Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2011 Rhinebeck Report

This morning I was sneezing so much, I took cold medicine. My nose has been running all day long, and is now sore from being blown so much. In fact, I noticed today that the box of tissues I took in to work last week is half gone already.

And if the Bruins play a great game tonight, I will have such mixed feelings, as this afternoon I was offered a pair of half-price tickets, and I was just too tired to even contemplate going. It killed me to turn them down, but there was no question in my mind: when you're wondering if you have the energy to pick up a pizza after work*, you have no business going in to the city for a game, and getting to bed late instead of desperately-needed early. It would be wasted. But still, Argh!

*I managed to summon the energy.

Thus, I am super-happy to think about Rhinebeck, not reality tonight.
Side story: At stitch and bitch last night, when I mentioned that I hadn't finished unpacking, one of the other women who went on the trip said that she had "just thrown everything in the washer", and I refrained from mentioning that not everyone has their own washer. Later, though, I got to thinking about how she's retired, and telling someone who isn't retired that you got more done than they did isn't...politic. Or terribly nice. Like, I would have gotten a lot more done yesterday if I hadn't been at work all day, you know?

In fact, I kind of want to smack her. But that's probably the tired talking. If this year's mid-October-crazies established one thing, it's that I'm too old (or too whatever) to do the two consecutive trips with no time off from work. I'm tempted to put in the time-off request for next year now.

But then, I haven't decided what would be best. Option A: take the Friday and Monday around each weekend. Option B: take the whole week in between. Both have benefits. Decisions, decisions.
Feel free to weigh in on that decision. But in the meantime, I hear you calling for the sheep pictures! Llamas! Alpacas! (Get a cup of coffee, this will take a while.) Here we go...

I was going as part of a group of 5. I went to the driver's house at 8 Saturday morning, still rather bleary-eyed, but getting excited. I loaded my stuff into her sister's van (borrowed for the occasion), and we made stop number one, where we got two others of the party, and stop number two, where we picked up the last one (the 11-year-old niece of the driver, who was very excited).

I don't know exactly what time we got properly on the road, but we had no issues on the way, switched drivers a few times (more knitting time for everyone!), and arrived around 12:30. This year, we traveled farther down the Taconic State Parkway than before, meaning that we didn't get on route 9 at all, but came in to the fairgrounds the back way, and it worked out really well, as in previous years the backup on route 9 was considerable. Definitely do that again.

The drawback to arriving when we did was that the Yarn Harlot was signing her new book from 10-12, so we missed that (and in fact I never saw her over the weekend at all, though one of my friends saw her in passing). However, we were in time to go shopping! Yarn pictures to come, but I got a skein of Socks That Rock at The Fold's booth, as I did last year and the year before. I also wanted to get more Foot Notes yarn from Fiber Optic, as I finally knit the skein I got two years ago, and really liked it. The Fold had some of her fiber, but not yarn. However, in the next building, I found that she had a whole booth of her own! I caved and got two lovely skeins, and got to tell her how much I liked what I got before (and she was so pleased), which was nice. I bought a signed copy of Stephanie's book, too, at the author area. I bought some buttons, pictures to come. I bought more yarn, details to come. And I saw llamas and alpacas and goats and...

Wait, that's a rabbit. Well, you can't deny that he's a fiber-bearing animal, can you?

More rabbits!

Ah, here's a sheep. I don't think he was pleased by the flash, but he kept moving his head, and the blurry-horns pictures were not working for me.


Speaking of moving, first the white one...

Then the black one. They planned that.

At one point, I bumped into a knitting friend of mine, who hadn't thought she'd be able to make it this year. How random! Then I saw her at least three more times on Sunday. Isn't that funny?

Saturday was simply a great day. By the time we left, I was plenty tired, but in such a good way. We ambled down to the motel to check in, and I took the time to check the length of my sock, which I'd worked on during the drive and during rest breaks throughout the day.

Toe time!

I started it at SnB on September 26th; this is pretty fast for me. I finished it at dinner, which we had at the classic Eveready Diner in Hyde Park, and started the second sock at once because what, I'm going to not knit? Since when?

