A house and a car were rented & a gaggle of 5 ladies headed across the border in hot fibery pursuit and to see some friends for a great weekend of fun!


The house was a beautiful Victorian in Kingston, New York.


Best of all, there was a huge table that we were all able to gather around.


We got up early Saturday morning to get to the fair in good time…


This is the line to enter the fair grounds…at 8:30 am…the gates open at 9am…Once the gates were open, things moved fairly quickly although there was some confusion as to where the pre-paid ticket holders & those who still needed tickets should go.

Once in, I had my list & map set to go (there was a comment about my level of organization being on the level of the Invasion of Normandy). By about 11 am, my shopping list looked like this:


I take a precision strike team approach to fibre festivals, having the list keeps me on budget as it’s very easy to get overwhelmed & blow your budget at the first booth!

My focus this year was not yarn, I was in search of beautiful hand made tools as I am of the opinion that if you have lovely tools, you will use them more. There is no shortage of makers who are able to supply us with beautiful hand made tools for our pursuits.


My big purchase was a hand made tapestry loom and some tapestry needles from Stephen Willette.

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I visited Journey Wheel for another spindle.


Prior to the trip I had reignited my interest in hooked rugs and Rhinebeck was a good place to get supplies as there are at least 5 vendors! I found a complete kit to get me started & purchased 2 more patterns. I busted out the kit as soon as I got home & am making steady progress.

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Some fibre was procured from Into the Whirled & Spinners Hill


I ran across this massive ball of Herdwick roving!


Last thing on my list was a Saori Weaving Sewing book!


So by 11am, my list was complete & I was free to wander the grounds & eat fair food!

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Gary’s Pickles are possibly the BEST Full Sours I’ve had! I may have smuggled a quart back with me… We ran into this lovely Lincoln ewe on her way from the auction to her new home…she was very much having none of it!

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I kept trying to get a photo of this Herdwick, but some odious Hipsters kept trying to get “just the right photo” & wouldn’t move after 15 minutes! That is one of the moron’s hands in my shot! The Herdwick looks about as impressed with them as I was!

After the fair, a few of us trundled off to Jill Draper’s Studio Open House! Which was conveniently located in Kingston, about a 15 minute walk from the house! I picked up some Rifton & 2 skeins of Valkill, which turned out to be the only yarn I bought!


My friend Leah came this year & it was her first Rhinebeck. I think she had fun..

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until I sternly told her she could not buy more green yarn & encouraged her to buy that gorgeous blue yarn! Which she did.


And then it was time to head home…through intermittent wet snow.


It will probably be a few more years before I return to Rhinebeck as there are some new local fleece fairs I want to check out as well as my ultimate goal of Shetland Wool Week.


RHinebeck – Finally

I had planned to write this post within the first week after Rhinebeck, but as per usual life got in the way. In a way I’m glad it has taken me over two weeks to get around to posting about it as I can relive all the fun via the few photos I took.

The Canadian Contingent enroute

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We were all terribly confused by this piece of “art” in the ladies loo when we stopped at the Falls before crossing the border.


A close up of whatever that is supposed to be on the stool.


Yeah, we are still not sure what that was meant to be…So we had a peek at the falls & got back in the car.


This year there were 8 of us who took over a house in Hudson, New York, about 40 minutes North of Rhinebeck. Hudson is a neat little town with some really great antique shops, restaurants & a few vintage shops. I was hoping to spend a bit more time exploring, but yarn was calling…

I loved this scrimshawed deer(?) skull in one of the antique stores.


Tasty shrimp & chorizo tacos from Mexican Radio.


Creepy abandoned, but well maintained house up the hill from where we stayed.


Neat little VW Bug pick-up hack. I really want one of my own now!


Overwhelmed by the yarn & people, I developed a slight case of camnesia while at Rhinebeck, but did manage to get in a few photos…

Saturday the Fair Grounds were packed with people,


This was taken as we entered the grounds about 15 minutes after the gates opened, it just got busier after that!

