Two Left Needles

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It's been a while, I'm not sure I remember how to do this, hehe.

Hope you had a Happy Halloween:

Happy Halloween!

No trick or treating for us this year; I think next year will be our first. Scott's been a "turn the lights off and hide" kinda person, but Lily's softened him up, heh.

Speaking of Lily, here's a pic from September, at 16 months:

Sept 2008

and in October, when she insisted on trying on my sweater (Wicked in Koigu Kersti) with me:

Oct 2008 - Trying on mama's sweater

(She now regularly asks to take off her shirt when she sees my WIP's on the sofa.) 'Course, it took mere seconds for the yarn to be wrapped around her once:

Oct 2008: Trying on mama's sweater

so I reminded myself to breathe and took it off her casually. Dropped stitches? Pshaw, I may forget this when I see them, but they don't intimidate me. (I'm thinking a similar sweater fit to her size would be wicked cute on her, no?)

We made it to Rhinebeck this year! (I had high hopes of finishing Wicked, but it was not to be.) I nearly went a day early and took a carding class, but I wimped out. To make myself feel better, I took the day off work anyway and carded up some washed Romney from a fleece I picked up at MDSW earlier this year (pictured here):

Drumcarded Romney with silk

One pass on my SuperCarder made a nice prep; from R to L, pure Romney; 20% white Tussah Silk; 20% dyed Tussah Silk.

I spun a small sample:

Sample skein; drumcarded Romney with silk

Overplied; but I think it will make a nice sweater yarn. Definitely like the 3 ply on this one.

I digress.

I had a wonderful time at Rhinebeck. On Friday, we went to the Culinary Institute of America and dined in their cafe. We remembered why we don't eat out any more. Having a VERY active toddler makes it much harder to enjoy a meal. But it was worth it.

We only took 1 photo at the festival; we were too busy running around or dealing with crowds or taking care of Lily to pull the camera out. But Friday was more relaxed. After lunch at the CIA, we hung around a bit and took a few pics:

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

That's Scott's new toy. Mega wagon. It worked out well at the CIA, but was too large to navigate the crowded barns at the festival (holy crowds, Batman!). Lily did get to nap on it the first day of the festival, though, so that worked out well.

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

Yes, those are technically capri's. It was on the chillier side, but Lily is always warmer than we are. She's still at 90th percentile for height, but down to 50th for weight. We don't know where she gets it from. It's a mystery. Yeah, the capri's - she goes through clothes shockingly fast. At 18 months now, she's just outgrown her 18 month clothes.

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

She loves to run away from me:

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

She hasn't figured out how to climb stairs yet:

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

Or else she just has way too much fun leaning.

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

Running down the hill!

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

Spinning! It's a bit blurry, but I love my off-centeredness in this one:

Rhinebeck 2008: Hanging out at the CIA

Later that afternoon, we discovered the car tire had a slow leak. While we had it fixed, Scott showed Lily a cricket:

Rhinebeck 2008: Found a bug!

and she did a good job of being "gentle, gentle" with it.

Rhinebeck 2008: Found a bug!

The only Rhinebeck picture:

Rhinebeck 2008: Asleep at last

Ahhh, asleep at last.

The best part of Rhinebeck was getting to hang out with my fiber friends. I've been so out of the blog world and generally out of touch and isolated. It was good to feel welcomed and be part of the community, even for a short while. Thank You!!!

Thanks for your kind words about Gram. They were virtual hugs, understanding pats, sympathetic looks and squeezed hands that shored my spirits. I'm glad that so many of you mentioned you could feel my affection for Gram through my previous posts. Somehow that makes me feel better. And you're right, when I have this to enjoy:

IMG_5683

IMG_5685

there are more smiles in my day.

