Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn CrawlΒ is on through Sunday, September 25.

Been to Canaan

Dear Ann,
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.
Love, Kay




  1. Oh, yes, I got some of his needles at MdS&W! Even though MaryB & I are taking a spinning class next month, I too am determined to resist the wheel acquistion. And I already have a swell Singer . . .

  2. ROFLMAO – with tears in me eyes. Ayup, that’s me. A has-been. Sogladtohavehuggedya. And met the kid. She is a steller example of a kid. Love.HER. Don’t know where all the brains came from, but…she’s sure GOT ’em!
    Were you present with Cara, then, when she entered the Wood Chuck’s stall and said, “I was told I have to feel your wood.” I kid you not. She said it. Or at least she SAID she said it.
    Ahhhh, the best of times….
    THANK YOU SO MUCH for finding me!!!! Sorry for the deer-in-headlights, distinctly NON-peppy look. And the haircut. I sincerely apologize for the haircut.

  3. …Or was that YOU who said, “I have to feel your wood”? Somebody said it. I promise I didn’t make this us.

  4. I think that ‘feel your wood’ thing was a Juno and Cara thing. Cara definitely said it but I think Juno put her up to it. I think I said something like, ‘I am 47 years old and I don’t want to feel your anything. I am here to buy stuff.’
    Kids these days. xox Kay

  5. One of MY favorite 30-second conversations had to have been with your daughter. She and my bf could go toe to toe in bitching about stitching.

  6. Now the question is, how did Mr. Wood Chuck reply?

  7. The laughing was what killed me. All the laughing going around. Who knew that it could be so exhausting!!!

  8. Unbounding jealously here from Indiana. Shirret? WTF?!

  9. Girl, you are a dangerous craft pusher! Those evil links…lead me to Shirret, what an amazing craft! When are you going to show us your coasters and chair cozys? I’m honestly fascinated by the idea.
    SOCKS THAT ROCK really do rock? I bought some Seal Rock colorway at MDS&W; they are destined for the needles by the end of the year. When we went to MD my SnBs and I played the “Spotting Bloggers in the Wild” and “Name that Pattern.” Whoever spots first buys the first round of funnel cake!

  10. You almost make me wish I’d gotten in the car and gone to Rhinebeck spur’o’the moment.But thanks to Kay’s Ace Reproting Service I’m feeling as good as there but no traffic and a good laugh.
    But no more mention of Shirret! I’ve been withstanding the temptation to take one of Lady McCrady’s workshops for years, she teaches them practically in my backyard at http://www.handcraftcenter.org/

  11. I too heard the feeling your wood story ….. she’s a dirty girl that one!

  12. That ball of yarn is too sad-making. A visual aid is on the way.

  13. Lovely new gadgets you got there Kay! proficiency with a nostepinde come quickly with a little practice! I love mine so much I have a ball winder I’ve never taken out of the box!
    And I confess, I’m a sucker for beautiful wood. Just got myself a beautiful bloodwood Lucet (pic on blog) that matches my bloodwood darning egg…now I need to find a bloodwood noste! Have fun!

  14. Decorative accessory? bwahahahahahaha…
    That’s what I hear Norma first said. And look what happened to her. Just, you know, sayin’ πŸ˜‰

  15. Wasn’t it Knitty Amy who told us to feel Norm’s wood? I did say it, alas. I was under the spell of the wood and didn’t know what I was doing.
    You and Carrie were STELLAR companions. I especially loved the sheep anatomy lessons. OH.MY.GOD. That was a load to carry around.
    By the way, you (and Carrie and Norma and Wendy and Ann and Vicki and everybody else who made my freaking weekend) ROCK way more than the Socks!
    Mwah!!!!!!! L, C

  16. PS – Pictures in the mail soon. You can post the goodness.

  17. “Decorative accessory? bwahahahahahaha…”
    I second Lee Ann. You are sooo toast. Pretty soon you’ll be spinning cat barf like the rest of us!

  18. It was Cara/Juno.
    Ah, the Shirret booth: I kept walking by it, because I haunted the socks that rock installation too. Several dips in and out. I keep finding The Fold receipts. How many times exactly I wonder? But it was great to see you.

  19. I’m lovin’ the wood! looking forward to seeing more pics of your goodies and the new craft.

  20. Yesh, Mr. Woodchuck is a dangerous man with the skill and the love for the wood and the beautiful tools.
    You were only there for three hours? I’m awful glad I ran into you then.
    As for all this wood groping, I don’t know WHAT anyone is talking about πŸ˜‰

  21. [I point out quietly that Kay has never, ever in her life knitted a sock, nay, never even wears socks, nor owns socks, nor even buys socks for her children, so her purchase of something called Socks That Rocks indicates just how WACKED OUT people get at this Rhinebeck thing. TOTALLY. WACKED. OUT.]

  22. Ann, my dear, I was her guide for the day. There weren’t no way no how she was getting out of there WITHOUT some SOCKS that ROCK. Seriously.


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