That sums up my Rhinebeck experience.
But I suppose it doesn't really convey that experience adequately to the reader, so I'll expound a bit.
Rhinebeck. was. awesome.
And I hate to say it, but better than MD Sheep and Wool.
First, the weather. It's hard to get excited about wool and knitwear when it's 80 degrees, which is the standard temperature for MDSW (and 2 years ago it was 90!). But we had perfect fall weather for Rhinebeck, cool and crisp, with some blustery winds tossing fallen leaves about. It was like a postcard from autumn. It made me want to move to Poughkeepsie, and forget that it's probably nothing like that 10 months of the year.
And the crowds. Maybe it's just that there seems to be more open space at Rhinebeck, but I thought it much less crowded than MDSW. The vendor stalls were still a bit crazy (especially Sanguine Gryphon), but in general, there was room to walk. I did not fear being trampled. I could look at some yarns in relative peace. There was room outside to wander, benches and tables for meals, and very few children to trip over.
I have few comments on the food--it looked like there was more variety--not everything screamed LAMB!--but I didn't eat much. I wanted an apple cider doughnut and heard rumors of their existence, but didn't find any. (I did spy Connie Chang Chinchio--or her identical twin--in line for fried artichoke hearts!)
"Yeah yeah yeah, but where's the yarn?"
Here it is!
My rule of thumb at these festivals is to buy things I CAN'T buy online or at my LYS. Which is exactly why I didn't waste hours of my life standing in line for Sanguine Gryphon (though I would've loved to get some Zaftig Bugga!, which debuted at Rhinebeck. But even so, I could've ordered it when it went live this morning in their online shop--but at $32/195yds, I decided to wait.). So some of this stuff is a bit obscure and since it's not sitting next to me, I don't know exactly what it is. But I'll do my best to guess!
Let's see, that first lighter blue one is a fingering weight from Miss Babs, and the orange-y brown one is also Miss Babs (which they do sell a bit of at Fibre Space, but limited quantities / varieties). (Oddly enough, the Miss Babs booth was completely reasonable when I spotted it, and I could browse at leisure!) The blue/brown Ravenclaw-ish skein is a sock yarn, and the blue-y purple mix is a big hank of worsted weight. The red one is from Dirty Water Dye Works, I've been wanting to give their yarns a whirl. And the yellow and black skeins are DK weight that The Boy bought me all on his own, for a Hufflepuff scarf (or two!).
But wait, there's more!
Apparently I was one of the first some-odd number of people to sign up for a workshop, so I got this swag bag:
It mostly had catalogs and flyers, but came with a few useful coupons, and a free skein of Knit Picks Simply Cotton!
And aside from the yarn, there were awesome people! Most importantly, I got to meet this fantastic group of Ravelers from the HPKCHC group:
(I've shamelessly stolen this photo from one of them. Oops! Thanks CathyCake!)
Other famous knitters spotted include Deborah and Melanie from the Savvy Girls podcast, Casey, Jess, and Mary Heather from Ravelry, and Ysolda! In fact, I actually spoke with Deborah and Melanie, and they recorded some brilliant commentary from El Peruano. If you hear that in the next podcast, rest assured that I do not subscribe to his beliefs on guinea pigs as pets!
The only bummer was that I didn't get to meet up with Leann from Forbidden Woolery--we just didn't get our schedules worked out. :( She'll be at Stitches East this weekend, so if you're going, be sure to visit her for me!
Next time, I'll fill you guys in on the details of my workshop on Norwegian Cutting Techniques!
(I never spell Norwegian right.)