Last Sunday I had the opportunity to spend three short hours at the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, known to avid knitters simply as “Rhinebeck.” I have never seen so much yarn and knitting accoutrements in one place. I only visited about 5 of the buildings. There were probably 20.
I don’t believe I had ever seen alpacas before. I wanted to bring them home with me! How cute!! (And in answer to my son’s question last night – no, I didn’t immediately want to begin raising them. There are limits …)
And the yarn. Oh. My. Gosh. Would you like to hear what I got?
- At the first barn I entered, I fell in love with a super bulky hand dyed and spun fine merino yarn with a rayon wrap. The colors are much warmer than the photo (below). The color is Copper Canyon, and the 90 yard bundle will make at least 2 scarves. I spent probably twenty minutes deciding which of Christine McKay’s yummy yarns to buy. And I almost bought several of her knit dog leashes for friends. These leashes are fabulous!
- Next I saw the Tess Designer Yarns booth. Holy Mother of Sheep!!! I’ve seen Tess’s ads in knitting magazines before, but have never seen such lusciousness all in one place. I didn’t buy anything, but will be visiting her website the next time I need any yarn!
- At Jennie the Potter‘s booth, I got some sweet little stitch markers. I had just discovered Jennie’s blog the day before, and saw her tweet that she had just had a baby boy that morning! Her mom was manning the booth, and I got to see her iPhone pic of her darling new grandson. We shared stories of our grandchildren, and how much we love being grandmothers. What a treat!
- Next I stopped at Still River Mill‘s booth. I’m trying to dye a lavender Eileen Fisher jacket to a deeper color, maybe even black. My first round with acid dyes didn’t get very far, and Still River sells green (fewer chemicals) dyes. I got a jar of their Midnight Black to try, and picked up a skein of laceweight 100% cashmere and a pattern for fingerless gloves to keep my hands warm in the office.
- After quickly navigating one more barn, I went over to the three large buildings to find the Creatively Dyed Yarn booth. But I got waylaid! I was smitten by Koko Noelle‘s buttons and shawl pins. I got a shawl pin for the sweater I knit last year. If the color doesn’t work, I’ll just have to knit another sweater to go with the pin! And I picked up a couple of great buttons for my collection.
- Then, alas, I saw Noni‘s booth. Noni is known for her felting patterns. All sorts of fabulous bags, flowers, and other accessories can be knit and then felted to create wonderful works of art. I’ve made one of her bags before, and think she is a genius. Well, her booth displayed many of her bags, finished so you could see what the pattern would make up like. But better than that, she had feltable yarns in every imaginable color. And they were rainbowed across the wall in such a manner that you wanted to just burrow your head into the stacks of wool. Incredible! I bought one skein of lime wool to go with a variegated wool I bought from Happy Fuzzy Yarns at the last show I attended. These two will be knit together in a mitered square scarf. And I bought one of her great bag closures. Now I know where I’ll be getting all my bag hardware in the future!
- Turning the corner to walk down the other aisle of the building, I saw Dianne’s Creatively Dyed Yarn booth. The name says it all! She has some of the most beautiful color combinations I’ve seen. I bought two skeins of worsted weight that is 80% superwash merino, 10% bamboo and 10% seacell. This will be knit into a sweater for me-me-me! The colors? Rust, olive, avocado, turquoise, teal, charcoal, cream, yum!!! And I got a hank of roving that is 30% seacell and 70% wool. I’ll use this in the next Nuno felted scarf.
By this time, I had been at the show a little over three hours and was feeling like I couldn’t look at another skein of yarn. (Or spend another dollar!!) I stowed my bags on the passenger seat so I could continue admiring them on my six-hour drive home.
After a couple of hours, I stopped at a Wendy’s along route 84 to get a late lunch. Three women walked in, one carrying her yarn. I watched where they sat and went to sit near them. We started talking, and I learned two of the women were from Meadville, PA, (60 miles NNE of Youngstown) and one was from Madison, OH (where my guy and I and our friends go for 4th of July week every year).
What fun to meet other women who are as crazy as I to take a 400-mile trip just to touch wool.