Tale of a Rhinebeck Virgin, pt. 2 – the Loot

While the people, weather, and location will always be at the top of my “why Rhinebeck is so awesome” list, the stuff ain’t bad either!

I went with a little bit of a plan – I wanted Christmas yarn, solid color sock yarn, a shawl pin, a project bag, and maybe something from Jennie the Potter.  That left a lot of wiggle room and I thought would be a good outline.  I got everything but the shawl pin and a few other things.  All in all, I didn’t do too bad.  My birthday was the Sunday of Rhinebeck so I took my birthday money with me so the first few purchases were my birthday presents which helped.

I had scouted vendors in Instagram but that didn’t really end up helping me in the end but more on that in part 3 – the lessons.

We started Friday night at the Indie Untangled event which was a little too Black Friday shopping experience for me.  I did end up with a cute project bag from Chiagu.  She had been showing a bunch of bags in cute NYC fabric that I was eyeing but when I looked at her table she had a bag made out of fabric that had a map of the Paris streets and I was sold.  I love it!!  That was all I ended up buying there.  If you like crazy, cr0wded shopping events it’s definitely worth going.  My other issue was that I didn’t want to spend all my money Friday night so I was very cautious.

Saturday morning we decided to avoid the mad rush of the opening crowds and got to the fairgrounds around 10:30 so we were able to walk right in and then we just headed into the first tent.  My first (and largest) purchase was at the Dragonfly Fibers booth.  They still had their special show colorway, Headless Horseman, so I had to get that.  Headless Horseman is black, orange, and some red so great Halloween/fall colors.  They had also been advertising an election year special colorway on Instagram called Vote.  Vote is red and blue and some purple in between and I had to pick that up!  I paid for those two and then ran into my friend Becky so was chatting for awhile.  My friends asked if I saw the Christmas colorway and I had missed it so I went back into the booth and loved it and ended up buying that as well.  It’s called Stoll Christmas and is red, green, and very traditional Christmas.

I took a bit of a buying break and hit the podcaster meet up and then fueled up with some food.  After that, I found the solid colored sock yarn I was looking for at Into the Whirled. Feel free to laugh at me but I bought a semi tonal black sock yarn and I have plans for it. The colorway is called Crow and then I could not resist a skein of Into the Black as well.  It goes from a light lavender to black and is amazing!!  I really can’t wait to knit something with it.  That was it for the yarn but I did make a few last purchases.  The lovely ladies from Pom Pom magazine were there and debuting the winter issue so I decided to pick it up.  I’ve oogled many an issue and thought this was a great opportunity to finally buy one.  And last, but not least, I stopped by the Jennie the Potter booth on the way out.  I ended up with a tiny jar of stitch markers and I picked up an extra stitch marker to send to my friend Becky as a little thank you gift.

There was so much good stuff and so much I didn’t even get a chance to see it all.  I really love all my purchases and have definite plans for two of the skeins of yarn.  The Christmas yarn is wound and in my new Paris bag.  I will cast on a pair of socks come December and will hope to have them finished by Christmas 2017!

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The Story of a Rhinebeck Virgin, pt. 1 – the People

I’ve rewritten this post so many times.  I’m not exactly sure why I’m finding it so difficult to come up with the right words but that might just be because there’s just so much to say and like the show itself, it’s an overwhelming experience.  I originally planned to divide it up into two posts, but I think after my first couple of stabs, three posts might be the way to go – too much??  Maybe, but it’s a big show 🙂

I’ve had the best intentions of attending Rhinebeck for a number of years. But, it is within driving distance of where I live so in my mind it does not require advance planning.  So what happens is that it rolls around and my weekend is already packed full and I have nowhere to stay.  When my Instagram feed was full of beautiful yarn and fall foilage pictures last year I put my foot down and on January 1st booked rooms at a local hotel and invited my knitting friends.

The drive to Rhinebeck is about 7 1/2 – 8 hours for me.  We decided to leave on Thursday and do a little sightseeing in the area on Friday, hit the show on Saturday and then head home on Sunday.