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I think these are Shetlands, regardless I would really appreciate one of each colour under the Christmas tree this year.

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Rhinebeck is well known for it’s broad selection of fair food, but this year I was beyond thrilled to see there was a Flaumekuchen food truck! I was introduced to this Alsatian bit of yummyness by my friend Nat (she’s Alsation) a few years ago at a restaurant in Toronto called Elle Ma Dit (sadly now closed). Flaummkuchen (or Tarte Flambe) is a very thin crust “pizza” (think saltines thin) traditionally baked with creme fraishe and bits of smoked lardons toppings, although you can top it with pretty much anything. I would happily live off this stuff!

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I chose the basic version & would have worked my way through the menu but I was near hallucinogenic from all the rich dairyness. So tasty and the servings are large enough to be comfortable shared.


At one point I found myself in the middle of the Llama Parade.


Then the shopping started… I approach all fiber show/sales like a military strike, I make a list before hand of the vendors I want to see & what yarns weights & yardage I need for a few specific projects. This serves multiple purposes, but mainly it keeps me from becoming overwhelmed and buying ALL THE THINGS. I also kept a healthy distance from the Norm Hall booth  & only got close enough to take a picture of one of his beautiful custom wheels before running away.


Last I heard a few years ago, he had a 10 year wait list to get on his 7 year wait list for one of his wheels! Dude makes very pretty wheels.

After everyone had assembled back at the house, we laid out our purchases for show & tell…


There were some lovely yarns in that pile!

Then sooner than one would think it was time to pack it all up and head home…

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There are plans afoot to do it all over again next year, but am not sure at this point if I’ll make it as Chris’ birthday is the Saturday of Rhinebeck weekend. As it was this year, his birthday was on the Friday we left to drive down. Although he did say he would like to have a David Lynch Marathon weekend…hmmmm

Prep for Rhinebeck 2013

I figure I’ll have more success posting more often if I keep the posts short & photo heavy…or that’s the theory/delusion I’m working with.

Rhinebeck 2013 is fast approaching,  as of this typing – 6 days away! I am beyond thrilled with this impending short break from reality. It has been two years since I was last there & I had a blast, so the bar is set fairly high.

There are 8 of us who have rented a house in Hudson, New York. It’s roughly 30-40 (depending on your map) minutes North of Rhinebeck proper. Two of the house mates I haven’t seen since the last trip & 2 I have never met, but they come highly praised.

As time ticks closer to our departure, I’m working my way though the check list:

Passport is current.

Have actual grown-up luggage.

Completed Rhinebeck Sweater: Dressage from Twist Collective Yarn: Malabrigo Mecha in Solis colourway.


Since taking this photo, I have ripped back the i-cord bind-off & added 3″ of rib as I kept feeling like the sweater was hikking up my backside.

Still to get:


Hendricks Gin (will pick up at the Duty Free on way down) – Gin & Tonic has become the unofficial drink of whatever house we are staying at for Rhinebeck.

Finally narrow down my shopping list to keep to my budget.

Research the requirements for transporting a sheep across the border… Have already promised my car mates that I will not buy a sheep (or as I like to call them: Proto Sweaters) to bring home (although I am not new to transporting sheep in cars) but I will be looking at sheep for my future plan to sell up in the city, buy a plot of land, have a Hobbit Hole/cob house built and to keep a spinners flock & some chickens (I shall name them ALL Lola!). Other than the Hobbit Hole, my Dad is on board with my idea, the kids are all over this plan. Chris & my Mum think I’m a bit daft, but that’s really just par for the course.

