairgrounds so we didn't expect it to take too long. I had to take a picture of the sign with all the cute sheep.

The sign is a bit blurry but I think that is because Tina was driving 80 MPH trying to beat the crowds. Just kidding Tina!!! The sign says rain or shine and thankfully we didn't have any rain. We had strong winds in the early morning or at least while we were standing in line. I was dressed for the cool weather which was in the low to mid 50's. No one called me out for my Old Navy gloves or sweater. I even saw someone else wearing the same sweater in green so only she and I knew that we didn't knit our sweaters. Right?

The first thing that stood out to me about this festival was the number of people that attended and the diversity in the crowd. There were families, people of all ages and men in kilts. There were also no fashion rules about the number of hand knits you were allowed to wear at one time. There were lots of beautiful sweaters, hats and mittens worn by all ages.

Sanguine Gryphon was the first booth that we hit. Alison ran ahead of everyone taking out woman and children if they were in the way. Just kidding. It was hard to walk around and fondle the yarn because there were so many people trying to check out all their beautiful bases and colorways. We met Gryphon and Sarah in their lovely dresses. They are very nice and in my next Rhinebeck post I will show you the yarn that Gryphon named after my friend Andrea.

The Fold booth was also really packed because everyone was trying to score some Socks that Rock. The Spirit Trail and Brooks Farm booths were also really packed. We managed to walk through all the buildings including the ones with the animals. It was a bit overwhelming because there was so much to choose from but I did a good job not to spending all my money the first day.

By the end of the day we were all really tired. I could barely feel my legs so we decided to get some Artichokes French because all the Fried Artichokes were sold out and so were the Chicken Pot Pies. The artichokes were delicious!!! I'm glad that we all decided to eat them so all of us smelled like garlic. Hopefully we didn't have offensive garlic breath when we attended the Ravelry party that night.

In the background you can see a little bit of Alison's Mara Shawl that she finished on Friday. It turned out great and I am in love with the color she used. It was a good thing that she had the shawl because she was so excited to go that she forgot to bring a coat or sweater so she froze most of the day.

After the artichokes we decided to call it a day and head to the Ravelry party at the Elk's Lodge. We had to park at a school and wait for a bus to pick us up. We did our best to entertain ourselves but laughing is not suggested when you are cold and have to pee. I think we had to wait for 5 buses to come and go before we had our turn. When we finally got there I was just excited to see who we would see and meet.

Ysolda was there and she is absolutely adorable. Cirilia was also there, I think she was helping to guard all the items that were going to be raffled. She is even prettier in person, if that is possible.
Gudrun Johnson was there wearing her Moch Cardigan which I have in my queue and I totally need to cast on. Also one of our local celebrities Shannon Okey was there. She is a friend of a friend so I walked up t say hi to her. She was really nice and when she heard who our mutual friend was she gave me a big hug and a signed copy of her new book (The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design). The party was good unfortunately none of us won any of the raffle prizes but we did get to see Jess, Casey, Mary-Heather and Sarah. I am so thankful that they created Ravelry. I have meet friends all over the world because of Ravelry.

We were home by 11:30 and in bed shortly after. Rhinebeck Day 2 and my purchases to follow.


Pretty Knitty said...

lovelovelove! I am posting about the Non-Rhinebeck trip tomorrow morning. . .

Alison said...

Great post! Cirilia really is super pretty. It's not fair. :)

Michelle said...

Looks like a fun time!!

lorenabr said...

I bet you had a great time:)

Tina said...

You know, I can always send you the "They're so cute when they're sleeping" photo if you'd like!