Blog About Something!

That’s what it said in my calendar for today, and since my calendar is the boss of me, that’s what I’m doing.  After talking with Gabby about how it’s been 1000 years since I did a post, I decided to just do something, rather than try to make it the perfect blog with perfect posts. I really have had a lot of blogworthy adventures this year–I even took pictures sometimes. I’ve traveled, I’ve made things, cooked things, I gardened, I have a cute dog who doesn’t mind modeling knitwear or helping with a yarn photo shoot.

Well, she doesn’t mind *much.*

So why don’t I blog more regularly? I don’t know.

So, even though I missed a lot of opportunities while the experiences were fresh, I won’t try to start from the beginning. Maybe I’ll go back and cover some past events later. Maybe not.

This blog post will be about Rhinebeck 2012. This is the 3rd year I have gone to the NY Sheep and Wool Festival, and it is such a great time! If you have never been, please think about celebrating this big yarn holiday with us next year. I go to my share of wool shows, and this one stands out for many reasons.

It is the prettiest. Because it is in the fall, leaf-peeping and knit-peeping is very satisfying.

It has the best food. Not only is there a whole building for food and wine (and wine pushers who offer you free tastes first thing in the AM) but the food booths crank out some righteous stuff, not just hot dogs and fried whatevers. I ate lamb ravioli with garlicky spinach and a lamb kebob sandwich, greens and beans from the artichoke people, fresh donuts and cider (a daily must-have,) yummy apples, crazy-good cheese, jerky, and ghost chili sauce on a chip. Watch Steven’s blog for more about this last item, I expect. We also went out to this wonderful little restaurant for a fantastic dinner Saturday night.

I have a standing date to travel to this show with my friend Steven. 3 years ago, we discovered that we are very compatible in a fair setting, so now we are festival buddies. We’ve also hung out at Maryland Sheep and Wool, another biggie. We both like to eat, drink, sing, laugh, and not have such a strict agenda at the show that is feels over-structured. We don’t have to run to get in line at any of the most sought after vendor booths, although we will often saunter over to those booths to look at the people in line, and comment on whether or not the stuff is all it’s cracked up to be. This year there was even one building that we did not enter, and both of us were fine with that. Steven did his second annual successful “Nips With Steven” photo essay, and he got some all-star participants, and really fun shots this time. My favorites are Angela behind the tree and Anne Hanson taking the second nip of the day at the Briar Rose booth.

Last year I waited too long to make the hotel reservations, and we ended up staying in not the nicest hotel that was about an hour away from the fairgrounds. This year, we got invited to stay in a rented house with 11 other really cool knitting friends. This really made the weekend even more terrific. Sonya remarked that being downstairs and listening to the laugh track from the kitchen upstairs was cool. I got to ogle a lot of tremendous knitting, I spun a little bit and showed some of my housemates how I like to work with washed fleece, and I learned a lot of interesting facts and crafting tips from everyone.

Now, the house where we stayed was lovely, but a little quirky. Check it out…

There were many fabulous features to the house, and nice Art, but I didn’t photograph any of that.

We yarn bombed many of the critters. They looked chilly.

We did some group photos.

I mostly took pictures of animals at the fair. Last year there were kangaroos, even a baby. Lemurs are my favorite.

And sheep are also my favorite. I might like lemurs a little more, but you are not allowed to pet them in this setting.

These felted birdhouses were a smashing idea.

I thought maybe I would make some using all of my various fleeces in my collection, but now that I am back to reality I realize I will probably never do any wet felting. I should have bought one. I did buy some handwoven kitchen towels, batts and a little yarn from Cris and James (love them!) at Into the Whirled, and some sheep -themed Art from the very talented Gene Matras. Last year Steven and I both bought some greeting cards from him, spurred on by a sign in his booth that read “One small purchase is worth a thousand compliments.” How true. It was the perfect reminder that we need to buy this stuff, not just look, to help support the makers of Handmade and preserve some of these crafts.

Now to make “blog something else” a calendar item. See you soon, I hope. I think I’ll do a sales-y blog next about some gorgeous new stuff from Noni Designs. Here’s the teaser…

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