Tuesday, October 23, 2007

So what did I get at Rhinebeck?

I went to Rhinebeck with not so much expectations as a general plan. It's hard to go into anything for the first time with a concrete idea of what you want to accomplish, but I would say I came very close. This, of course, is due to my borderline OCD planning. There were print-outs, maps, spreadsheets... in short, everything I needed to know so that I could be as prepared as possible.

I may have been a little concerned that such planning would lead to me missing out on the spontaneity of it all: the festival atmosphere, chance encounters, hidden gems, etc. But surprisingly, I felt that I truly got that and more (as evidenced by my previous post).

So what did I hope to accomplish?

  • get yarns I can't find just anywhere... check
  • get a spindle.... check
  • get some roving... check
  • get something for a bohus... not so much.
  • not buy a sheep... check
  • not buy sock yarn... check
So with the exception of the bohus yarn (I'm starting to accept that it will be nearly impossible to find a wool/angora blend in a variety of colors in a finer weight than worsted) I did pretty well, as the picture below should attest. The best part of it was, I bought with specific projects in mind so I made sure that I had enough of each yarn to actually make something other than a scarf.

The only purchase of a commercial yarn I made was 7 skeins of Araucania Nature Wool in a very lovely blue because a) it's the same yarn used in a sweater I've been dying to make (a variation on Buttony), b) there was enough of one color and dyelot for said sweater, and c) the vendor had marked it down to $5 a skein. Can't beat that.

Everything else was a special purchase (although I think that deal was pretty damn special). The Riata from Brooks Farm for the Rebecca Wrap Sweater (Caution: link is a pdf). 1380 yards of black sport weight alpaca from A Touch of Twist for (possibly) a yoked sweater (no pic b/c black is boring). 1200 yds of Briar Rose Fibers Celebration probably for the Minimalist Cardigan (but the new Interweave preview just came out so I'm sure I may find another use for this). And some gorgeous Baby Alpaca/Silk laceweight from Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm for a shawl.

The rest of my purchases were spinning related. Lots of fiber and a Shacht hi-lo spindle. While I was buying the spindle I had Jenn over my shoulder whispering incessantly about how I should get a wheel (this from the girl who says she won't spin because she doesn't need another hobby or expensive habit). I took the opportunity to yell at her for being an enabler. At which point a woman who was making a purchase next to me yells out "Isn't that the point??? Why else would you be here?!?!" Touche!

I was nervous though. What if I'm bad at spinning? And what kind of fibers can you use on a drop spindle? It wasn't until I ran into Kylie at lunch who showed me the roving she had purchased and added the advice of her friends that really you can spin anything on a spindle that I took the plunge and returned to the Sheep Shed where I had earlier admired the most beautiful roving.

So I spent a considerable amount of my funds on roving. The guys at Fantom Farm were great and gave me a great magazine of spinning articles with lots of useful tips when I bought roving from them. I also bought a book from Stream Valley Farm to help me out. I started playing with my new toys pretty much after I got home and I'm hooked.

Not good, but hooked nonetheless. I'll get better with practice right? ;) And then I can get a wheel.