Sunday, October 17, 2004

A Great Time Was Had By All

Except for one "scolding the Curmudgeon" incident, Rhinebeck was a blast and a half.

Sheep & Wool Festival Highlights
First of all, I have to say that that folks that read my blog (at least the ones I met at Rhinebeck) are amazing folks. I finally got a chance to meet Selma (the axe murderer), Deb (yentala) and of course Marilyn and Kathy were there.

Here's a picture of the group, including my partner Thaddeus.

From left to right, there's Marilyn, Selma, Kathy (she was having a good time...really!), Thaddeus and Deb.

Unfortunately, I only got to spend a little time with Deb, but she was a doll. Selma, who I had never met before, but I've known for years from her correspondence on the KnitList was wonderful. She has an excellent eye for color, especially colors she looks good in. The hat she's wearing in the picture is an amazing mix of colors, although completely not visible in the picture.

I also got a chance to meet Stephanie Pearl at the show. She's as spunky and funny in person as she is in her writing (unlike myself).

I actually felt hungover the day after the festival from the frenetic shopping and actual purchases.

I actually went through all of the vendor booths without making a single purchase. Then I went back and made my biggest purchase of all (saved for the end).

My first yarn purchase was some Icelandic Roving in a gorgeous shade of green.

Even though there's not enough for a full man's sweater, I had to have it.

Then, I purchased some merino top in a mixture of colors that will spin/ply up in a beautful tweedy sort of way. I can't wait to start working with this fiber.

Other than the initial purchase, that's all I bought at the actual festival (if you exclude a bratwurst with everything and fried dough).

But I did end up ordering a spinning wheel. Not just any wheel, of course, but a Robin wheel.

This wheel is made from an amazing wood that he calls sparled curly maple. The rich luster of the wood just can't be captured in my lousy web pictures, or in my pathetic attempts at description. But ask Marilyn, or Kathy or Selma and they will tell you how beautiful this wheel is.

Now, of course, I don't have to pay anything but a $100 deposit on this wheel now, and the balance in about 18 months. Yes, 18 months is how long their waiting list is, but I'm kind of glad to get some additional Louet experience under my belt before delivery of the new masterpiece.

Other Purchases
Just because I bought yarn at a sheep and wool festival, doesn't mean I stopped myself from making a couple of other purchases at Morehouse Merino on our "after-festival" visit to this wonderful shop.

If you're ever up in the area of upstate New York, and want to see QueerJoe's idea of the perfect yarn store, stop in at this shop. It's spacious, well lit, has great designs using their own yarns and has amazingly beautiful yarn. The salespeople were completely crazed with all the festival business, but that didn't stop them from being both knowledgeable, helpful and nice.

There may be some who recall I had a less-than-positive experience with one of the woman at Morehouse Merino at the Maryland Sheep & Wool festival. She was no where to be seen at either of the Morehouse's booths, nor at the store. The other folks were nothing less than perfectly pleasant (as opposed to the hag at the booth where Marilyn got her wrist slapped).

Anyway, I bought these two items at the Morehouse retail store.

The first is a sweater's worth of their awesome merino in a deep pine color. The color is rich and amazing and the softness of their yarn indescribeably wonderful. The second is their famous laceweight merino that I will use to make a lacey wrap for someone in my family.

Personal Knitting/Spinning
Just so you don't think I slacked off all weekend, I was able to finish plying the two large hanks of Jacob select singles and wash and hang them to dry.

I also got some work done on the special surprise knitting project, which I will be able to hopefully show you by the end of this week.

Finally, I leave you with my favorite picture from the weekend.

It shows the two curmudgeons in my life AND it's the closest to a modelling of his new sweater I was able to get.