Tag: rhinebeck

Rhinebeck Recap 2019

a sheep tilting its head at the camera

Another year, another New York Sheep and Wool Festival (aka Rhinebeck) in the books. I love my annual opportunity to spend a few minutes in person with people that I usually communicate with online. It is also fun to be surrounded by people who love making as much as I do – it is a place where you can stare at someone’s sweater and they understand it comes from admiration. Being among your people is deeply comforting.

a flat lay of books, jerky, a tote bag, lotion, a spray bottle, a needle, washi tape, and two necklaces

As always, I enjoy the shopping opportunities that Rhinebeck provides. This year I brought home:

  • jerky for my husband
  • When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles for my daughter
  • two necklaces from Jennie the Potter
  • Vanishing Fleece by Clara Parkes
  • Knitting Outside the Box: Drape and Fold by Bristol Ivy
  • rose face spray
  • washi tape
  • a nålebinding needle
  • my favorite lanolin lotion from Long Island Livestock Co
  • a mud-dyed tote bag(!!)
  • Making a Life by Melanie Falick

The tote bag and rose spray and needle were from my swap partner, as part of our house swap. We draw names on the first night and give a gift to our partner on the last night. She totally nailed my color palette and my favorite scent.

close up of two silver necklaces

The Jennie the Potter necklaces are particularly special. I bought one of these for myself 5 years ago and have worn it nearly everyday since. Whenever I go out of town I leave it with my daughter, so she can feel close to mom when she is far away. This year on the first night of Rhinebeck I got a panicked phone call that my daughter had lost the charm – she kept sobbing how sorry she was. It was so sad that this object I meant to bring her comfort instead stressed her out, and I was really thrilled to see that Jennie had them in stock this year. I got two so my daughter and I can each have our own. And amazingly, on Sunday night she managed to find the missing charm, so now we have three of them. Plenty to make sure anyone who wants one has one.

the head and back of a sheep with black wool

It was another wonderful year at Rhinebeck, and I look forward to attending next year.

Rhinebeck Recap 2018

Rhinebeck, the knitter’s shorthand for the NY State Sheep & Wool Festival, is one of my favorite weekends of the year. This was my 5th year going and it is nice to be a veteran – I felt no urgency to see everything, and knew that however I spent my time I would see beautiful things. First up I will share the classic Rhinebeck blog post content – my haul.

I brought home (the big stuff):

  • Here, the new book of designs from Jill Draper (all in her new yarn, Kingston)

  • Amy Herzog’s Ultimate Sweater Book because I love her and I love this kind of book

  • The Secret Lives of Color – I was sold when I saw that the edge of each page is the color it is discussing!

  • Mending Matters – A must for any slow fashion enthusiast’s library

  • When Your Lion Needs A Bath – the author wrote the nicest inscription for my daughter ❤

  • 4 skeins of Jill Draper’s Kingston yarn

  • 1 skein of a new Lornas Laces yarn

  • a tub of Long Island Livestock Co Body Butter – I’m having some chemo side effects in my fingers and lanolin-rich moisturizers are supposed to help

  • a much better faux pom pom than the one I brought with me

Seriously, check out this pom pom glow up!

And here’s a close-up of the little stuff:

  • a pen topped with a llama with googly eyes, a present for my daughter

  • a tiny pair of scissors that I plan to keep in my purse

  • a pain of earrings from Jennie the Potter

  • a tube of 9 different embroidery needles

  • 3 enamel pins from Shelli Can – the outer 2 were from her Rhinebeck set and the middle one is for Pom Pom (and happens to be holographic!)

While I clearly enjoy the shopping, that’s not my favorite part of Rhinebeck. The weekend is so special to me because it is a chance to connect with the fiber arts community. The Ravelry meet up on Saturday is the biggest one I can remember for a long time, and it was one where different groups mingled on the hill. It felt like we all were ready for some connection.

The other thing I really enjoyed this weekend was the chance to speak with some of the business owners there – farmers and dyers and shop owners and designers and editors – and celebrate their niches in the industry and their successes. It delights me to see their ideas come to life and supporting them.

As always, I’m already looking forward to next year’s Rhinebeck.

Rhinebeck Recap 2017

Visiting the NY Sheep and Wool festival in Rhinebeck, NY is one of the highlights of my year, without fail. This year was no exception. In the midst of a tough year, it was so wonderful to be surrounded by friends and taken care of.

My favorite thing I saw at the festival was this map, where festival go-ers could mark where they are from and how long they have been attending with a pin. I put my white pin in Austin and was happy to see I’m not the only one. Around the edge of the cork board international visitors left notes with where they were visiting from. I saw Scotland, the Netherlands, Israel and Saudi Arabia!

Here’s what came home with me this year from the festival. Top row: a skein of DK Matter as a gift from the ever generous Indigodragonfly, a country ladle from the spoon man, a copy of Clara Parkes’ A Stash of One’s Own, a gnome needle felting kit for my daughter and I to do together from Going Gnome, and a skein of Green Mountain Spinnery sock weight in a very Christina color from my lovely house swap partner, Jessica. Bottom row: a bundle of Windham mini-skeins from Jill Draper Makes Stuff, Bristol Ivy’s Knitting Outside the Box, and Hannah Thiessen’s Slow Knitting.

Thanks for the warm welcome, Rhinebeck! Until next year! I’d love to hear about your favorite part of the festival, or what you hope to see there someday.

Rhinebeck Recap 2016

This was a Rhinebeck of miracles. I lost 10% of my lung in a surgery two weeks earlier, but I was medically cleared and felt up to the trip. Our rental house that we have stayed at for 6 years was double booked and we managed to find other accommodations for 16 people on Friday afternoon. It felt amazing that we all managed to be together for a moment, stepping away from the stresses of everyday life.

