It didn't get off to the greatest of all starts. I woke up 10 minutes before I absolutely had to leave my apartment to get to the train station. This is lucky, because I messed up setting the alarm on my clock. I'm pretty amazed that I woke up at all, considering it was 10 to 6 when I bolted out of bed. Once I got to the station (in record time) I waited at the wrong track for a while, then I struggled with figuring out the ticket machine, as I clearly am in desperate need of caffeine in the morning. The trip itself was easy. Once I got on the (correct) train it was a fairly short ride up to New Jersey. I got off the train just as Cordelia and Kathy were coming to meet me - and they had coffee. This was a really fun meeting, as Cordelia and I have been emailing for years, but hadn't ever spoken in person. (I think we are both shyer in person than by email.) Kathy drove us to meet Kim, who I also had never met before, but have been a long-time blog friend of. All three women are lovely people and I hope to see them again soon.
Let me say that the drive to Rhinebeck is gorgeous -lots of rolling, tree-covered hills, which were stunning in the fall. We got in around noon, and first headed for food. I think the most popular item there had to be the "Artichokes French." The line was insane, and as much as I like artichokes, I'm not a big fan of waiting. After a quick lunch, we headed for the barns. Rhinebeck is the second fiber festival I've attended, with the first being SAFF. I knew I didn't want to go nuts the way I did at SAFF, so I tended to be much more cautious with my purchases this year. In fact, it was really hard for me to get started. I'm also not very good with crowds. Too many people + too much stuff = a strong sense of claustrophobia and a need to flee. Which is part of my explanation for why I don't have photos of any of the crowds or the stuff.
My general feeling is that if you spin, this is a great festival to attend. There was a lot of fiber. Really gorgeous fiber, and I almost walked home with a Golding spindle, but that's just something I don't have time for right now. There were some beautiful naturally-dyed yarns, but I wasn't finding a lot of things were really grabbing me. Some booths were just too mobbed for me to browse in, as well, which may also have held me back a bit. I stared very hard at the Brooks Farm booth, thought hard about Creatively Dyed yarn (seasilk, particularly) passed by The Fold a few times, and I really wanted to buy something at Briar Rose. In the end, I made my purchase at Sliver Moon Farm. I really like the way variegated yarn looks in the skein. I love it. BUT - I seem to not like knitting with it as much as I like semi-solid yarn. So I ended up with this.
Not a whole lot of sock yarn there, which may or may not have been a good thing.
The most fun part for me was seeing all of the knitwear. It was fascinating being somewhere and having the experience of people focusing on looking at your knits, not you. There were some amazing things there. I spotted one "famous" blogger, and I'm ashamed to admit I did that thing where you openly stare at someone (I suck at connecting names and faces, so I was trying to figure out why she looked familiar for a really long time) - but she smiled at me, so I feel a little less ridiculous. I got a few compliments on my Selbu Modern hat, which was very flattering. I still see all of its flaws, but I'm really proud of it.
That's all for now. Except for the required animal photos.