Rhinebeck ’09 – The People

Last weekend was my second trip to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, New York, the event lovingly referred to simply as “Rhinebeck.” It was another fun weekend of yarn, fibre, chilly weather and most importantly people. A time to meet up with the friends who normally reside in my computer, in my Ravelry group, CPaAGg (the Completely Pointless and Arbitrary Group group).

I once again took the “Maple Leaf” train from Toronto to Rhinecliff station, this time without the excitement of a train breakdown adding extra hours to the already long (11.5 hours) ride. It was a boring ride, but I whiled away the hours knitting a sock and listening to an audio book (“I Can See You” by Karen Rose, a good mystery story).

I didn’t take nearly as many pictures this year as I had last year, although the event was well-documented over-all between the lot of us. Once again we hung out a lot at the Holiday Yarns/Tsarina of Tsocks booth, where Gwynivar and the Tsarina herself extended their hospitality to us.

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Here are Pixisis, Brewergnome (of Gnomespun Yarns), and Honeychild, in the booth. Brewergnome was kind enough to teach both Honeychild and I how to spin with a drop spindle, which was both kind and smart, as now I have need of his pretty fibre for further spinning practice.

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We all attended the Ravelry meet-up on Saturday. The weather was not as bad as they’d been predicting – we even had some sunshine. It was chilly, but we were prepared this year, with layers of woollens to keep us warm. This is Knitterotica, ZaftigWendy and Physsijim at the meet-up. ZW and Physsijim came all the way from Texas to join us this year. It was so amazing to meet them in person! Knitterotica and her husband, MrKnitterotica, came all the way from California for the second time. It makes my little train ride pale in comparison.

Saturday night was the Ravelry party, held once again at the Elks Lodge in Red Hook. They were a lot better prepared this year for the hordes who descended on them, with bigger heated tents, and off-site parking with a shuttle bus running back and forth.

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It was fun to sit and catch up with everyone, write entries into the travelling VLT (The Very Longest Thread, provided for us once again by Pixisis), eat snacks, and not win any door prizes (well, not me, at least).

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That’s the Ravelry crew announcing the winners, with mascot Bob off to the right. Bob was a great hit all weekend, his head designed, knit and worn by the lovely designer Ysolda Teague.

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Zuzusunshine provided us with lots of cupcakes and home-brewed beer again this year – thanks!!! Here she is handing out some cupcakes at the Ravelry meet-up. Where would we be without cupcakes?

Some other highlights this year were: lining up for half an hour for Artichokes French, which was made more pleasant by the company of Knitterotica, MrKnitterotica, Sedonaknits, Knittingfiddler and Potteryfreak, and others of our group who passed by from time to time and stopped to chat (yes, the artichokes were very good); getting encouragement and spinning tips from SandiWiseheart and Habitrot when they were at the Holiday Yarns booth on Sunday; going out for dinner on Sunday evening with Jesh, Pixisis, Knitterotica and MrKnitterotica for a great meal and some fun with photography on the way back; sitting in the hotel lobby with the gang, knitting, spinning and being serenaded by MrKnitterotica (a very talented singer and musician). Lots of fond memories. It was also great to meet in person a few more folks from CPaAG – it’s always so cool to match faces with ravatars, and to discover that we are all just the same in person as we are online. (And in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’ve used everyone’s Ravelry names here).

I did also do some shopping over the weekend, but I haven’t taken pictures of my purchases yet. The next post will be about the Rhinebeck Stuff.

The only downside to this whole event (aside from it being too short) was the Swinebeck Flu – quite a few of us came home to sore throats, coughs and fevers and took to our beds, myself included. We will remember this one as the Year of the Hamthrax! *cough, cough*

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