Rhinebeck 2008 – Alpacalypse Now

Another Sheep and Wool Festival has come and gone, and once again I have post-festival exhaustion.

I arrived at the airport just as Anne and Kim were approaching on the highway. They picked me up at the airport and we managed to find room in the car for me and my bags, then away we went to the cottage that Anne had rented for the weekend. It was located on the grounds of a small horse farm and it was absolutely gorgeous, if a bit dusty.

And maybe a little buggy. There were several spiders in the bathtub who were just waiting to spirit one of us away. Luckily Anne took a shower and did a little re-creation of the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan with the shower head, and the little critters did not bother us much more for the rest of the trip.

On Friday afternoon we went to the CIA’s Escoffier restaurant for lunch. It was fantastic, of course. For me, the best part was the mushroom soup – not heavy at all, lots of finely-chopped mushroom and a nice nutty taste. It was awesome.

Our waiter, Jeff, was also the creator of one of the desserts that Kim got. Yes, “one of”. Kim seems to have this special rule for vacations that says any dessert is fair game.

Let me take a moment to talk about my hosts and companions for this trip. Anne (of Knitspot.com) is one of the kindest people I’ve had the pleasure to meet. She’s written scores of patterns and has lead a fascinating life, but she’s completely unassuming and, dare I say, a bit nerdy. (I dig nerdy and I mean that in the best possible way, Anne.)
Designer Anne Hanson

Kim is equal parts super hero, knitter, and mom. Close your eyes for a moment and think of the most dynamic woman you know. You know, someone who really has their game together and can keep their eyes on a dozen different fires at once. Okay, now open your eyes so you can keep reading. Kim is twice that with a double scoop of fabulous thrown in.
Kim 2, Desserts 0

So, clearly, I had awesomely cool housemates.

Right, back to the CIA. After lunch, Kim bought a book from the bookstore that was co-authored by the maitre’d of the restaurant, so she took it back in to get autographed. Anne and I hung out on the grounds outside and waited for her. when she showed up, she told us that she’d spoken to him and discovered that he had a secret identity.

He’s a spinner.

It started when he went to a couple of fiber fairs with his wife and did the whole “holding the purse” routine. And then he saw someone spinning on a wheel. And he was enthralled. So we all went back inside, Anne bought a copy of the book too, and we took a picture. (Unfortunately my picture sucked.) We would see him later at the Ravelry party and at Rhinebeck.

I could not sleep Friday night, which kind of impacted my ability to enjoy Saturday. But the three of us did venture into the Fair to experience all sorts of fibery ecstasy. As soon as we walked in, we went to Briar Rose fibers and Kim got a couple of skeins shoved into her bag straight away.

Throughout the fair I ran into a lot of knitters and fiber-related folks. Some of them I knew through this blog or through their blogs; some I’d met before.

I finally got to meet Lynn face-to-face.
Me and Lynn

I got to meet Canadian Margaret and her husband – this would be the husband, Mike.
Me and Mike from Ontario

I saw AKKnitter again, she of the generous stash-giving.
Michelle definitely Got Bob

JavaJem was in attendance as well.
Me and JavaJem

Saturday night we made a brief stop by the Ravelry party but we didn’t stay, which was fine by me. I really, really would have liked to stay and talk with my buddy Enchanting Juno a little more, but did I mention I hadn’t slept in over 24 hours? The Briar Rose party was our next stop and its low-key atmosphere was very, very welcome. Besides, I got to meet Amy Singer of Knitty.com.
At the Briar Rose party

Sunday I broke off from Kim and Anne and I wandered about on my own for a while. I ran in to Scout, who is dangerously eboullient in person.
Rock On Knitters, Rock On

My brother, his wife and my nephew showed up and I went back to Connecticut with them for the evening. I got to meet my nephew’s new puppy Bodie, who barked at me like I was a home invader until I finally coaxed him into eating a few treats from my hand.

On Monday, Kim and Anne and I went out to Woodstock and wandered about the town for a while. We had lunch at a place – I believe it was Joshua’s – that had really, really good matzoh ball soup. I had seconds. It was so good that I’m making some chicken soup in my kitchen right now (my house smells better than yours at the moment).

Then we went by a little . . . I’m not sure what it was – an enclave? It’s called CraftsPeople and they have all kinds of cool art for sale. I found a gorgeous ceramic mug that I could not live without.

As we were driving back, Kim asked me about my photography. She meant to say “Do you sell your pictures or just keep them for your own satisfaction”, but she chose “enjoyment” in mid-sentence and what came out sounded a lot like “Do you sell your picures or just keep them for your own sad enjoyment?” We had quite a bit of fun with that. Which is why I am now blogging it for my own sad enjoyment.

