First let me relieve your mind. I spent 3 full hours at Rhinebeck on Saturday, amongst the fleeces and tops, the wheels and the show sheep coiffed to look like standard poodles. Yet somehow I came away without having spent my Pfaff Pfund on an Ashford wheel. I have reached an age of deep self-knowledge. That Pfaff is going to be a workhorse, a companion, a ticket to productive endeavor. The Ashford would be…furniture. I’m just sayin’.
OK, I did get a small drop-spindle. But again, think ‘decorative accessory’. I like tools. I like wood. I found Mr. Wood Chuck, who loves to turn wood the way I love to knit dishrags. So I bought a few tools from him:
The red thing on the right is a Nostepinne: a hand-held ballwinder. Cristina has one, and she winds perfect center-pull balls on it. When I got home I made my first ball, of Noro Lily:
Okay, so it’s not lovely, but it is a functional center-pull ball. I’ll get better with practice. (By which I mean I’ll watch Cristina do it next time.) It will be handy to be able to wind neat balls off of my cones of Peaches & Creme and Texere denim.
The stripey thing (center) is an exquisite case to hold yarn needles. See the wooden yarn needles Mr. Chuck makes? I cried unto him, “Why O why do you not make Knitting Needles, verily I would buy them all offa you?” He replied, ‘In a word, Brittany’. Brittany makes turned needles and sells them so cheaply, he thinks knitters would not pay what he would have to charge. I laughed ruefully. Poor, dear man, he may be a genius at turning wood but he doesn’t know nothin’ ’bout knitters.
I also got some of the famous Socks That Rock. This may have had something to do with the fact that my guide and muse, Cara, has a rather heartbreaking Socks That Rock addiction. I got there 5 minutes before the closing, facing a wall of sock yarn. (They said, ‘Oh hi again Cara.’) Cara said there were ‘no colors left’. Somehow I managed to find a couple of semi-rocking skeins. Some easy-listening, Lite FM socks. They rock quietly.
I didn’t take any pictures because I put the KayCam in the wrong kid’s backpack. I did, however, constantly pester Cara to take pictures with the giant camera she carries around, so at some point you will see some of the sights of Saturday, better than I could have snapped them.
I had a grand time. As with Stitches, though, it was stunning to realize how few fiber nuts have found the talking cure therapy of blogging. Don’t get me wrong: there were plenty of lovely bloggers to meet. Bloggers blocked the entrances to many shops, making a spectacle of themselves with their hugging and kissing, their weird names (‘Oh–it’s Purling Swine!’), and their Amy Butler bags. One of my favorite conversations was a 30-second exchange with Norma, which went something like this:
Norma/Kay (talking at same time, into each other’s shoulders): OhI’msohappytomeetyou, whatdidyoubuyhowwasyourdrive.
Kay: Hubby says I have to go home soon, I suppose you all are partying all night?
Norma: Well, you know, I’m tired. We’re too old for all this partying. (With her eyebrows, she includes me in this ‘we’ that is ‘too old’.) So we’re going back to the room for champagne and left over cake.
Kay: Champagne sounds good.
Norma: And then after that we’ll see if we feel like going out.
I would really like to have known Norma in younger, peppier times. It was sad to see her in this weakened state, struggling to keep up.
Regrets, I have a few: I didn’t get to eat an Artichoke French. I hear they’re tasty.
I did discover yet another Alt Craft from Days of Yore, but more about that later.