Rhinebeck 2015

Didn’t mean to wait this long but last week I made the annual trek upstate to what is officially known as the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool festival. But knitters, crocheter & yarn spinners everywhere know it simply as Rhinebeck.

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For the last few years it has been an annual pilgrimage for myself and Nicky from D’NALI. Nicky decided not to travel this year, I have missed encouraging her to splurge on yarn, wool and such.

Rather than ride the Amtrak alone, my family decided to make the trek upstate with me. So it’s my mom, sister, niece & 4 year old nephew loaded up in a huge truck rolling upstate for the 2 hour ride.

Since I’m the only knitter in the group & would be the one yarn shopping, I directed them to the food pavilion. Then made a beeline for the yarn shopping. I didn’t aim to buy too much since I still have a lot of stock left over from previous years & recently bought a bunch of yarn from Michael’s to make holiday gifts.

Always a bargain shopper, I did manage to find these great deals though.

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On the top is handspun yarn from one of my favorite vendors, Fessler’s Spinning & Weaving out of PA. I’ve managed to buy yarn from them almost every year without fail. What I love about them is not just their yarn, but for the price they give a lot of yardage. This time I bought 3 skeins of worsted weight eggplant purple yarn that will be a future shawl, maybe a sweater, not sure yet. I’ll decide when I’m ready to work with it.

The orange multicolor yarn I found in the discount bin from

BitsyKnits

Fiber Arts. I didn’t mean to buy anymore sock yarn, but this was too nice to pass up for the price.

The pink yarn is from Rose Spring Farm, also out of PA. I bought on a whim simply because it looked so pretty. It’s worsted weight which is my favorite to knit with. The sellers offer a 10% discount on your next purchase when you bring your knitted project at the next fair they participate in along with their product label.

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The folks at Harrisville Designs, from New Hampshire were running a clearance sale on this yarn the entire weekend. By the time I found their booth, this was all that was left. Skeins were reduced to only $5 each. This was totally an impulse buy. I saw all those blue skeins & instantly thought there’s enough to make a sweater.

While my sister & niece fawned over the pastries in the food pavilion, I headed straight for the wines.

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The Cocoa Island & Wellesley Island White are favorites of mine from last year that I bought from Thousand Island Winery. I’m happy to report their wine is stocked at one of the local wine shops I frequent but not these varieties. Raspberry Isle is a new dessert wine flavor that literally tastes like raspberries, which I’ll definitely enjoy during the winter months.

If you’re there on sundays at the food pavilion, later in the day, vendors will begin to discount their prices to move produce on perishable items. I bought 3 large pastries for $12 when normally they sold for $7 each.

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Sis & niece claim they will return next year, for the pasties no doubt. The best part of going to Rhinebeck though, besides the yarn is to view the autumn leaves.

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Rhinebeck 2012: The Results

Once again, we came, we shopped, we bought more than we probably should’ve, and we had a blast doing all of it. Of course I’m talking about the annual knitter’s pilgrimage that is Rhinebeck, or formally known as the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival.

There are three reasons I do this: 1. It’s a great opportunity to spend a day out of the city without going too far and spending too much money. 2. I get to indulge in my hobby, which incorporates bargain shopping and 3. My (self) appointed task each year to encourage my friend Nikki to give into her temptations to impulse buy yarn.

I’m not one who enjoys getting up at the crack of dawn to catch a train, but that’s exactly what I did to make the subway trek to the Penn Station to meet Nikki. The journey, in this case a 2 hour ride on Amtrak along the Hudson river is as relaxing as the destination. There was evidence of some rainy weather the night before. One moment, there was mist and fog above the river:

and in the next moment, the sky was crystal clear:

The train ride reminds me of the annual car trips my family took to visit my dad’s relatives in North Carolina. The countryside was full of miles and miles of pine forests. How can you not help buy enjoy those views? Autumn is in full effect up in this area, with trees completely covered in red or yellow leaves. I’m born and raised in the city, but everyone needs a bit of country to spice up their brick and mortar life.

Like I said in my last post, I didn’t have any specific projects in mind to buy yarn for. I was just winging it, buying whatever yarn I liked. I was on the lookout for some fancy crochet hooks similar to the ones that I found on eBay a while back. While I did see some hooks, nothing came close to the beauty of these.

I didn’t keep receipts, but I believe I spent about the same as I did last year. Bought slightly more yarn this time. I passed up the opportunity to buy more “sexy needles” in favor of spending on some more fancier yarn.

This year’s stash:

Clockwise from top:

Blue Moon Fiber Arts BFL Sport 100% Blue Faced Leicester, Colorway: Bittersweet. I had to google Blue Faced Leicester to find out it’s wool imported from English sheep. It’s very smooth, doesn’t feel heavy at all despite the gauge calling for a size 8 needle. I didn’t buy enough skeins for the original pattern I have in mind but found a shawl substitute from one of my old issues of Vogue Knitting that should work perfect with this yarn. Can’t wait to knit this one up.

Bittersweet hand dyed DK weight yarn 40% Merino, 40% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk. Color: Dark Heart I’m not really a big fan of alpaca because of it’s tendency to shed, but this yarn looked very tempting and the variegated purple color combination looked fabulous, plus the price was great. Spotted a couple of knitted clapotis scarves at the fair and thought this will work well. I bought all 5 skeins they had in stock that should be enough to knit the scarf as well as a matching hat.

