Rhinebeck Blowback, Or, The Attitude Is Gratitude
October 26, 2011
Seriously, it took me about a week to get over the New York Sheep and Wool Festival. I may never get over it. Maybe it was the superb weather, or the breathtaking and MEMORABLE traffic, or the serendipity of running into so many cool knitters–whatever the convergence, Rhinebeck was deeply, awesometastically great. I think it was that moment of bonding with that Cotswold sheep that did it. She was telling me something, and yes it did sound a lot like “BLAAAA. BLAAAA.” But there was a lot in that BLAAAA. Hey sheep: I get it. I totally agree.
It was inspiring to be surrounded by people who are comfortable in their skin, who don’t give a crap about listening to the beauty industry. (Now there’s an oxymoron for you.) There were all sorts of people at Rhinebeck who knocked me out with their cheer and their matter-of-fact way of navigating life–everybody was having such a good time doing the goofy thing we like to do.
I took maybe one photo at Rhinebeck, and it was this:
This is Ann Weaver, the dervish designer who is modeling her own pattern, the brilliantly Zen Albers Shawl from her first book, Craft Work Knit. Kay, you may recognize this as the shawl you yourself finished in the car on the way up to Rhinebeck. Isn’t it amazing? Don’t you get kind of tearful just looking at it?
I bought a copy of Ann’s spectacular new book, White Whale, Volume 1. It’s a collection of patterns based on Moby-Dick. I don’t think I need to add anything to that. I also bought a whale-gray batch of yarn from Tess Designer Yarns. Oh, Tess, why do you abuse us so? Your yarn is insane. I was lucky to get out of your booth with my credit rating intact. I have never seen so many grown women weeping openly at a skein of cashmere.
Here’s possibly the first memorial yarn I have ever bought:
I bought it from kilt-rocking Mel and David, who live in Maine. David sells the heck out of Red Maple Sportswear. As for the yarn, it’s Henrietta. I mean, it’s yarn made from their neighbor’s creature (a sheep? an alpaca?) who passed away recently. All I can remember is Mel telling me this story about the kibbutz they live on, or something like that, and there was this friend’s awesome sheep/alpaca, and now she’s gone, but here’s her fiber captured forever in these lovingly spun skeins.
ETERNAL LIFE FOR HENRIETTA. I had to get in on that.
I continue to work away on Laurel from Rowan 50. This is one of those deceptive patterns. Once you get your comfort zone set, you start watching Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. (Have you seen these? Young love!) Then all of a sudden you discover a wayward cable snaking halfway across the sweater. It’s a good thing I like to knit, because there’s one five-row stretch in there that I redid three times.
Wishing you authenticity, and enough frowns,