Monday, November 12, 2007

So very busy, so very knitty

I am deeply, deeply into giftly knitting right now. I've whipped off scarves, fingerless mitts, began a baby sweater (now on hiatus for post-holiday resumption), and am toiling away still over the dreaded afghan. So much lovely yarn about, and so many pretty patterns...why am I so easily distracted?

With my Ravelry account now keeping me acutely apprised of how many projects I have ongoing, I am trying resolutely to complete as many as possible before moving on to the next conquest. So far, not too bad.

Now, Rhinebeck. We loaded our family into the van on Friday after school and drove four hours to Albany. There was a relatively brief stop in Syracuse to appease my ten year old daughter, Bridget, who was anxious to visit the Carousel Mall. (There weren't too many people at the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival wearing Hollister shirts, but Bridget was one of them.) It poured rain on our drive to Albany, and we spent the night at a frighteningly bad Super 8 Motel near the airport. In the morning the weather had improved markedly, and we headed for Rhinebeck.

The countryside was beautiful; I hadn't such a picturesque little highway once we crossed the river. The autumn colours were peaking. We were all quite spellbound. We began to encounter more traffic once we neared the town itself, and in fact there was a long line of cars waiting to get into the parking lot once we reached the fairgrounds. The festival itself was wonderful---I'll definitely be back. Barn after barn of beautiful yarn, fleece and roving, as well as spinning wheels and felting equipment and all variety of accessories. So many attendees wore the items they themselves had made, and I recognized several shawls, scarves and sweaters. (Ironically it wasn't exactly knitted garment weather, as the temp was over 20C...) Saw loads of sheep and goats also. I felt comfortably surrounded by such incredible textures and colours...a very sensual experience in that sense.

I was quite well-disciplined in my purchasing. I came away with a beautiful skein of bulky yarn from decadent fibres, with which I plan to make a scarf for my sister. I bought some birch double points, and birch cable needles, both of which I've been thrilled with, and the price was much better than what I'd seen at Canadian stores. Also bought a few crafty sheep items, and then a beautiful carved celtic cross for my father for Christmas. There were so many lovely things at Rhinebeck...next year my plan will be to make careful notes of yardage requirements and weights to take along with me. Can't forget to include the Alligator Scarf kit from Morehouse Farm that I picked up. It's an extremely cute little knit!

It was a great day all around. My kids were well entertained by the wide variety of children's activities, and though my husband didn't come away quite as thrilled as I was, he enjoyed himself all the same.

On the way home, we got lost in the Catskills, which turned out to be one of the best aspects of the trip. The landscape was glorious: serene little roads lined with forest and canopied by leaves, and bends in the way that would lead to scenes of entire hillsides of orange, yellow and red fall colours. The detour added about two hours to the trip, but it was worth it, and we stayed over another night in a hotel about an hour south of Syracuse. This hotel was a huge improvement over our previous night---no bugs, no mildew and clean beds! We all slept soundly.