I hope my readers will forgive me using a certain word in the title. It’s actually taken from a website and a hat initiative called “pussyhat project” which can be found here: pussyhatproject.com. I am a knitter and lately a bit of an activist, so this project appealed to these two interests. I came across the project on Ravelry, a social network for knitters. Last week I ordered 18 skeins of pink yarn when my favorite yarn store offered free shipping. On day four I’ve completed three hats. I keep coming across more and more people who want to attend the Women’s March on Washington — website here — and who need a warm pink hat. Because baby it’s going to be cold outside!
Larry and I just returned from a one week vacation to Iceland. While we saw a lot and I took many photos, I want to start with a post about knitting. Why, you ask? I am an avid knitter — that was one of the draws to Iceland. Also, it’s that time of year when the days are getting shorter and the evenings have a crispness in the air that lends itself to all things wooly. On top of that, Rhinebeck is coming up next month, the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival. I am in a knitting frame of mind. Continue reading
The past week or so has been jam packed. Larry and I went on a vacation — more on that later. My friend BJ came for a few days and we attended the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza at Oaks, PA. BJ is a master quilter and had entered one of her quilts in the Show. I felt very fortunate that I live close to Oaks so I got a nice visit with her. I went last year — without BJ — and did a post about it with a picture of her quilt with a ribbon. This year we went together, and, yes, another ribbon. I was not surprised because BJ is one good quilter. BJ retired a few years before I did and decided to pursue her love of fiber and become a professional quilter.
On Friday nights and Saturdays the place to go for local food items and an assortment of other shopping pleasures is Zern’s. This place is hard to describe. It’s part food market, part flea market, and part craft market. Wrap it all up into an indoor shopping experience in Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania. This iconic place has been around a long time. As a boy in the 1960s, my husband rode his bicycle there from his home in Pottstown, about six miles . Continue reading
As a student of history I appreciate old houses and like to read historical fiction and biographies. A few years ago I began researching my family history. As my parents age and have forgotten their past, I am trying to revive it. Last year we visited the house in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania where my mother spent the early years of her life The house still stands, at the top of a hill, as does the home of her grandparents across town. The current occupants have no memory of my mother’s family, but the place endures. I will make more visits like this, to see the places where my ancestors lived and worked and raised families. Continue reading
There is a special vocabulary for knitters. A UFO is an unfinished object, and a WIP is a work in progress, and DISO means you are almost finished with something but ran out of yarn so you are desperately in search of some more of it. These words are a shorthand knitting language. Then there is the SABLE, which means stash acquired beyond life expectancy. I have been working hard since October to finish some projects, and have sprinkled pictures of them throughout this post. All of them have been completed in the past two months. Continue reading
Sunday at Rhinebeck is a calmer affair. For one thing they don’t open the gates until 10 AM so visitors are forced to sleep in and relax before hitting the fairgrounds. We arrived just after 10 and cruised right in. The crowds were smaller, but still formidable. I had a list of some places I wanted to return to that I missed the day before. In addition we wanted to have a hot lunch before heading home, I wanted to get back to the book signing booth, and walk through one barn that I couldn’t even get close to the day before. Continue reading
On the Saturday of Rhinebeck Jill Draper had an”open studio”. Jill Draper is the owner of Jill Draper Makes Stuff. She is a knitter, dyer and spinner who sells yarn sourced from American sheep and spun in the U.S. and dyed lovingly by her. For the past several years she has shared a booth at Rhinebeck with Jennie the Potter. As they both attract a crowd of loyal followers, sharing a booth was no longer a viable option. Jill recently got dedicated studio space to dye and dry her yarn, so it was the perfect time for an open house. Did I mention that Jill lives in Kingston, New York, just a hop and a skip from the fairgrounds, and close to our hotel? Continue reading
Saturday at Rhinebeck means lines and crowds and waiting for almost everything including the ladies room. Being a man at Rhinebeck has its advantages. Getting in and out of the restroom is the first, and getting a lot of attention from yarn-crazed women is another. My husband is a real trooper. He comes along with me to these fiber gatherings and doesn’t complain. He doesn’t always tag along with me, but that’s ok. There are some more manly things to do, like wine-tasting and watching the dog herding demonstrations. He comes home with some bottles of chile sauce and can eat whatever he wants. Continue reading
The New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, or Rhinebeck for short, attracts thousands of people. While the sheep and the wool and the dogs and the fair food can make for a full day — or two, there is a lot more to Rhinebeck. There are many attractions in the area and a number of local stores have additional activities. You can also sign up for one or more of the classes that are offered at the fairgrounds starting during the festival.
We always get to Rhineback a day or two before the festival opens on Saturday. Now that we are living in Pennsylvania and not in the metro DC area, we are three hours closer, so we left on Friday instead of Thursday. The dogs went to their doggie daycare/boarding place on the farm. They were set for a weekend of fun and so were we.
As we had already seen a number of the local attractions, we didn’t have anything particular on our agenda. We decided to go into Saugerties, a small town north of Rhineback, and walk around.
And what better place to start than a local yarn store or LYS. The LYS in Saugerties is called The Perfect Blend. I know, I was about to attend what is probably THE largest single place in the U.S. to buy yarn and I was going to a yarn store. I did browse and help a customer choose a color for a sweater she wanted to knit for her sister, but I did not buy anything. I was saving myself for RHINEBECK.
We were walking down the street and stumbled upon an antique lamp store. By pure coincidence we needed a part to replace a broken piece of an antique lamp of ours. What good luck! During any move things get broken and sometimes, horrors of horrors, even lost. We like antiques and had a few antique lamps We went completely on memory and bought a replacement for the piece that was broken. I think we had a 50-50 shot at getting the right size. We took a chance but the prices were reasonable, and for just under $7.00 we were willing to give it a try. Unfortunately the piece did not fit. Next time we go antiquing we are going to bring the lamp with us.
As we were heading back to our car we came upon this bookstore. As avid readers we often bemoan the loss to the independent bookstore. Heck, you are hard pressed to find a Barnes & Noble these days. For a small place like Saugerties this was one big bookstore. We had to go in and browse the shelves. After yarn fumes, book fumes come in a close second. My husband, not being a knitter, would undoubtedly argue that for him, the books win hands down.
After checking into our hotel we headed for the Rhinebeck Trunk Show. This is the second year this event has taken place. It was so popular last year that this year they got a venue twice the size. Let me tell you, it wasn’t big enough. The event is organized by a group called Indie Untangled. Indie stands for independent. It “connects buyers and sellers of hand-dyed yarn and fiber, handspun yarn, and knitting-related notions and accessories”.
The Trunk Show allows the smaller vendors who don’t have a booth at Rhinebeck to get some exposure and connect directly to buyers. It give buyers a chance to see something they wouldn’t normally get to see up close. It’s a combination that works for everyone.
This is a small part of the line of eager fiberistas waiting to get in for the 5:00 opening. The first hundred entrants received a goodie bag. I got there at 4:45 and there were way more than a hundred people already in line ahead of me.
The event was a lot of fun. Here are some pictures of a few of the vendors.
To top off the evening yours truly won a prize in the raffle. I bought two tickets and put them both in the Bijou Basin bag and I guess that lady luck was with me that night.
I won two skeins of emerald colored yak-silk lace yarn and a pattern. For more information on Indie Untangled, click on this link http://indieuntangled.com. Thanks to everyone for organizing this event. I’ll see you next year.