Buying yarn is a treat no matter when or where you are. I get most of my yarn at yarn festivals and my dear, sweet husband will often go out of this way to find yarn shops while he is on business travel to supplement my stash. (He has learned what I like and how to get the yarn shop sales ladies to bend over backwards for him. Here is a post about it.) This year I went to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY. It is also known as just “Rhinebeck” to the knitters in the know. The only difference is this year I went solo. I usually drag my family along, including my Mom. She couldn’t make it this year and so I decided to ask the Hubs and kids to stay home. I had never experienced it at my own pace and wanted to see how it would be different.
I loved that I could move at my own pace. No waiting for anyone else for anything else. No kids whining to eat or use the restroom. No Hubs to rush me to the car so we miss traffic. No Mom to dawdle in the first stall while I’m speeding through the rest. Eating when I was hungry was definitely a plus. Not worrying about how many times my kids will stick their fingers in the goat stalls (only had my own fingers to keep track of which is actually difficult at best). Carrying only what I wanted to carry as an amazing thing.
I missed my family BIG TIME. Surprisingly, I was bored even though Rhinebeck is my favorite event of the year! Spending more than you plan is also easier without someone there to monitor you (or at least give you side eye when you buy another sweaters worth of yarn…) AND the Hubs was getting emails every time I bought something and the vendor used the “Square” credit card readers! He texted me to see if I was actually buying as much as the emails suggested. OOPS. Must have the email changed straight away…
SIGHTS AT RHINEBECK
And now presenting this years prize picks From Rhinebeck:
I always seem to stop at Miss Babs first. Their color ways are dreamy and the yarn is delectable. Walking up to their stall is a little overwhelming, there is always a large crowd, not wide enough stall, too many colors and yarn weights to choose from BUT it is all worth it in the end. My favorite colorways are all Miss Babs. Color is inspiring to me and walking into their stall is like having all of my neurons firing and creative juices flowing at the same time. OVERWHELMING in a good way. These are Yowza, a light worsted in colorway “Beautiful Dreamer”, 100% superwash merino.
My next find was at another favorite stall, Indigo Dragonfly. I found three skeins of the special edition, variegated, grey beauty, “Lucy in the Sky with Frequent Flyer Miles”. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them. Knowing it would not be enough for a sweater and knowing it would be hard to find another solid to go with it elsewhere, I grabbed several skeins of the special edition, delicious, delectable “Dystopiary”. These are both their “DK Matter” weight in a 100% superwash merino. I am sensing a trend with the superwash merino… With no pattern in hand and with the help of one of their fabulous staff, I decided on how many extra skeins to buy. The first image shows the colorways much more clearly.
This shows how much I bought. And definitely not telling you how much it cost…
ARTISAN YARNS by HAMPDEN HILLS ALPACA
Usually my two kids would pick their favorite yarn for Gram Cat (a much more personal and sophisticated name for Grandma) to buy them. Since I was solo, I picked out what I thought they would like. For my daughter who is younger, I went with “Watermelon” and for my son who is older “Brilliant Blue” from Artisan Yarns by Hampden Hill Alpacas. There are many days when we leave for the bus stop and she is wearing pink and he is wearing blue. We have always let them choose their own clothes and colors yet this is their default. They of course prefer much softer yarns so I decided on this heavy worsted/aran weight 100% alpaca.
Will they ever do anything with it? I don’t know for sure, but we like having yarns around for random projects and for when all of a sudden they decide they want to learn how to knit. Which is never when I want to teach them, it’s always right at bed time when they feel the need to procrastinate. They know that knitting is something special I want them to learn so they try to use it to their advantage. I’m on to their scheme so I tell them ‘another day’… They both know how to hold the needles and my son knows the knit and purl stitches. I am not above tying them to their seats and making them learn (in daylight). (I’m kidding, I wouldn’t tie because that would be bad parenting, I’d definitely glue! HA! Still joking, people.)
BILTMORE WOOL BARN
And my last major purchase, which surprisingly is my favorite. Taking an accurate picture has been very difficult. It is so vibrant in real life but I can’t capture it’s beauty on camera. Being a novice with the camera doesn’t help. So here is the best I can manage. The top image is just sitting on my desk with some natural light. My iPhone captures it with more accuracy but when I bring it onto my computer it looks wimpy. I know every screen shows things differently. So I pulled it into Adobe Photoshop and tweaked it to what I think it looks like, second photo. It has this amazing purple undertone. Your device may show it this wacky gooey purple. Just trying to be true to the yarn. This is color #170 from Biltmore Wool Barn and guess what!? 100% percent superwash merino strikes again. It might be time to keep tabs on my merino habit. This is just TOO MUCH.
And lastly a picture in the evening sun. It looks like a different color in every light.
Every time I spy it walking through my studio I want to wind it and just knit it. Without a pattern in mind that is a crazy idea. But again the color is inspiring and urges me to drop everything to knit with it. Not happening though, too many dishes and kids stuff in the way!
I had an inspiring visit, I hope you visit Rhinebeck in the future since it is worth the trip. Just be prepared for the weather, we have been there in 70+ degrees with sunburns and other times it has snowed with bitter cold wind. Need more reasons to visit festivals? Check out this post about them.