We arrived at the Best Western in Kingston, NY late Thursday evening.  As we entered the lobby to check in the first thing we noticed was there were knitters everywhere!!!  They were hanging in the lobby and in the bar knitting away.  This is a theme for the weekend – it did not matter much where we went, there were always knitters.  It is like we descend upon the town and take it over for the weekend.  I feel for the locals who must really wonder about all these crazy knitters who come the 3rd weekend in October every year. Or, the poor, random tourists who have no idea what they walked into!

Funny story here, after we checked in and were in our rooms I was checking Instagram, as you do.  A non-knitting friend of mine from home had seen my posts from the day and commented that she could not believe she knew two people going to Rhinebeck (she had no idea the numbers that attend 🙂 ) and online introduced me to her friend who was also there.  Said friend commented that she was currently knitting in the lobby of the Best Western, or was one of the people I had seen when I checked in.  That was definitely fun!

Before I launch into Saturday’s activities, I have to say it was the most perfect weather one could have for an outdoor wool festival.  It was sunny and cool enough to sport your knitwear but warm enough that you did not need a winter coat and not a drop of rain to be found.  I consider this a Rhinebeck miracle as I’m usually quite the weather curse.

I had read enough, listened to enough podcasts, and seen enough pictures to know that the actual festival would be totally overwhelming.  With that knowledge, I went with the intention of enjoying the people and the experience and, buying yarn when and where possible.  I was not interesting in stampeding for the Miss Babs booth or waiting in line for a mug from Jennie the Potter.  I was interested in spending the day with my knitting friends from home and meeting some of my internet friends IRL.  I absolutely wanted to see and touch the Miss Babs yarn and check out the pottery from Jennie but that was a secondary mission.

Words cannot express all that there is to see at the festival.  People of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds and all decked out in their finest knitwear.  I am not a sweater knitter and probably never will be so I chose to wear my 3 Color Cashmere Shawl.  I don’t remember wearing my knitwear in public and random people commenting on it but at Rhinebeck that happens all day.  The hot pink pop in my shawl was definitely an attention grabber!  While this might seem to breed a competition like atomsphere, it does not.  We all have a great appreciation of what went into each sweater, shawl, hat, etc.  And, I think as knitters, we know where our talents and interests are and so we focus on that.

During the course of the day I actually randomly ran into people I was hoping to see, another Rhinebeck miracle???  First I ran into Mary from Kino Knits and we were able to snap a quick picture.  Next I ran into my friend Laura who was from home but moved to Vermont earlier this year.  Late in the afternoon we also ran into another knitter from our LYS.  I coordinated meeting up with my friend Becky from the Knit Actually podcast.  We were both wearing pieces made from the same yarn so wanted to get a picture of our matching creations.  And then I hit the podcaster meetup where I was able to see Emily from the Knitting Butterflies podcast and meet up with Becky again.  I also got to meet Jen from the Commuter Knitter podcast, Claire from the NH Knits podcast, and I think a bunch more people but it was crazy at the meetup!!!  I hung out with Becky while she met some of her other listeners and we both met some podcasters and then we escaped.

I’ve been to other fiber festivals and they all have yarn, sheep, and knitters decked out in knitwear but there is definitely something different about Rhinebeck.  It’s almost like the knitting world stops for a weekend to honor the craft they love.  There is such a sense of joy and excitement as you wander through the tents and buildings.  There are long lines everywhere but no one is impatient or angry.  There are masses of people all looking at the same yarn but no one is trampled and I never saw anyone pushing or shoving or stealing yarn from anyone.  I think it’s easier to cart-jacked on Etsy then in person at Rhinebeck. Especially with all that is going on now in the US, it was extra nice to spend a day with people who were genuinely happy and spreading nothing but knitting goodness into the world.

 

Exciting News!

Big things happening here at Knitting-A-Round!!!    I’m now offering tech editing services!!!

I’ve been searching for the right place for my skills and it appears that would be tech editing.  I had been thinking about it for a few months and then I saw a post from Joeli on Instagram about a course for Tech Editing (You can find more info here)  This solved my major hurdle – which was how do I hold myself out as a tech editor when I don’t have special training or education.

