Monday, October 17, 2005

In which I meet some wonderful people and am introduced to a gateway drug

What a wonderful weekend! Taz and I went on a lovely fall hike yesterday at Sleeping Giant, which, though full of amazing views and lots of fresh leaf-scented air, took away all my energy. Seriously, I know I'm out of shape, but there was no explanation for how tired I was. Or maybe there is...

Saturday at Rhinebeck was spectacular, despite it taking the seven of us New Haven SnB-ers much longer to get there than we expected. When I pulled into the parking lot with Zarzuela, who grew up in the area, she noted that the lot was almost as full as it gets at the height of the Dutchess County Fair in the summer, which is saying a lot. And we got there just an hour after it started. After taking care of our hunger with some yummy food, we all went off in our separate directions. I was supposed to meet someone at the fleece sale so I could be introduced to the wonderful world of spinning. Not only did I get to meet her in person, and find out that she really is as awesome and funny and down-to-earth as you would think from reading her blog, but I also got to meet a couple of other knitbloggers, including Juno and Asia. They're both really cool, and I feel compelled to note that Juno is much taller than I ever imagined. Our very own Woolybuns was at the festival too, though I had no idea she was going to be there, and didn't get to see her.

Anyway, back to the story. While Cate was in the "Filene's Basement for spinners" (her words) fondling the prize-winning fleeces and filling up her hands with lanolin (I swear, fleeces are greasier off the sheep than on), I wandered around and found fiber to satisfy most of the needs on my list (see the end of my last post). I would show you what I bought, but I want to milk this for all it's worth, so I'm going to show you tomorrow instead. That, and I didn't get a chance to take pictures of it all yet anyway. So after some big spending, and tasting some wine that was waaaay to sweet for me, I met up with Cate again, and she advised me and Zarzuela in the buying of roving and spindles. I couldn't believe how much cheaper roving is than yarn. Then we all went outside to have a spinning lesson, and I realized that yarn is more expensive because that pretty, even fiber doesn't happen by accident:

Learning how to draft. [Photo courtesy of Zarzuela]

Getting the "hang" of it? (p.s. See those bags behind us?
That's her haul from the fleece sale. And I do mean "haul,"
since she didn't get around to taking it to the car and
instead carried it around all day slung over her shoulder).
[Photo courtesy of Zarzuela]

Thank goodness Cate is so patient. See that little halo over her head? It's gonna take me a while to get this right. Noting our frustration, she did tell us that the learning curve is steep at first. I think she just wanted to make sure that we don't give up before we get addicted. Nothing to worry about on my account--it is just so cool to make fiber! Who cares if it's lumpy and thick-then-thin and if some parts are a bit on the fuzzy side? I'll just have to learn how to ply it, and then if it still looks weird, I'll knit something funky with it.

The New Haven gang met up at the last possible moment of the day to carpool over to dinner across the river. Good thing Lauren was wearing her bright yellow sweater or we may not have been able to see her in the flood of fiber lovers leaving the fairgrounds. Just as we were leaving, it rained for about 30 seconds, which was just long enough to give us the perfect parting gift to end the perfect day:

OK, yeah, so some of us got lost on the way to dinner. And a couple of us who had already blown our budgets got sort of delirious waiting for others to finish picking out their treasures at this place, where we stopped on the way home. But we all had a good time, and we all made it home in one piece. And believe it or not, there was actually room for five people's yarn in the way back of the station wagon. So either we all had incredible self-discipline, or we all opted for small-but-expensive. I would like to say that I am in both categories. But you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see the yarn p0rn lusciousness.


Cari said...

Such a tease! You know we all want to see the haul...

Lia said...

Mmmm...estoy deseando ver esas fotos!

Zarzuela said...

Great rainbow pic. :) Glad everyone got home ok and you are starting to recover. You'll definitely have blog fodder for a while considering all the yummies you got. ;)


Chris said...

Ahhh, dang it - I think I missed as many people as I saw. I guess I'll just have to make it back to SnB on Thursday night to catch up. I'm lovin' how many SnBers who didn't spin are now newbie spinners! Sounds like you had a great time.

margene said...

Spinning, fiber, great people, AND a rainbow. You sure know how to live.
Drafting has been very hard for me to learn. I need to visit MamaCate!

medea said...

Tee hee, My sister was just going on and on over breakfast on how she would LOVE to spin and buy roving and just make oodles of yarn. But where can you get roving in a country where yarn comes from a plastic factory?

Ruth said...

I also bought a drop spindle and my first bag of roving at Rhinebeck ... everyone told me to save the first, lumpy ball of yarn I make, because "after you get good at this you'll never be able to do that again."

Here's hoping they're right. :)

Jen Savage said...

You can actually get spinning fiber off ebay for pretty cheap. Commercial merino isn't expensive. And if you're willing to pick up dyeing, R.H.Lindsay has undyed fiber for like $7-10 a POUND:

See ya at SnB,