And then we got to the Fair Grounds…

Saturday morning saw the lot of us up and at’em. After some breakie,an incident with the coffee geysering out of the bodum to scorch me and a subsequent shower we were off…






(Robin on the left, Tonya on the right & I’m the shadow in the middle)

There was a 2 mile long queue to get into the fair grounds. If you look closely at the photo from the previous post, you can just see the line of cars to the right of the intersection way off in the distance…That line of cars was moving surprisingly fast and we were on the fair grounds far sooner than I expected. Parking located, weekend passes purchased, we scatered like buck shot into the barns & stalls! I will make another post about the shopping so this does not become a mammoth post! Suffice it to day trying to do Rhinebeck in one day is overwhelming, I strongly suggest purchasing the weekend pass so you don’t feel like you are under the gun and can wander aimlessely.

         After about 5 hours of wandering, we were ready to head back to the house for a bit of a rest before dinner, we made a quick stop at the grocery store to pick up provisions.









We were greeted to a nice roaring fire that Robin & Audrey had started as they arrived back at Casa Del Rhinebeck before us.






Purchases were shown off, dinner reservations were made at Luna 61 and I introduced the beauty of Hendrick’s Gin. As it got close to the time of our reservation, we trundled off on foot to Fab Yarns which was conviently located across the road-ish from the restaurant! It’s a lovely little shop with lovely owners who carry Indigodragonfly and a pink leopard print fun fur carpet bag that may have had me squealing with glee….but I put it down and bought a skein of yarn instead…

Dinner was great, company was beyond wonderful and we found a local hard cider that made us all swoon, and it wasn’t because most of us had a few G&Ts on board and were possibly high on yarn fumes…

Back at the house after dinner we restoked the fire and compared notes on the day. Sunday was a bit of wash, rinse repeat of Saturday but sadly Robin & Audrey left us to return to Pennsylvania and work on Monday morning. Tonya, Emily and I enjoyed some Republican pizza & beer (unsure of the beer’s political alignment) for dinner and spent the rest of the night knitting in front of the fire.

Monday, we packed up, sorted out our travel knitting, made a pit stop in Woodstock for tie dyed shirts & found some amazing sandwiches at a cheese shop and a few bits of yarn bombing, then headed for home.



We are already planning for next year…


Cheaper than therapy

I discovered this weekend that it is REALLY IMPORTANT for me to get away for a little while. I need to go someplace where I’m not Mummy or Wife, my responsibilities are few and I can use the bathroom knowing that I won’t have someone banging on the door just as my butt hits the seat…

That place is here:






This wonderful little house in Tivoli, New York became my therapist this past weekend. I hadn’t realized just how badly I needed a weekend away with a band of Righteous Chicks for some fun and fiber frolicking until I got up this morning with a case of abundant patience when the Get Your Ass to School routine started to go off the rails.

The tale of my mental salvation goes a little something like this:

Friday morning, Emily, Tonya & I packed up Emily’s little Matrix (the nerd/geek level of this weekend was getting up to Con porportions and it was all good!), queued up Shatner’s new album on the Iphone and were off to the Hudson Valley for Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool! I would have taken a photo of the look on the border guards face when we told him where we were going and why, but seeing as non of us wanted a body caviety search, I restrained myself.

After nine hours of driving through what we came to call the Apocalypse we arrived safely at that little house pictured above, an added bonus was I had finished my Rhinebeck sweater by the time we passed Albany! Sadly, I don’t think any of us thought to get a photo of me wearing said sweater at Rhinebeck, so you will just have to take my word for it!

Robin & Audrey were already at the house waiting for us. After a quick pee break and unloading of the Matrix, the lot of us headed to Santa Fe for yummy dins. The Fish Tacos (hehehehe) were quite good, but I would have liked more salsa, but I’m a condiment junkie that way…back at the house we made plans for the next day then headed to bed after a 10pm trek to locate some breakfast stuffs for the next day.

There was an incident with the coffee the following morning that I will not be discussing other than to say: medium grind coffee + Bodum = ouchy me.

The next morning found us here:






That’s us, in the car, stopped, waiting to get to the Dutchess County Fair grounds that were 2 miles away! Eventually we did get there…






What happened next will have to wait till the next post because I have a Birthday Boy in the house who has requested tostadas & a chocolate mousse cake for dinner.