I feel so behind -- Rhinebeck (where I had a wonderful time and wished I could have spent more time with people but was so glad just to be there), Rhinebeck goodies (3 fleeces!), knitting (That Cute Flirty Skirt is done! and I was so crazy about the cabled Layered Skater's Undertop from Veronik Avery's Knitting Classic Style that I immediately bought the book -- we're reading it above -- raided the stash, swatched, and cast on), spinning (many squishy skeins to share), and even a little fleece washing (um, did I mention the 3 Rhinebeck fleeces?) and drumcarding! Maybe this long weekend is a good time to catch up?

On sleep. Hahaha.

Here's a teaser of things to come:

Drumcarding fun

The 3 rovings in front are white 100's merino and dbpg silk in blues. Would you believe it's the same blue silk as this carder 'speriment???

Darker roving in back is charcoal merino/silk, dbpg silk in reds, white alpaca fleece washed by moi, and white cashmere! Sooooooft.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Yesterday's title was an obscure BSG reference. How geeky am I?

The Goods

From Morehouse Farm Merino, enough laceweight for a simple raglan cardigan:

Morehouse Farm Merino lace

merino something or other (2 strand?) for a scarf or hat or other:

Morehouse Farm Merino

more laceweight, handdyed, for lace scarves:

Morehouse Farm Merino lace

All from the sale bin! Happy dance!

At Little Barn, 8 oz bombyx silk and 1 lb merino/silk to be dyed (bombyx to be blended, yum!):

Bombyx and merino/silk from Little Barn
I know, boring picture

Some lurvly Crosspatch Creations at Carolina Homespun:

Crosspatch Creations batts from Carolina Homespun 

Blended rovings at A Touch of Twist. Rambouillet/silk:

A Touch of Twist rambouillet/silk

and wool/nylon for socks:

A Touch of Twist wool/nylon

Handdyed merino/silk at Cloverleaf Farm, same vendor as my Falling Leaves shawl:

Cloverleaf Farms merino/silk
I'll try my luck at combining two more colorways

And the yummy handdyed cormo/alpaca from Foxhill Farm:

Foxhill Farms cormo/alpaca
yum yum yum yum yum

In the final analysis

Inevitably, I compared Rhinebeck with my experience at MDSW. Having gone to MDSW, I was not as overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people and stimuli, but I know some were. Here are my thoughts.

Pros for Rhinebeck

  • Just as Judy and Linda described, the grounds at Rhinebeck were nicer. Not as dusty, nicer layout. There weren't the swarms of people that is MDSW. It was definitely more breathable and relaxed.
  • Fall weather means people wearing knits! I loved seeing handknits everywhere.
  • I loved the fall foliage. Loved it. And not just 'cuz it matched my shawl.
  • The food at Rhinebeck was really good and reasonably priced. I would not hesitate to eat there again.

Pros for MDSW

  • There are more vendors at MDSW. It's good to have a game plan and pace yourself. There's a lot to see and do.
  • There are more events at MDSW. More classes. And more sheep.
  • The fleece show at MDSW can't be beat. Period. When I go back to MDSW (next year I'll be in labor or recovering, so maybe 2008?), I will definitely want to volunteer at the fleece show and sale. Besides meeting some really nice folks, I learned a heck of a lot about fleeces and breeds in those few short days. A heck of a lot.
  • I felt there were more opportunities to try wheels at MDSW. I was a little disappointed that there weren't more at Rhinebeck.

Draw

  • I did better with purchases at Rhinebeck, but only because of what I learned buying at MDSW. I didn't buy anything that I regret, and I'm proud of that.
  • There were more people I knew at Rhinebeck. Most likely because it's closer to home. But also, I know more people now than I did then.

PS:  I did make noise about the early departure on Saturday. Unfortunately for my sleepy head, I would do it again. Not only was Martha right about our parking spot, but we were able to enjoy the grounds and start our shopping before the rush.

I'm cracking up that hpny thought the whole Morehouse haul was mine. Ha! As IF! I mean... ahem, let's not talk about the box of Debbie Bliss yarn that arrived shortly before Rhinebeck. (Curses, Little Knits, and your irresistable sales!)