One of my favorite parts of the weekend is my ritual of getting up early to walk our property alone. It’s a quiet moment to savor the chill in the air and the leaves on the trees. I was lucky enough to gaze across a misty pond to watch a family of deer scamper across a frost-covered field.

And another picture of the terrain, because I think that during the third weekend in October few places in the world are as beautiful as the Hudson Valley.

My time at the festival was mostly spent catching up with friends. For a long time I felt like a hanger-on of my coworkers friends, but this year it was clear that I have earned my own relationships with this community. It was a gift to be part of so many hugs with whispers of, “I am so glad you are here. I am so happy to see you.”

I did not spend very much time shopping but clearly I was efficient. The top row has my new copies of Comfort and Joy by Melynda Bernardi (gorgeous Christmas stocking patterns!) and the Winter 2016 issue of Pom Pom Quarterly. Next to those is an incredible skein of Rifton from Jill Draper Makes Stuff, a skein of Chamelon Sock from Indigodragonfly, and a skein of 3 ply sport weight cashmere from Springtide Farms. I plan to turn the cashmere into a cowl for my mother-in-law, and am still plotting what to do with the other yarn. The middle row has my gift for my daughter – a picture book called Brave Little Finn. My husband got his annual present from Chester T Basil. A little bit more yarn made it home with me – 2 skeins of Rifton Mono from Jill Draper Makes Stuff to coordinate with the megaskein of Rifton, and a skein of Ewe & Me Merinos 2 ply bulky. I got a skein of the bulky yarn last year for a pair of Cadeautjes and this year’s skein is to make a pair for my daughter. The bottom row has a beautiful paper card I got from my house swap partner, Sarah, the little pink heart from Melissa Jean is a necklace and the other half of my gorgeous present. The necklace is on my new handwoven dishtowel. I have wanted one for years and finally went for it! I also got myself a panflute. I attend a Music Together class with my daughter and the theme this semester is flute, so I plan to attend with my own instrument to jam on. Finally, my riches from the book tent – a signed copy of Yarnitecture by Jillian Moreno, and a copy of On the Loom by Maryanne Moodie. You’ll definitely hear more about those books in future months of crafty reads.

And that’s a wrap on Rhinebeck 2016. It was such a restorative weekend, even though I came home physically exhausted. Before I left I made this pie chart of what I was excited about for the festival, and I think it’s an accurate reflection of my trip.

Rhinebeck Recap

Phew! I have been home nearly a week, but it has taken that long for me to find a few minutes to sit down and talk about how wonderful Rhinebeck was this year. I was so in need of restoration and I got it.

Saturday was such a blur that I didn’t take any photos at the festival. It felt really crowded that day – more than usual – so in the morning we took our time visiting with friends and didn’t do too much shopping. In the afternoon there was a lovely Ravelry meetup and time to squeeze into the barns. Then I went back to our rented house to meet up with my family who had driven down to visit.

That’s my grandmother and I together, perusing my new copy of The Modern Natural Dyer. My grandmother taught me to knit, and she is an accomplished rug hooker. She teaches classes in her home and at retreats as well as dyeing and selling wool and her own books on dyeing. It was really wonderful to be able to share with her my experience as a maker.

Sunday morning I was thrilled to wake up to a frost and couldn’t resist a walk around our place.

I grew up in upstate NY and those moments I felt so at home. Everything had the right smell and sound and look to it. It filled up all my reservoirs that have gotten low.

I, uh, also failed to really take many photos at the festival on Sunday. I did catch a video of some of the snow, though!

And a single good photo of the merriment at the house. I know not everyone is lucky enough to like their coworkers, but mine are my best friends and it’s such a treat to be able to spend a weekend together.

Finally, I did manage to get in some shopping. This is the best I have ever felt about Rhinebeck purchases – I am so pleased with each item and cannot wait to use them all.

The top row has my yarn. I lost my mind in the Foxhill Farms booth – I came home with 2 skeins of their DK cormo/silk to make a Snowshoe and 4 skeins of their DK Moorit to make a Jean. I also treated myself a a skein of 2-ply bulk merino from Ewe & Me Merinos which I have earmarked for a set of Cadeautje.

The middle row has my books. I am so pleased to have a signed copy of The Modern Natural Dyer. This book is just gorgeous and I look forward to reading it. I grabbed a copy of The Knitter’s Book of Socks because I am on a quest to find my perfect sock. I also got Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style which is a great book about creating a handmade wardrobe of pieces you can wear together and includes sewing patterns for several basic wardrobe items. I hope to work out of it a ton in 2016. And fun fact: I love the author’s last name, Jansdotter, because I am a Jan’s daughter – that’s my Dad’s name,

The bottom row is all my little treasures. I got myself a little Christmas tree candle for my holiday shelf. The gnome was supposed to be for my daughter, but she handed it back to me and told me she didn’t want it, so I think he’s going to live next to my tree. The last three are from our house swap – on Friday night in our house we draw names and buy our partner a gift at the festival, which we exchange on Sunday night. By coincidence, Laura and I drew each other – you can check out what I got her in her Rhinebeck blog post. I am so excited about my silver buttons, adorable wee pouch and odds n ends spinning fiber from Into The Whirled. I’m pretty sure I’m going to use that fiber in my Cadeautjes to make some special Rhinebeck slippers.

And that’s it. I am sad it is a full year until I am back at Rhinebeck. I am working hard at finding ways of bringing that Rhinebeck spirit into my everyday life – making more time for making beautiful things and finding inspiration.