The Haul

Finally I shall reveal the Rhinebeck Haul…

2 Batts from Grafton Fibers

2 skeins of Earth Song from Briar Rose Fibers in a nice muted purpley-green-gold hand dyed colourway. One skein was cast on as a Moebius shrug on the ride home.
4oz of Horned Dorset roving from Spirit Trail Fiberworks

4oz of Merino/Mohair roving in olive-gold-red colourway from Spirit Trail Fiberworks

2oz of Yak roving from Twist of Fate Spinnery

2oz of Buffalo roving from Twist of Fate Spinnery

Lace weight Maggie Top Whorl Spindle from Carolina Homespun

Will Taylor Victorian Lady Spindle from Carolina Homespun (scroll down to see the image of this spindle)

Tom Hall Drop Spindle and Nostepin (these have been polished sexy)

A copie of Sylvia’s Farm – Signed by the author
Holding it all is… A pack basket (this was my first purchase at Rhinebeck)

And finally Norbert but I think this may be more of an adoption/rescue thingy.


Side trip

Part way between our hotel and the Fairgrounds was the CIA, each time we drove by Denny and I would stop and stare out the window at the hulking beauty of the campus. On Sunday we asked Ms. Rachel if she could swing us by the campus for a bit of a look arround…


This is a beautiful campus…


made even more beautiful by the serious leaf action that we seem to have been short changed on in Ontario.


Denny and I met a girl named Mackenzie at our hotel who had just moved from Colorado to attend the CIA and she gave us the skinny on the school. Your tuition is 45,000$ a year!!! Holycrapola Kids! Then you still have your Room and Board which is another 1200$ a month plus all your supplies but you DO get your chef whites embroidered with your name (green for Culinary, gold for Pastry).

Norbert required some convincing to get back in the van…


As we drove throught the campus trying to find the way out we were getting a bit concerned that it was a Hotel California type place we came to the conclusion that a goodly chunk of the tuition must go to grounds keeping.


This final shot is another view from the campus, the great expanse of the Hudson, the fall leaves and a super long train…Makes one *almost* want to attend…or spend that 45K on building a great studio space and filling it with some great looms and wheels…

More Rhinebeck for the Rhinebeckless

When I last left off our band of fiber drunk travelers were… well… fiber drunk! The fairgrounds aren’t huge (I think The Royal is a larger space) but there is just SO MUCH to see, touch and smell that you need a bit of a lie down after a while.

Saturday was very busy and I think both the vendors and the fairground staff were taken a bit aback…The Fold was cleaned out of Socks that Rock not too long after the gates opened and then those who scored a skank stood in line for about an hour (so I was told) to pay for their booty. Hatchtown Spindles (one of the vendors I was interested in) was sold out of spindles by 10:30 (some have said the shelves were bare by 10:15) , needless to say I didn’t get one of their spindles as we were having a really nice breakfast at that time. Robin Wheels took in so many orders that he now has a two year wait list for his wheels.
Many of the Rhinebeck vetrans we met were commenting on how much busier it was this year compared to previous ones and when we went to the Blogger Meet-Up you got an inkling as to why it may have been so busy. There were a shit load of us! If there ever was a good case study of the effectivness of the internet and the blogsphere this would be a good one. There are so many knitbloggers out there and more are arriving each day and it’s branching out, we are interested in dyeing and learning to spin our own fibers and making road trips to fiber festivals where we can play Blogger Bingo and meet these people in person who we have been reading all year. A large number of the retailers could do well to tap into this market, just look what it has done for the likes of Grafton Fibers and Socks that Rock, both of whom were bloged about by highly respected knitbloggers and now these already great products are the hot items to get your twitchy little knitter/spinner fingers on.

But back to the photos…I noticed that there were more than a few gaps in my picture taking because I was often so overwhelmed with whatever it was I was looking at I would forget to take a picture…

For the rest of Saturday we wandered arround the fair trying to see what there was and what we would come back to see Sunday for a closer look.