And eventually, I had to come home. I miss my travelling companions and I miss Rhinebeck. There was plenty more which I’m sure I am missing at the moment, but as the memories drift back into focus I’ll post updates.

20 Responses to “Rhinebeck 2008 – Alpacalypse Now”

  1. whichendisup Says:

    I must say, your version of the weekend is so calm, so relaxed, if I hadn’t been there I’d never know how frantic the weekend tends to become with all the meet-ups and must-have purchases. I think I may like your version better! It was nice meeting you — Jena

  2. Administrator Says:

    Trust me, it was nowhere near as relaxed as I made it sound. This is just what I can remember right now – 1039 words to cover 96 hours isn’t exactly exhaustive coverage. :-)

  3. Plum Texan Says:

    I look about like the Jolly Green Knitter right now. OH! So envious. And so very glad you had a nice time. I am swooning thinking of the tripled level of divinely hot fibery geekness in that cabin. :)

    It will be my turn next year. And I really, really, really mean it this time.


  4. bezzie Says:

    Nice time!!!

    I gotta say though, New York bathtub spiders v. Texas bathtub spiders? I wouldn’t think they’d compare!

  5. Lorena Says:

    I am so sad (no, really, just sad; no enjoyment at all) that I couldn’t get to Rhinebeck this year. But I hear that my friends kept running into you, including at the airport when you arrived…? Small world. Next year, though… next year. It will fall right around a Rather Big Birthday for me, and I think Rhinebeck might help ease the shock from that.

  6. Karen Says:

    Twins from different mothers, you and Mike are. (Why am I typing like Yoda?)

  7. Mary Says:

    Hi David,

    SO glad that you have put up pictures of yourself in that sweater so now my husband can stop wondering why I can’t stop talking about it. :-)

  8. Michelle Says:

    Oh man.. now I have to make Matzah ball soup tonight.

    Amazing weekend as always… but you forgot the pumpkin chuck. Did you get any good pictures of pumpkins or water bottles flying through the air? My camera just wasn’t fast enough.

  9. Lynn Says:

    Alpacalypse. Good one.

    A pleasure to meet you, and now you know why I hate having my picture taken – it ruins my conception of myself as a cute young thing.

    I am so exhausted from all this fiber fun.

  10. scoutj Says:

    haaaaaaa. that is one of my favorite pictures from the weekend. Did your sister see it yet?

  11. Jody Says:

    Awesome weekend! I’m so jealous you got to stay on a horse farm – how cool!!! It was so great running into you! Love it!

  12. Kim Says:

    HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!! David you are a hoot, and you are WAY too kind!!!! But I am glad to have provided you some sad enjoyment. hahaha. You are an awesome roommate!!!! – I especially appreciate your wonderful marinated carrot and french toast making abilities!!! Not to mention your map guiding skills, and of course – your ball throwing skills outside the invisible fence . . . (poor Butchie. . .. where is his picture????), and who better to make me feel completely comfy in eating two desserts at one meal, and ice cream for breakfast than my Dear buddy David?? You are the best! And I didn’t EVEN mind your snoring!!!!

  13. mom Says:

    Hey! There was another guy in a kilt! Did you notice?

  14. janna Says:

    I am so jealous that you got to meet Anne — I love her designs and, besides actually knitting a couple, have a bunch in my queue — plus, she always answers comments, which is pretty amazing!

    Someday, I’ll go to Rhinebeck….

  15. Kath Says:

    I just love that the chef was a spinner. It totally validates the time I looked over my glasses at my muggle friends and said, “Be warned – there are more of us out there than you know…”

    And did you know that you and Mike were going to sort of “twin” each other?

    Great pics & descriptions – thanks for sharing!

  16. Liz Says:

    Truly enjoyed meeting you, still think you are sexy

    Liz from Buffalo

  17. Margaret Says:

    David, that’s a lovely photo of Ann. It was great to meet you, and thanks (I think) for inspiring Mike — he’d always said work socks and Docs were good enough for his kilt, but after seeing your Toirneachs… Well, I got the wool yesterday. (Can’t believe I was in a yarn shop again a mere six days after Rhinebeck!)

    Cheers, from the Great White North.

  18. Pippypippy Says:

    Looks like a good time was had by all!
    I am totally jealous of the Bob cupcakes- I saw them already on Ravelry- insanely cute!! Marcel and I want Marcel cupcakes!!!
    You boys and your kilts! 😀

  19. Spritely Stephanie Says:

    I bumped into Anne at rhinebeck – how on earth did I manage to miss you and your kilt?!

  20. madonnaearth Says:

    Dude, what is that yarn in the photo of you and Scout? I love it; it reminds me of Indian corn!