October 20, 2009

Rhinebeck 2009!

Yes, we made the trek north again for the New York Sheep and Wool Festival. And what a year it was! It was such a good time that I hardly took any pictures, but I have plenty of haul shots to share, not to worry.

It's always a big treat to get to wander among the sheep who grow all the wool for us. Thank you, sheepies! (and shepherds!!)
Big sheep!
(this photo doesn't begin to capture the enormity of this Rambouillet ram. He's HUGE!)

The Ravelry meetups are also a blast.
Ravelry meetup
(thanks for this photo, E!)

And it is was great to catch up (in the rain and frrrreezing cold) with Ysolda. (Her Vivian design from fall 2008 Twist Collective was a very popular sweater at this year's fest!)

And that's where my actual Rhinebeck shots end. Sad, no? Next year I'll try to take more pictures. The knitwear spotting was fabulous and I wish I had caught more (any??) of the beautiful sweaters in photos.

I came home with everything I wanted, and stuck well to the shopping plan. Hurray!!

Briar rose lace
Braving the early Saturday morning crowds in the Briar Rose tent rewarded me with this beautiful slate green merino/tencel laceweight.

Ruit farm yarn
And holy Coopworth. This pile of yarn comes from two farms in Maine that shared a booth at the festival, and both farms raise the longwool breed Coopworth. I wish you could feel this yarn! It counts as next-to-skin soft in my family!
The naturally dark brown yarn comes from Hatchtown Farm (4 skeins) and the natural silver/pewter comes from Ruit Farm North (10 skeins!). Lots and lots of 2 ply dk weight fun in my future!!

I decided that I was allowed to buy one really special fleece for myself, and so parked myself in line for the opening of the fleece sale. I knew it would be crowded, but I wasn't quite prepared for the Filene's Basement style of the opening moments of the sale.
Fleece sale
Phew! But everyone was courteous and even kind. People seemed genuinely happy for one another when they found what they wanted!
And boy did I ever find what I wanted.
Rhinebeck 2009 fleece
Check out that beauty. Four pounds of merino, dark dark dark brown (almost black in sections), cleanest fleece I've seen in a long time, and with an incredible staple that ranges from 2 to just over 3 inches! AMAZING. Not a hint of tipping or matting, almost zero VM, thoroughly skirted, and did I mention the staple length??
fleece staple
Swoon. And that isn't even one of the longer locks.
Sadly I forgot to write down the name of the farm before checking out, and they collect the tags with the farm names for the sale records, so I'll never know where this beauty came from. (Unless one of the ladies hovering behind me eyeing the fleece at the sale stumbles across the this post and happens to remember!)

The real highlight of the weekend for me was picking up the spinning wheel I dropped off for restoration at LAST year's Rhinebeck.
Wheel restoration
I am so thrilled and can't wait to tell the whole story of this wheel, but really - she deserves her own post. Check back for the saga of this late 18th century Norwegian wheel and her wonderful restorer, Dave of The Merlin Tree.


Ibunnysavetroy said...

what a gorgeous wheel! I thought my 1960s one was old!

sewstylish said...

Love all the goodies. I met you at the Briar Rose booth and was asking about your zippered urban aran. Could you email me some details on how you did the front. I just cast on for it last night and am working on the back but am clueless on how to do the front for the zipper. Thanks