24 October 2007

Viva La Rhinebeck!

Well, what can I say? It was all that and more. After a rainy journey out Friday afternoon, the weather (thankfully!) cleared up for the Rhinebeck Wooly festivities. I was a bit overwhelmed at the actual fair and ended up not taking many pictures while there - but everyone else did. Cruise around online if you need to see fair pics. Instead, I'd like to share this lovely view with you:

This was the most lovely setting - well, about 40 minutes north of Rhinebeck proper - and it truly is so beautiful and peaceful to take in. We stayed with my cousin, who has the fortune of waking up to this beauty every day. This section of the Hudson River Valley used to play a prominent role in the whale shipping industry, and the region is rich in history and folklore (the main bridge across the river up there is the Rip Van Winkle; it is said that the mountains form his sleeping profile). It's all just so lovely.

But you're really here for the fair, aren't you? Headed down first thing on Saturday with wool and cheese on the mind. This being my first year spinning, I had a new plan of attack . I was very focussed on finding fibers I have not tried spinning yet - after all, this was the ideal opportunity to get a little of this and a little of that. Oh, and in many cases, I could MEET the animals the fibers came from! I also had 2 other specific projects in mind* , and managed to leave with......well, a decent haul. As I was saying while there "I am here to get a year's worth of fiber" and then next year I can go back and do it all again.
I would love to tell you all about these things, but I took very very very bad notes. Here is a mini-inventory, and things that I am sure of: the orange-green-brown bundle at the very top was hand-delivered to me by Amy, the bright pink/red in front of that and to the left is a silk cap (very stringy/sticky), the red to the right of that is alpaca, the 3 in the middle are alpaca (as well as the lavendar), the yarn to the right is Socks that Rock (primarily because....what's the big deal? why does everyone love this? I need to see for myself if it is ALL THAT), and I can't remember what is on the bottom.

Don't these all look so soft and dreamy? There are some wool bundles in there - after all, the roving is the gift that keeps on giving. It's TWICE the entertainment for your buck! Not only do I get to spin it up, but then there is knitting as well. What a bahgain.

Aside from the softness of, well, EVERYTHING, I also managed to meet a gazillion people and make it over to blogger meetup. I'm not going to do links here, but it was great to talk to (I apologize for leaving anyone out!) Lyssa, Boogie, HelloYarn, YarnaGoGo (all the way from CA!), BrainyLady and Veronik, Jess and Casey, AnnieKnits, and about 56290385609 more great knitters. It was really interesting to see patterns that I recognize walk by, on a REAL person, as well as yarn. I was sporting my Branching Out scarf.........too hot for anything bulkier.

On Sunday we went to visit Reggie at Howard Hall Farms - he and Nora have been working on restoring this house the REAL way for a few years now, and the fun has just begun! Reggie gave us a tour of the place, and the chance to see what has been done so far, what needs to be done, and some history on the building while we nibbled on cider donuts. Here's an example of a lovely Japanese joint redistributing a lot of the load on the top floor, and a bit of the detail (and the thickness of the stone walls!) that they are working to preserve:

Along with checking out this amazing restoration, they kindly provided me with an entire FLEECE from one of their sheep! I'm debating how to go about the processing. So now my car smells like a barn.

Oh, and we got cheese OF COURSE.

I'll leave you all with this picture of Amy enjoying her new favorite color:
*more on this to come.


Alayne said...

Beautiful beautiful. Do you get to dye the fleece? What kind of sheep?

NJStacie said...

The fleece is Shetland - my "plan" for it is to wash it and card it, and then I'll probably spin up most of it for a garment (sweater, most likely). I'm toying with the idea of spinning the rest of it and dying it for something fair-isley. Also, natural dyes. Yes, I know - ridiculously over-ambitious. We'll see!

And of course, I'll share!

Max said...

Oh, I do wish I could have come! Also, please let me know if STR is all that - I too am curious. Sure is gorgeous.

AND, Amy: your hair is awesome ;)