Spaazlicious, Cheryl, PumpkinMama and Kate know my habits well. My Morehouse stash was lower right. Photos tomorrow.

So. Rhinebeck Actual.

My compadres got the idea from past visits to get there early. And each time we talked about it, the earlier that time got.

I'm so not a morning person. Regardless, I got up at 6 am after staying up waaaay too late chatting and spinning. 6 am, people! We were out of the house shortly after 7 and arrived in Rhinebeck around 8.

The festival starts at 10.

[pause]

We had a delightful breakfast in town (croissant and hot chocolate, yummers), and were on the festival grounds shortly after 8:30.

Oh, did I mention the festival starts at 10?

At Rhinebeck At Rhinebeck

The grounds were quiet, non-frenzied, peaceful. The weather was gorgeous: blue skies, glorious foliage, crisp air perfect for shawl-a-wearing. And despite trepidations on the how, I wore the shawl. You betcha.

At Rhinebeck

Some vendors were still getting set up, but most were ready, so we started browsing and shopping. First purchase: Little Barn. 8 oz bombyx silk and 1 lb merino/silk. Damned budget.

At Rhinebeck

Anne dropped off her gorgeous casino shawl at the Briar Rose booth. Her photos cannot do it justice -- the marriage of pattern, rich color, tencel sheen and drape -- she's lucky she got it back.

Becky mentioned she wanted to see the fabled Socks That Rock, so off to The Fold we went. We were there at 10; the booth was packed, the line already an hour long. We bailed.

At Rhinebeck

I drooled at the Skaska booth. Soft and luxurious laceweight yarns in every fiber combination you could ever desire. I wanted to pet, gaze, admire, and study so I could spin my own. I wanted to purchase a skein so I could pet, gaze, admire and study it at home. Damned budget!

At Rhinebeck

As we headed back to the other side of the festival, we realized we had no way to get in touch with Anne and Annette, who were probably with Anne's mom and cousin. I had Becky's cell number, and she had mine, but we were together. I had Anne's number, but she had no signal. Becky and I didn't have Annette's number. Tactical error.

So Becky and I wandered and had fun and before long, I had spent the rest of my budget. A little Crosspatch Creations at Carolina Homespun, some blended rovings at A Touch of Twist and more handdyed merino/silk at Cloverleaf Farm

At Rhinebeck

At Cloverleaf Farm, Joan (I think that's her name) slowly approached me and looked at my Falling Leaves shawl. She recognized her colors, but not her yarn. I explained how I had purchased 2 colorways from her at MDSW and plied them together and she was absoluately delighted to see her handdyed fiber in a project!

The Blogger Meetup

Hoo boy. It was a zoo. I was a bad blogger. The one photo I did take:

At Rhinebeck
Anne, Stephanie aka The Yarn Harlot, and me

Hey Sis, that's for you!

All those virtual hugs from last week transformed into actual hugs and it was truly wonderful. I was delighted to meet so many people I've been emailing, who have been commenting on my blog or whose blog I've been reading, or both. I was moved to receive so many heartful congratulations and well wishes on the little goober I'm cooking up. Thank you!

Budget spent, group reunited, and with Anne having hardly looked at anything fiber related while showing her family a good time, I found my mission: Get the girl some fiber -- Quick! It was whirlwind, it was focused, it was enabling at its best. We hit all the choice spots of the day in rapid succession and her bags quickly grew. Mission: Accomplished!

At Rhinebeck

I called Scott to let him know I had spent, but not exceeded, my budget. And what did he say? Well, first he laughed. Then he said, "Let me know if you see something special. I have some money in my budget if you need it." What a sweetie. I was a little sad about not being able to buy more, but I was also determined to stay within budget. A point of personal pride, y'know? Proving I can do it! But still, a little sad.

