October 22, 2007
At the airport last night, waiting to fly back to Nashville, I’m sitting, with that stunned and hollow-headed feeling you get when, in fact, your head is not hollow but filled to the point that there’s no room left, and I see this:
and think, Pretty roving!
The jaunt to Rhinebeck was that way, start to finish. The fiber, it was everywhere, starting at the Philadelphia airport where I come across this item being displayed in a superarchival, This-Be-Art way:
So felted! So . . . vertical!
Having never been to the New York State Sheep and Fiber Festival, I was curious curious curious. We didn’t actually have all that much time, so the whole thing was telescoped into 24 hours of constant talking and gawking and hawking.
I had read about how overwhelming this event can be, how there’s just too much.
About one minute after arriving, I kind of got a feeling for what people meant. Overheard cell phone conversation: “Uh, yeah, come meet us over by the fried pickle booth, you know, near the dude in tights riding the two Percherons.”
About two minutes after arriving, we began seeing great people. After about four minutes, I realized that this Rhinebeck thing was going to be seriously fun.
I can’t believe we were interviewed by Curtis and Lisa Sliwa of the Guardian Angels! AW JUST KIDDING! That’s Suzanne and the team of Knit a Yarn, a new video podcast. Looking forward to hearing Suzanne’s talk with the dude in tights riding the two Percherons.
Dutchess County Wandering
Kay, your KnittyNav2000 worked just fine–punch in “Morehouse Merino party” and off we went.
This shindig was great, in a kick-over-a-skein-of-wool-and-you’ll-find-someone-cool kind of way. The hosts Margrit Lohrer and Albrecht Pichler seemed unfazed by hordes of knitters clogging up traffic at the Fork in the Road (there really is a literal 10-foot-tall fork outside their shop). Their woolly lifestyle is pretty much covetable. I got to say hello to designing hootyhoos Veronik Avery, Melanie Falick, and Kristin Nicholas–very cool. And at about this point it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to see six knitters around a table cranking socks. Everywhere I went, I saw people happily clicking away. Totally parallel universe.
We punched “Ravelry party” into the KnittyNav2000. It was as close to a rave as a pair of superfoxy matrons like us will ever see. The mix of locals and knitters was not unlike, you know, when the Amazon spills into the Atlantic Ocean and you can see this line of demarcation where salt water meets fresh? Well, I admired your ambassadorial tendencies in chatting up that FBI agent. I should have known that a former FED like you could sniff out the Law in a room. High FIVE!
I’m so glad you got photos on Sunday at the Authors Tent, and I’m especially glad you gave equal time to your sorry face under Lisa’s giant hat. Thank you to everybody who came by to say hello. It totally made our day.
Now, contrary to your photo of me with the mohair yarn saying it was a random impulse purchase, I bought that stuff having arrived at Rhinebeck with a carefully constructed plan. I had decided that the only way to get through the many barns of yarn was to get a project in mind, and aim for the yarn to make it. A coat. That was it. One coaty batch of yarn.
Ever since you blogged about the Coat of Mimi on August 30, I have toted around the idea of that plaid coat. Wishing for one, dreaming of one. A light, fluffy coat with a lining, perfect for these new days of global warming.
Narrowing my aim didn’t really help all that much. Even the angoras were wearing mohair.
I ended up with this beautiful, hand-dyed stuff from Mohair in Motion, located in (of course) White Cloud, Michigan. I really like the fact that if I run short of yarn, I won’t be chasing a dye lot or calling a wholesaler; I’ll be calling up this nice lady who will make some more for me.
Which brings me to my superearnest conclusion about Rhinebeck. There’s a huge amount of humanity in a place like that. I got to see so many great people. I was fascinated by each booth of yarn and roving and scented candles (seriously, is it possible to have a festival of ANY KIND without the scented candles going into the mix?). The longer I wandered, the more I felt the focus of all these humans on this one little sliver of a pastime. The more I saw, the more I wanted to take home some yarn that had the mark of the person who made it. I ended up at Spinners Hill, where I bought this:
Which had this tag on it:
You know that you’ve got some handmade stuff when it has a handwritten tag. Lisa dyed the fibers, blended the fibers, and spun the fibers. I’m grateful that Lisa is letting go of this stuff so I can take a turn with it.
PS Still worrying about that hotel bedcover thingie.
What’s up with that? A bed napkin? Are they, like, acknowledging that hotel bedspreads are totally creepy, yet they don’t want to let anybody think that they forgot about bedspreads altogether?
PSS Thanks, Kelly, fellow member of the Class of ’85 Fightin’ Wildcats, for hanging with us.
Your expression captures exactly how I felt, all weekend long.