Oh, how to summarize something so big and overwhelming and amazing in a blog post? It just can’t be done. So, I’ll just try to hit on the highlights:
The Trip to Rhinebeck (Friday):
I made the mistake of not taking dramamine, thinking I could somehow handle 5 hours in the car without it. WRONG. But, that particular misery aside, I spent much of the trip just oohing and ahhing at the gorgeousness we were driving past. The trees! The hills! The river! It was somewhat reminiscent of my home along the Mississippi in MN, but also strikingly different, with the trees and rocks perhaps a bit more severe. In any case, it was absolutely stunningly gorgeous, and the Hudson River Valley region is now towards the top of my “places I would not mind living” list. The 5 hour drive was the final straw for my left leg, though; I’d been having issues with the nerve damage in that leg all week, but all that sitting just killed me, so I was stuck needing to use my cane at the festival the next day. C’est la vie!
The Festival (Saturday):
The forecast had been quite ominous, predicting sleet and other such misery. While it wasn’t at all warm, it was not nearly as bad as it could be, and bundled up well, I was able to make it through the day wearing my beloved Rhinebeck cardigan as my outermost layer:
Here’s what I wore: my double-thick hat, knit back before I started this blog; 2 layers of long sleeve thermal shirts underneath my cardigan; my bulky alpaca brioche stitch scarf, also knit back before I started this blog; Mr. Estonian Mitten and his partner (knit back at the very beginning of this blog), with gloves under them for part of the day; Smartwool tights, knee high socks, and Bogs boots under my heavy cords; and of course, my cane. I took that picture after the lunchtime Ravelry meetup (in the same spot as gleek!), which was a blast. I had so much fun meeting everyone! It was like the internet had come to life, all of these people I’ve commented and chatted with were suddenly right there in front of me. I may have squealed just a little bit when I caught sight of C, who was wearing the sweater I knit for her!! I met so many people that afternoon: Mai, Tina, Danielle (whose sweater I wanted to steal!), Adrian, Cheryl (my partner in yoked sweater obsession), Pam (whose new sweater is AMAZING), the whole Ravelry crew, and about a million other people who were all totally awesome and I promise I’m not leaving any of you off the list on purpose, I just can’t think of everyone right now. I’m linking to other people’s photos, because I didn’t take very many at all…trying to handle a camera and a cane at the same time just didn’t really work for me.
At the meetup, I got a Ravelry username button, which I pinned to my hat because I didn’t want to pin it through my cardigan:
Obscure German words do not make the best usernames when it comes to conveying them to other people, but now I can just show them my button!
My husband was there with me, and was such a fabulous sport about meeting all of my knitting friends. He looked quite dashing in his handknits, I though. osloann got great photo of the two of us (isn’t my husband a handsome guy?), in our handknit hats, for part of her hats collage. He was wearing the hat I knit for him back in Ohio, along with the Seamless Hybrid cardigan I knit for him last winter.
Another highlight of my Saturday at Rhinebeck was meeting Clara Parkes, and getting a signed copy of her newest book, “The Knitter’s Book of Wool”. I’m loving it so far! Of course, I also loved her “Knitter’s Book of Yarn”, so that’s probably no surprise.
We didn’t just see people, of course, but also lovely fiber-bearing animals! My favorite was this sheep:
I’m 99% sure that’s a Cotswold. I just absolutely adore the “dreadlocks” they’ve got going on over their eyes…they remind me of muppets or something!
And of course, we saw all sorts of lovely yarns and fibers and other goodies in the vendor booths, but I didn’t actually buy anything. I know, that sounds crazy, but I have plenty of yarn to play with here at home. I still really enjoyed getting to touch and feel all of these things I’ve only ever read about online.
I got lots of compliments from people about my cardigan, which made me really happy, but what surprised me was how many people commented on my mittens, as well. For the record, I am working on turning both into patterns, but am slightly overwhelmed by all of the non-knitting parts of my life right now, so it may be awhile. I need to do some serious thinking about how to resize a cardigan pattern with such a large motif as that maple leaf, and it’s been so long since I knit the original mittens that I need to knit another pair just to remind myself of what I did while I write the pattern!
The day at the festival was completely exhausting; being on your feet for over 6 straight hours, in fairly cold weather, when you’re already having some neuropathy problems, is just plain painful, even if you’re having a lot of fun! So we ended up leaving a little early, and taking some time to rest before meeting up with Steph and company for dinner at a lovely vegetarian restaurant nearby. I did a terrible job of making note of who all was there, but I really enjoyed meeting everyone, and having delicious vegetarian food.
The Ravelry Party (Saturday):
Of course, we weren’t done after dinner! We headed to the Ravelry Party, which was already quite full of people by the time we got there. I’m a bit claustrophobic in big crowds, so it was somewhat overwhelming, and I always worry that I’m awkward at big social events like that, but it was still really nice to get to chat with people like Cirilia and Ysolda (whose Bob head/mitts/tail was the star of the whole day!). And of course, I also talked to plenty of the people I’d talked to earlier in the day at the Ravelry meetup, especially Cheryl. We ended up standing in line for the bus with Jess and her husband, and it was nice to chat with them as well, even though we were all pretty darn cold and tired at the point!
The drive home (Sunday):
With Sunday being my husband’s birthday, we had grand plans of going on a hike in one of the parks in the region to celebrate before driving home, but not only was the weather a lot yuckier than on Saturday, we were both SO incredibly beat from the busy day on Saturday that we could barely walk! So, we just drove home. It was a lovely drive, although I was asleep for most of it thanks to actually taking my dramamine this time around :)