Norbert asked for a few introductions be made.


We left that evening quite happy with our purchases and a little bit overwhelmed.


There were plans to attend a few after parties (yes they happen and are a super crazy fun) but we were so tired from not sleeping the night before and we all realized that in our excitement we had all forgotten to eat lunch that we skipped the parties and went off in search of a target and dinner which in itself became a bit of a trial.
Sunday morning we packed, went for another yummy breakfast at the Diner (we have decided to exclusively eat all our meals there next year) then off to the Fair for some last minute shopping and to pick up Dr Steph then head home.

But first Denny (still weak in the knees form her Golding experience from the day before) was determined to give that loom the serious technical once over…


And she planned on asking Tom Golding some serious techy questions…


I think she is blushing…

Norbert asked a few more introductions be made


Although I think this Goat was a bit pushy even for Norbert


This is probably the coolest things I witnessed


that woman has one of her Angora bunnies on her lap and she is spinning right from him/her. She would pluck off some fiber and spin it up, stop, pluck some more and then continue spinning and the rabbit was quite content to just sit there and be plucked and spun…

Stay tuned as there is still Denny, Mel and Norbert at the CIA and finally the Purchases…

Travel tales

Now that I have slept in my own bed, with my own pillow and my regular snuggle buddy and had a shower to wash the travel stink off me I shall now regale you with tales of my travel.

I was picked up at about 10:30 in Friday and we headed off towards the Kingston Boarder, as we traveled along the rain got a bit heavier until we got to out first rest stop where it turned to flying slush…this was also where I made the fatal error of having KFC for lunch and rescued Norbert on my first try from the claw toy vending machine thing he had found himself in. I have a feeling he and Dolores may have a bit of a past…

30 minutes down the road I needed a rest stop and convinently there was one (this poor lunch choice some what set the tone for my stomach for the weekend). As we got closer to the boarder the slush became snow…I so hadn’t dressed for this type of weather and tried to knit the collar of my Natalie coat faster, which caused me to mess it up AGAIN!!! and have to frog it back AGAIN!!!! The slush very quickly turned into a nice snow storm that added 2 hours to our trip but Rachel H in an amazing crappy weather driver! She is so goingot help me learn how to drive whenever I get off my heiner and get a licence!
9+ hours, few more rest stops, driver switches and a person drop off later we arrived at our hotel tired, hungry and feeling like it’s Yule eve…we head out to dinner then pop by the Marriott where there were some more of us staying for an hour or so then by 1AM we finally get into bed. None of us slept all that well because of strange bed syndrome…but we got ourselves up and moving and went off to a diner


for a great breakfast.


This was probably the best place we ate the whole time…Next year we will just eat there and eschew the other chain resturants. Norbert seemed to like it as well.

After we arrived


The first mission we had was to make a beeline to The Merlin Tree so Rachel H could get her Hitchiker spinning wheel,


Norbert and Denny seemed to really hit it off and she took it upon herself to show him the Work of our People starting with the Hitchiker.


From there we crossed the floor to have a look at the Golding products. Denny was a bit skeptical that something so showy be a good wheel and loom…I think they are still mopping up her drool, she spent the rest of the trip off and on trying to convince the rest of us that we needed to buy her old looms…


Not too long after this Denny and I made our first purchases

we each bought a great backpack basket from a lovely basket maker…she actually had another on I was seriously considering getting but I refrained…Norbert wanted to be carried arround in one of them but we said no, perferring to have him strapped to the back of my slingpack where he couldn’t get into too much trouble…Or so we thought…


At the blogger meetup Norbert may have made an indecent proposal to Amy…but Denny seems quite proud of her new friend…and from there we all wandered arround in a bit of a daze…so much fiber and great yarns and stuff in one place…

This is going to be a long post so I’m going to break it up over a few days…