We went back to the diner for breakfast (of course), and I snapped some of the classic cars in the parking lot. Either they rally every sunny weekend, or they happened to be rallying this year and last year over the sheep and wool weekend. Anyway, we saw fun cars in the parking lot and on the road later.


And back to the fair. Saturday's weather was mostly overcast, some sun, and one passing downpour (which I was lucky enough to be inside during). Sunday was sunnier, though still plenty of clouds, and since it wasn't as windy it wasn't as cool. Both days I wore a mock-turtle under a t-shirt, and I brought fingerless mitts and my Frost Diamonds for when I needed a little more. I got several compliments on that, which was unplanned but very pleasant. It was fun to be in a crowd where so many people had lovely knits on, appreciated knits, and were knitting everywhere you looked.

Sunday is much less frenzied than Saturday, though of course there is a drawback to that:

Isn't "booth minion" a great description, though? Anyway, Sunday is a good day for seeing the animals and checking back on booths that were too full to get into on Saturday. I did get a bit more yarn (naturally), but not as much as Saturday.

Can ice cream be farm fresh?

These guys were in the prize area:

This was my second breakfast. Light pastry and solid chocolate in the middle. Too big, but too good to waste. Was I ever full after that!

The pumpkin chuckin' contest was, sadly, cancelled this year, I don't know why, but at least I got to see the Leapin' Llamas (and alpacas) again.

I'm still no expert, but I think I have a way to tell llamas from alpacas.

Llamas are beautiful and elegant:

And alpacas are cute!

Of course, there's plenty of variety in each.

The local 4-H club, the Spitters, did very well in the contest.

Seriously cute, right?

Now, I know this guy was talking to the human near his llama, but, you know...

With a little cropping, doesn't it look like he and the llama are deep in discussion?

A lovely wall of color:

The biggest crochet hook I ever saw.

Don't worry, this was not the start of a fight. The dog was Really Interested in the sheep, and wanted to get closer, while his owner was holding him back. The sheep was not at all bothered.

Really. See?

The dog was allowed to get the closer sniff he was dying for.
It was very cute.

This sheep, meanwhile, has dreads. Just a little forelock of dreads.

Like the llamas at Apple Festival, this sheep was sure that next door's hay was better.

I love the variety in coats. There's deep crevice-type:

And curly-coat! (These are not technical terms, in case that isn't blindingly obvious.)

In his coat, in the sun, this guy was content. What, you thought only cows were content?

And sheep of a feather(-coat) flock together.

Is she smiling?

This goat walks into a barn...

Ha! Good one!

I don't get it.

And curls, too.

You has treat for me?

This is how you put a ribbon on a sheared sheep.

Doesn't that coat look deep?

You has treat for me?

Did you hear the one about the goat who walked into a barn?


Ha! I heard the one about the sheep that walked onto a barn ... and fell off!

Even with the hints, I can not tell which end is which here.

Was this rabbit soft? Well, my finger went in to the second knuckle and I still wasn't touching bunny body, just fur.

Not spectacular trees, but pretty.


Did you hear the one about the sheep...?

That's an old joke.

Well, I think it's funny!

I don't get it.

Now, if it was about llamas...

Hey, did you hear the one about the hayseed?

I was so worn out by four. Honestly, by three. But the drive home went fine, some sprinkling but nothing major, and I got more knitting done:

(I'm at the heel flap already.) I was home just after 9:30, and in bed by 10. Slept like a log, and the same last night, and the same tonight I'm sure. For now, it's time for some cat-lap-and-hockey-game.


Leslie said...

Sounds like a lovely weekend with great purchases and photos.

When I was working, two long weekends too precedence over a week off with the added advantage of two Thursday and Sunday nights with no stress!

goosefairy said...

My friend went this year (all the way from DC) and she's trying to talk me into going next year with her. I think the time of year is definitely superior for Rhinebeck than Maryland Sheep and Wool! Maybe next year I'll see you there :D