Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rain and Autumnal Pleasures

Where to start? Rhinebeck has come and gone and my trip was great except for the non-stop rain. It really put a damper on the entire week. It rained in NYC, it rained in Rhinebeck and it rained in New Jersey when I visited my folks. I've been busy packing and unpacking, catching up on sleep and wondering why I haven't posted to my blog or more importantly, why hasn't the house magically cleaned itself?

My trip started in NYC, my hometown and favorite city on the planet. I got to see friends, Hair on Broadway and dined all over the city! I yarn crawled my way from the Upper East & West sides to 14th Street and back. There are some really interesting shops in NYC, even some in old brownstones that made for beautiful retail spaces that could easily be stupendous homes. What I wouldn't do? I drank too much and had a blast at old haunts and new favorites. No matter how long you live in NY or no matter how often you visit, there's always something new to see. In a single day you can visit a first-class museum, a yarn shop, listen to street music, watch old men and young studs play boccie, walk Central Park, shop on Madison Avenue, see a Broadway show, ride a carousel, eat a falafel and have a nightcap in a posh lounge. And that was just Thursday! Thanks to Susie, (she's following the blog now, hi Knitting Knoobie) for her recommendations as I traversed the city in search of shoes and sweets!

Early Saturday morning I headed up to Rhinebeck. I jumped in my rental car and had a lovely drive up the Taconic Parkway, one of the most beautiful scenic drives if you ever get the chance! I arrived at The NYS Sheep & Wool Festival in time to catch the Circular Sock Machine demonstration. I haven't given up on my antique baby and got a ton of helpful hints just in time for some Christmas sock knitting. Keep your fingers crossed!

One of the things I love about Rhinebeck is seeing all of the interesting things that people are doing in the fiber community but this year, not so much. For the most part, the vendors were the same as last year and showing the same things they showed last year. Honestly, it's a spinner's show with tons of fiber, fleeces and roving but not so much on the yarn end. The part of Rhinebeck that intrigued me last year were the unique/hand-crafted things going on in the industry. I had no idea that the same vendors simply come year after year with basically their same wares.

While in Rhinebeck, I found out that Woolcott & Company in Boston is closing. I know Sean, from the Men's Spring Retreat and I was truly saddened to hear about his shop. I don't particularly know him well and never had the chance to visit his store but local yarn shops, vendors and farms need to be patronized by all of us to keep them in the black. Next time you need yarn (so that means tomorrow) make sure you stop in on your local neighborhood shop. It may cost you a little extra, yes...but you'll be saving a tradition that's slipping away from us.

When I moved to Florida I really learned how much the local yarn store experience matters to the communal nature of knitting. I don't knit nearly as much as I did when there was a shop to go to on my day off, where I'd visit with like minded friends and learn something new in the process. If we don't patronize these stores, they can't stay open. It's that simple. ::end soapbox::

The rain held off long enough on Saturday afternoon to have a visit with the boys from the Men's Knitting retreats. It was great to see familiar faces like Joe, Stephen (who recenty honeymooned in Paris. If you haven't read his twitter updates you're missing out), Guido, Alasdair, Sean, Mark, Ted and John! (who'd I forget?) I even got to say hey to Will, one of our followers here at "HookedOnTheNeedle" and met Aaron and MMario (the lace King)!

From there, I was off to meet Jessica and Juli! Poor Monica got a case of the Hamthrax that was going around and didn't even make it to the show floor. She suffered so having made the trip all the way from Oregon. We got to hold hands on Sunday morning in the parking lot while she tried to convalesce in the car. Juli got a bunny, I chatted with Dan, I met Knitterotica (while lost from Juli & Jessica) and Wendy & I gave each other belated-birthday hugs. We share the same birthday! As I mentioned earlier, the show was a bit of a snooze but the Rav folks, especially the boys and the crazy kooks at CPAAG made it worth the trip!

With that, I was off to New Jersey for some family time. I even got to go to a pumpkin patch, my first ever! I knit a pair of fingerless gloves for my sister while I was home but of course, didn't get a chance to sew them up. I hate finishing. Have a mentioned that? One more early morning flight out of Newark and I was home again, sweating my ass off in Florida! It is November, yes?

Rereading this post it sounds like I didn't have the greatest time. Honestly, I'm traveled out. I was in Arizona for almost 3 weeks. I came home for 6 days and headed out to NY. The trip unexpectedly came entirely too close to too much work-related travel. I couldn't really enjoy my splendid NYC digs while jonesing for my own bed back home. I loved seeing the Rav folks and the boys of the retreats and wouldn't change my exhausted state for anything....but next year, I may pull the plug on Rhinebeck or convince myself that it's okay to sleep in and miss a moment or two. Lisa/Mel are you listening? It's all up to you. That's all I'm going to say. ;-)

For now, I'm glad to be home, knitting my fingers away on too many works in progress and waiting patiently for the house to magically clean itself!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Out & About

I'm just popping in to let you know I haven't died, it just felt like it! I've been away on business and glad to be finally home. If you haven't figured it out from the photo, I've been to the desert and I have to say, 3 weeks was enough for me. How'd the Jews do it for 40 years?! Remarkably I was not inspired to knit much in the balmy 110 degree heat but I did my best. The teddy bear is done but her little Fair Isle sweater is still a dream in my mind's eye.

I hope you're enjoying the Autumnal chill in the air and looking forward to Halloween. What's everyone dressing up as this year? I accepted an invitation to a Halloween party, my first in 30 years. Don't ask me why, I hate Halloween...except for the chocolate.

Welcome Will & Robert to the follower's list. They're both knitters and Men Who Knit Junkies, need I say more!