I’ll be talking more about these endeavours in future weeks.  If you are a designer in search of trying a tech editor feel free to shoot me a message.  I’ll be at Rhinebeck with business cards and a coupon code so if you see me and want one stop and say hi!

 

What’s on the Needles This Weekend

I don’t usually have themes for each month but it seems that will be happening again this month.  Last month was all about knitting love and this month will be all about Rhinebeck!!!!!!!!  I might be getting a little excited 🙂

Traditionally, if you are attending Rhinebeck you knit a Rhinebeck sweater.  I don’t knit sweaters (although Joji Locatelli is really testing that theory with that latest collection of hers 🙂 ) so I figured I wouldn’t worry about it.  It’s not like a have a lack of knitwear to bring with me.  But then, I went to the Loopy Ewe in July and bought some fun yarn to knit the 3 Color Cashmere Shawl and then Becky from the Knit Actually podcast bought one of those same colors and knit an amazing sweater shrug and has decided we need to get a twinning picture while we’re at Rhinebeck.  Did I mention that you end up with 501 stitches at the end of this?  And, there’s a picot bind off?  No, well, that’s what in store for me this week.

Ideally I’d like to finish by next Sunday so I have time to block it before it has to be packed. At last count, I’m at 15 rows left and 9 days (or 7 to my goal deadline, 9 to drop dead it has to be done deadline).  The yarn is by Knerd String and I am totally in love with it.  The depth and tonal qualities of the her colors has me falling in love with solids all over again. The pattern is actually a pretty fun knit and if I didn’t have a few other things I had been working on that also had deadlines I probably would be a bit further along.

Speaking of Rhinebeck, I’m going without a plan.  Crazy?  Dumb??  I’m not sure.  I know that what I really want to do is just soak up being there and enjoying hanging with my people.  Checking out everyone’s knitwear.  Meeting “friends” from near and far.  I’m sure I’ll buy some yarn but if I don’t get the freebies and I don’t get the show exclusives, I’m okay with that.  If you have any tips or suggestions feel free to leave a comment!!  And, if you’re going to be there let me know!!!

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News and Notes

It seems like there has been a lot going on lately so I thought I would just put together a quick update.

First, earlier this week I was contacted by a writer from CountryLiving.com who is doing an article on great yarn bombed decor ideas.  She was asking permission to use a photo from my blog post Anatomy of a Yarn Bomb. She will be crediting me for the photo and providing a link to my blog. I’m so excited and can’t wait to see the article!!!

Second, I won an Instagram contest!  I recently joined a new website called Frekol – you can check out my shop here.  The site was developed by some local folks and is basically a smaller, more local version of Etsy.  They are one of the sponsors of the Midwest Craft Con which is being held in Columbus, Ohio this year.  They ran a contest where you tagged your favorite local maker and they randomly drew one winner for a pass to the conference and I won!!!!

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The Midwest Craft Con is a 3 day retreat for crafters, makers and creative business owners.  There are some amazing people giving talks including Tara Swiger, Abby Glassenberg and Lisa Congdon.  I think I will learn a lot and meet some great people!

A few other happenings right now.  One, I just signed up for a new test knit so stay tuned for details on that!  I’m waiting for my yarn to arrive and then I’m going to dig in!  Two, I saw the other day that ArohaKnits announced she was starting a podcast with KnitFitch and it is called The Fiber Boss.  I gave it a listen and found it very informative and entertaining.  They have also started a Facebook group by the same name.  The idea is for fiber related business owners to unite and provide support and encouragement to one another.  I’ve been blown away by the folks who have joined. There is such a wide range of both types and sizes of businesses that I’m sure everyone can learn something.  It’s a great group – the other day I was having a long chat with a nice woman who has a goat farm in France (field trip 🙂 ).  If you have a fiber business or are looking to head in that direction check it out!

One last thing – my hotel for Rhinebeck has officially been booked!!  I can’t wait to make the journey and if you’re going to be there I would love to meet up!  More details to come but I’m so super excited that I had to share the news now!!!