On Friday, I headed out with my knitting group on the 5 hour journey to the Hudson Valley. I have always wanted to attend this fiber festival; it's within a reasonable driving distance from my home, and it's one of the largest in the country! This year, we had it all planned out, and I worked my teaching schedule around it. I was going. Sheepies, here I come!
I'm a knitter, you all know this. I'm also a crocheter. Animal fiber makes me HAPPY. There's just so many things about it that appeal to me: it's softness. It's coziness. It's potential. The creative possibilities that it holds. The fact that it can keep me and my family warm. The thought of all of the yarn that lie ahead of me was enough to make me squeal with joy on Friday.
We got in, had a lovely dinner, rested up for our big day on Saturday. And what a day it was:
|Crossing over the Hudson River on our way into Rhinebeck Saturday morning|
|Very cute goat|
|That one on the left was very grumpy and spit at someone :0|
Most of the vendors had handknit items featuring their yarn on display, and thus naturally one could covet said item and desire to procure the yarn to make one herself:
|A shawl designed especially for Rhinebeck by Decadent Fiber Arts. I may or may not have bought the kit to make one as well. *halo*|
|Needle felted corn! I bought a kit to make the pumpkin counterparts :0|
And then there were the handknits. EVERYONE was wearing handknit garments. Quite literally everyone. Handknit shawls, sweaters, cowls, hats, mittens, skirts and ponchos draped every human form. It was like the ultimate fashion show for Nerdy Knitting People.
Strangers would come up, *pet* the fiber that the other person was wearing, and exclaim over each other's scarves:
"Wow! I love the colors you chose for your Fox Paws! Excellent job!"
Walking around, lovingly stroking every bit of wool in sight, I was struck by the warm sense of community. These were my people. Knitters. People who love to make things, both beautiful and practical things, with wool and sticks. It made my nerdy self tear up. When I was a kid, I never felt like I fit in. I was an owl-eyed wallflower who was too terrified of rejection to talk to anybody. As an adult, it's a good feeling to know that I don't NEED to fit in anymore. I just seek out the people like me. Reserved people who like to knit and belly dance. 😁
I was amongst kindred spirits. And it felt GOOD. I was in my happy place. And I came home with loot!
Fiber to make needle felted pumpkins, fingering weight yarn in tonal reds and golds to make the shawl pictured above, a gorgeous chocolate brown hank of alpaca in Aran weight, and enough ocean blue yarn and fiber to make 3 pairs of mittens with a tiny heart design.
I could have bought so much more. SO MUCH MORE. But I was on a budget, and I stuck to it. It all still feels very decadent and special, and I'm thrilled with what I chose!
I left completely satiated and refreshed. I was inspired, both creatively and emotionally. It was a good, good weekend. And now I'm knitting like crazy to finish up all the projects I have lying around, so that I can cast on my yarn with zero guilt! 😇
Where is your happy place, dear readers? Does it involve sheep the way that mine does? ;-) I'd love to hear all about it!