Rhinebeck!

At long last, here is my promised entry on Rhinebeck, aka The New York State Sheep and Wool Festival.

View from the train

The view of the Niagara River Gorge from the train.

Entering the show

Finally here, after months of anticipation! This photo doesn’t even begin to show how many cars were parked out on the fields.

The crowd shot

The obligatory crowd shot – there were so many buildings and booths that I didn’t see a fraction of them. Some had sheep, alpaca and other fibre producing animals. Others had vendors selling everything from roving to yarn to knitted and woven goods to tools and books. Then there were food vendor booths lining the pathways all over the fairgrounds.The shopping was great.

But the best part was the people. I was so thrilled to get to meet a whole bunch of my friends from Ravelry.com – the ones who normally reside inside my computer. Here are photos of a few of them.

Cathycate, Jesh and Pixisis

At the show on Saturday, here are Cathycate, Jesh and Pixisis. Pixisis was my wonderful hotel roomie.

the VLT

Jesh, Pixisis, Knittingfiddler and Knitterotica. Knittingfiddler is posting in the VLT. Pixisis had the most brilliant idea to bring the VLT (Very Longest Thread) with her, in the form of a little notebook and some coloured pens. Many people wrote “posts” on location from the festival. It was a highlight of the trip!

Franklin and me

Franklin signs my copy of his new book, It Itches – a great book by a great guy!

Maryw1968, Hope, Zuzusunshine

We all gathered for the Ravelry meet-up on Saturday afternoon, in spite of the cold weather and the even colder wind. This is Maryw1968, Hopi and Zuzusunshine. Zuzusunshine is carrying some of her renowned cupcakes!

Me, Casey and Pixisis

Casey, co-founder and codemonkey of Ravelry, patiently posed for pictures with me and Pixisis. He’s just as great in person as he is online.

Rhinebeck 025

Jess is the other co-founder of Ravelry. What I said about Casey – ditto!

Rainydaygoods

Ravelry do-gooder, Rainydaygoods, writes in the VLT, Rhinebeck edition.

leaving the fairgrounds

It took forever to get out of the fairgrounds on Saturday. Look at the line-up of cars behind us. We had to skip dinner and were still late getting to the Ravelry party. No gift bags for us! At least we still snagged some free beer and munchies!

at the rav party

Here we are at the Ravelry party on Saturday night. In back are SilverCufaoil and Monicapdx. In front are Bowen and Brewergnome.

At the Ravelry party 2

Melcentrica and Maryw1968, looking a lot warmer than I was feeling. It was a very chilly night for an outdoor party, but we weren’t complaining (well, not much, anyway).

at the hotel

Breakfast at the hotel on Sunday morning. In back are Zuzusunshine and me, in front are Knittingfiddler and Pixisis. There were a lot of us at the same hotel – CPaAG Central! Note the container of cupcakes on the table – those came home with me on Monday (well, most of them did). Thanks again, Zuzusunshine!

Pixisis, Brewergnome, Tsarina of Tsocks

At the show again on Sunday, this is Pixisis, Brewergnome, and Tsocktsarina in the Holiday Yarns booth. Notice the pretty display of Tsocks in the back left corner. I spent a lot of time hanging around this booth – it was our central meeting-up spot thanks to the kind indulgence of The Tsarina of Tsocks and Gwynivar, the yarn fairy.

Manny and Tito

These snuggly little guys are Manny and Tito (Tito is the one in front), alpacas from Burgis Brook Alpaca Farm. I bought some lovely yarn spun from Tito’s soft fibre.

Most of my group went home during the day on Sunday. Some left in the morning, and some later in the day. A few of us stayed longer. Jesh, Pixisis, Melcentrica, Melcentrica’s friend and I went for dinner at the nice restaurant Gigi Trattoria, in the town of Rhinebeck, before they all took off for home. I stayed the night and caught the train back to Toronto on Monday morning. It was a pretty smooth ride, other than a delay at the border (there always has to be some sort of delay).

What an amazing trip that was. So much fun. It was great to find that the friends who live inside my computer were every bit as terrific when they stepped out into the 3-dimensional world. I can barely wait until next time.

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