Saturday morning I was up by 6 and worrying myself sick over what to wear. For the occasion, I had bought myself a new pair of jeans in a comfortable size up from what I normally wear and last week I was horrified to discover I could not get them on. Thanks to the recent tummy bug, this morning, I happily discovered I could once again zip them up. Now the problem was what to put on up top.
It was warm-too warm for the sweaters I had slaved over all summer. All the sweaters I had packed never made it out of the bag-not even at night. Ditto for the scarves and shawls I had brought along.
The next big dilemma was what color Crocs to wear.
I thought the brown ones looked the best with my fancy socks so brown it was. They would also match the mud I was anticipating so they seemed the most practical.
By this time The Mister was sick of my primping and ready to hit the road. At 8:30 we checked out of the hotel and drove a few miles up the road in a dense fog to the fairgrounds. There was no traffic. None. Anywhere. I was wondering if we had the right weekend. We sailed right in and parked only a few rows from the entrance.
The gate opens at 9 so we stood in line to get in but once they started taking tickets it all moved very quickly. By the time we got in, the fog had burned off and the sun was shining. It was a gorgeous day after all.
For the first half hour, this is how the main halls looked. Empty.
I could take my time picking out the BFL/Silk braid I came to get at Misty Mountain Farm.
I even visited the nearly empty fleece sale-twice but I came home without a fleece. I really didn't need any and to tell the truth I didn't see anything that tempted me. I also thought the prices were high compared to what I am used to paying at MDSW.
There were a lot of knitting superstars at the festival but my most exciting moment was when I got to meet Nancy Shaw, the author of the Sheep in a Jeep series of books. Her books were held in very high regard by my first graders, back in my teaching days. I just had to get her to sign a few copies for some babies-to-be I will soon be getting acquainted with.
She even drew in an extra little guy behind the counter in each one. She was very sweet and I was beyond tickled.
By this time things were starting to get very crowded in the exhibition halls, so The Mister and I took a break and went out to watch show dogs do amazing tricks with frisbees.
As a Marylander, it pains me to say this but Rhinebeck beats the pants off Maryland Sheep and Wool in terms of having places to stretch out and get away from the crowds. You'd never know there were a zillion and half people right behind me.
While we were outside, we went up the hill to get a cider doughnut. People were raving about them on Ravelry and rightly so. As the sign says, they are delicious.
There is always something I come home wishing I had bought and on this trip it was of all things, pickles. Everywhere we went we saw people carrying around containers of them so since Daughter was home doing critter duty, we stood in line to get her a pint of half sours. If I ever go back to Rhinebeck, I will be bringing myself home the largest container they have. Goodness gracious, they are good.
I did buy myself an apple for lunch. I wasn't going to stand in those famously long lines for lunch or waste any money on food when there was fuzzy stuff to buy.
I walked through all the barns and exhibit halls several times in search of treasures. I don't have any photos to prove it because I discovered the hard way that vendors are snippy about taking pictures. The exhibit halls are also very dark so even my sneaky attempts were all failures. After several hours of my undercover photo-journalism, The Mister was getting a little frustrated. He also began to feel ill. By the time we left he was coughing and sneezing up a storm. By the time we got home he had a full blown miserable head cold. In spite of the pressure, I did manage to find a few goodies to bring home. I took a moment before we left to sit and relax under a tree and take stock of the day's haul.
I had a BFL/Silk braid from Misty Mountain Farm
in the Elven Woods colorway....
...a layered gradient braid from Fiber Optic
...and two adorable 2 ounce braids of Polwarth/Silk from Bitsy Knits Fiber Arts
in the Tantrum colorway. I am very excited about these mini braids. Instead of splitting a 4 ounce braid onto two bobbins, I can spin each braid onto a bobbin for a fairly even 2 ply. I am hoping once festival season is over their Etsy shop is full again because, of course, now I really wish I had bought more of these.They had some lovely colorways.
Last but not least my books which are destined to be two baby shower gifts in the very near future. You would notice there is no yarn in the haul this time around. I really looked. I really tried-but the lines were always too long to pay for things that I wanted when I had an increasingly antsy Mister lurking in the background.
Here is my final parting shot as we whizzed by on our way out of town. It looks deceptively calm here but I assure you the place was rocking. I could never get a decent crowd shot without getting some strangers face front and center. We
escaped at about 2:30 in order to get out of the mountains by dark. I have a intense fear of kamikaze deer and since I was going to do a lot of the driving home I wanted to be on the New Jersey Turnpike before dusk. The Mister and I both agree that if we do this again next year, we will be taking the train up and just making a day of it. We spent a fortune in gas ($4.22 a gallon up there!) and and an unbelievable amount on tolls (more than $50!)-not to mention the hotel room ($196)-all to walk around a festival for a few hours and stand in extremely long lines to buy things I can get pretty much get online. Rhinebeck is certainly a magical wooly wonderland and I highly recommend it for the awe factor-but one day is plenty. There is
a such thing as too much of a good thing especially when it is surrounded by a crowd of thousands.
Having said all that, I am already looking forward to going back next year.