Oasis Fiber Farm Mill: These yellow skeins were on sale. Not much info on them except that they’re a combo of 50% merino wool and 50% nylon. What I will do with these, I don’t know yet, I’m taking suggestions.

Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool, worsted weight in Turquoise A nice lightweight wool that I may make into a hat or scarf depending on the yardage required. Or maybe a couple pairs of gloves or gauntlets.

Angoraonline.com handspun, hand dyed, handpainted angora yarn. 80% merino, 20% nylon sock weight. Initially I had in mind making some gloves with this one, but since the yardage is so great, I may work these two skeins into some type of shawl or coverlet. I also like that the wool feels light and won’t weigh you down.

I’ll leave you with more photos of the picturesque scenery we were surrounded by during the day.


View of Hudson Valley north of Rhinecliff Station Way in the distance is the Kingston-Rhinebeck bridge.

2012 Rhinebeck bound

In two days, I will start my two week vacation. That time off will begin with me making the trek upstate once again to the picturesque town of  Rhinecliff, NY for their annual Dutchess County Sheep and Wool festival. Known colloquially among us yarn addicts as Rhinebeck. See my post from last year here.

Last year was my first trip to the festival, and unlike my knitting friends, I wasn’t as organized. I didn’t arrive there with a shopping list of yarn, patterns, notions, etc. Spent the day randomly shopping, mostly for bargains and discount yarn, which is pretty much what I do when I visit yarn shops. Most knitters will find a pattern for an item they want to make, then look for a suitable yarn. I tend to do the opposite. I find a yarn that inspires me, and I think of what item would work with it. Then find the pattern that works with the yarn. Right or wrong it’s worked for me so far.

This year has turned out to be the same. Once again, I don’t have a specific shopping list. Over the past several months I started to pick up crocheting again so my options for yarn work have expanded that much more. I will simply be open minded as I shop and see what moves me.

One thing I can think of I will have my eye out for are fancy crochet hooks. Last year I bought what Nicky from D’NALI coined my sexy needles. Since I’m starting to dabble in crocheting as well, I’m working on adding to my sexy hook collection. I started off with a set of 3 domo wood crochet hooks I bought from Ebay. They’re beautifully carved, smooth finished and are a real joy to knit with. Much more interesting than the standard metal hooks.

I’ll maybe if I have time do a search tomorrow for some patterns to knit or crochet. Or I may just go there and wing it.

 

The Rhinebeck Stash

I’m a day late and a dollar short with this post, but life happened (aka vacation) between my trip and this post. But here goes anyway….

For the first time my friend Nicky and I made the trek up to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival. Better known to all you avid knitters out there as simply “Rhinebeck”, named after the small town that hosts the festival every year. For those in the know, Rhinebeck is the ground zero of knitting festivals, that draws folks from all over the nation. It’s known for it’s variety of yarn and wool for sale, but also features a petting zoo and amusement rides for children, a farmers market, livestock for display and sale, so a bit of something for everyone.

kangaroo with joey in pouch

Someone was very much into the Halloween spirit & has some mean pumpkin carving skills.

We also checked out a museum featuring how life was lived in the good old days, when there was no electricity, running water, and folks really had to use their hands.

In those days, people bathed only once a week (!!!)

The general store

The museum reminded me of those school trips & family vacations I went on as a child to Pennsylvania dutch country and to my dad’s relatives in the south. A few of those things I could directly identify with.

But the main reason we came was for the yarn. Since I already had a huge stash at home, I decided to be very selective about what yarn I would buy, if any. In the beginning it seemed as if I made the trip for nothing because I had bought nothing but needles, including these exquisite glass beauties below.

glass knitting needles, size 7 straight, size 8 circular 29"

Nicky called the straight ones sexy needles, and indeed, they are sexy to knit with. You forget the fact that they are glass quickly once you start knitiing with them. I just pray I never drop them on the floor. Because one, they’re so beautiful I’d be heartbroken if one of them chipped or broke, and two, they were damn expensive!!!

A couple more booths caused me to add yet more needles to my collection. The vendor at this booth told us the woman who handcrafted these wood needles had passed away & left this collection. I don’t do much knitting with large size needles but she was practically giving the needles away, I mean, who can beat $2.00 a pair?! The ebony wood needles on the left I bought at a third booth that was selling them for 1/2 price. Those knit very well also. It’s a nice upgrade from the usual bamboo variety.

In this same booth, I bought 2 huge skeins of  homespun wool from their discounted bin. I have no idea what I will make with it. My tendency is to fall in love with the yarn and then match a pattern with it later. It’s a thick yarn that will knit up quickly on large needles. I’m hoping to maybe pull off a nice hat & scarf set.

I fell in love with this camouflage green wool yarn because of the color. I didn’t know what brand it was until I got home and looked up the tag online and found out it was Lamb’s Pride. But the skeins were priced right enough for me to stock up on about 6 skeins of this yarn. Again, I haven’t decided what project will be made from this. I’m taking suggestions.

This last one I bought also came from a vendor’s discount bin. I usually knit with either bright colors or browns & blacks. I liked the more neutral tones of this wool yarn which gives me something different to work with. And there were enough skeins left at 50% discount for me to knit up a scarf.

The yarn is Mocha’s fiber, uses size 9-11 needles. It knits pretty well. I’m working on this scarf with the size 10 ebony needles I bought at the fair. I’ve made significant progress since this pic was taken which I’ll update in a later post.

The scarf pattern here: http://wedonothaveaknittingproblem.blogspot.com/2009/02/puddlesaka-dog-walking-scarf.html

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