Winebeck

Lordy lordy, that Carole sure knows how to throw a party. I was exhausted, but you couldn't have dragged me away. I enjoyed some wonderful conversations and drank way too much -- cider, of course. Words can't convey.

Back at the house we spread out our haul. And it was large. We admired. And pulled out wheels to play. I calculated how close to my budget I actually got. After 20 minutes of confusion, I realized I had $26.96 left! Elation!

Next day it went to Foxhill Farm for 4 oz of gorgeous dyed cormo/alpaca. With $6.96 to spare. And I didn't spend it.

Sunday

At Rhinebeck

Lazy day. Exhaustion. Everything between the knees and waist aching. Slow meandering through all the vendor halls. Random meetings of bloggers. Seeing Judy's beautiful dyed yarns:

At Rhinebeck

Talking about a wheel with Dave.

Reluctantly leaving. Instant withdrawal. Missing my compadres:

Our home at Rhinebeck

Home

I came home to:

  • dinner ready and waiting (salmon, rice and broccoli)
  • a clean bathroom
  • bed sheets changed to soft jersey sheets, bed made
  • my mountainous piles of clothes on the dresser all folded

What a way to come home.

Looking over my pictures, and seeing everyone else's, I realized how few I took, especially of PEOPLE. Geez. I suck.

Rhinebeck, for me, was all about the people. Sure, I got some nice fiber (yup, nice fiber!), ate some darned good food, even tried a wheel. But it was spending time with, as Carole says, my people, that really made the weekend. From spending time with Anne and her two friends, running into people randomly and at the Blogger meetup, and hanging out with scads of knitbloggers at Winebeck, it was simply fabulous to meet people face to face, have conversations in real time, and get and give hugs.

I stayed with Anne and her friends Becky and Annette, at a house they had rented for the long weekend. They were so friendly and welcoming! I arrived on Thursday and we chilled and unwound with dinner and some spinning.

The house was secluded and spacious, with plenty of space for wheels and fiber. We spun in the living room the first night:

Our home at Rhinebeck

but moved to the dining area the second night because of better lighting:

Our home at Rhinebeck

It was fabulous.

Day one (Friday) we headed to CIA for lunch at Escoffier, their French restaurant. We had a wonderful time. Good food (student cooks), loved our servers (also students), and a great view:

Lunch at the CIA

That's right, we could see them preparing our food, performing their dance. And it was a performance. When they brought our dishes, they were covered. Two servers removed the four covers simultaneously -- the reveal -- oooooh.

Of course, we had to take photos of our food:

Lunch at the CIA Lunch at the CIA Lunch at the CIA
(damned tourists)

and our desserts, which were oh, so yummy:

Lunch at the CIA Lunch at the CIA Lunch at the CIA Lunch at the CIA

We rolled out of there, quite satisfied:

Lunch at the CIA
Becky, Annette, Anne and me

On the way to the bathroom Anne pointed out this guy in the cafe wearing a skirt and knitting. It turned out to be SweaterProject guy (we left without saying hi but saw him at the Blogger Meetup the next day). We shoulda known it'd be a blogger there for Rhinebeck.

From there it was on to the Morehouse Farm Merino shop:

Morehouse Farm Merino shop

Morehouse Farm Merino shop

Morehouse Farm Merino shop

Their yarn is sooooo sooooft.

There was a sales area, and if you know anything about me, you know... I couldn't... resist... a bahhhhgain.

Thing is, I had a budget for Rhinebeck. For the whole weekend, even for things bought outside, strictly speaking, Rhinebeck. A budget that I had proposed to Scott, and which he had accepted, followedy by, "but not a penny more!" And being more the spinner than knitter (or, having enough yarn to last my lifetime and not really needing any more), I really wanted to focus on fiber rather than yarn. But. A sale. Which amounted to almost half off.

It took a long time to decide, and I think I did a good job.

Here's our combined haul:

The Morehouse haul

Impressive, eh?

Guess how much is mine? :)