Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants On October - 19 - 2004   ShareThis

OK, I’ve been back from Rhinebeck for a couple of days, I didn’t just set up residence in one of the empty sheep stalls (but don’t think I wasn’t already making a nest when they caught me). I brought home so many new distractions, I could barely peel myself off the couch to practice simple personal hygiene, so the blog got a little neglected. But now I’m ready to share my haul with you. Well, you can look at it. No touching. I may bite.

We went on Sunday and the weather was just beautiful. The night before, we had a great dinner with my cousin Elaine, her husband Bob, and a couple of their friends. One friend was a lovely woman, very serene and kind. Apparently she had raised her kids in a commune in the 60’s and is very liberal and outgoing for her cause, but not all up in your grill. I would describe her as having a cool elegance. The other friend was a man whom my cousin described as an “unrepentant communist”. When I laughed, she said “You think I’m kidding?” His name is Bob and he was all up in your grill. But not in a bad way. He’s probably in his mid 70’s (just a guess, I could be way off in either direction) and he appears to be a bottomless well of lively and entertaining conversation. And he is indeed the most left wing person I’ve ever met. It was strange coming out of an older gentleman, but also incredibly refreshing. He wanted nothing to do with computers and the internet and all that kerfuffle. As a software programmer, I couldn’t help but be amused and jealous at the same time. Because Jon and I were company and kind of new to the fold, they all put their clothes on when they got out of the hot tub (we didn’t go in). Normally they don’t rush about it. Is my cousin cool or what?

Once at the festival, we met up with my mother-in-law, who is sweet and sprightly. She’s just rediscovered knitting and was thrilled to be in the thick of it. Bob and Elaine joined us later in the day and were looking at sheep for the farm they just bought. It’s not ready yet, but when it is, there will be critters. We took a camera, but only took two pictures. Here they are.

This is an Olde English Southdown Miniature Babydoll Sheep. I don’t think this was the actual vendor, but it has more pictures of these ridiculously cute things. They’re a lot like Ewoks, except for one major difference – I didn’t want to punch any of the sheep.

And this is a llama. I guess he’s cute, too. But you’ve got to try pretty hard after the Babydoll. Better luck next year, buddy.

I have to add that Jon (my husband) was very well behaved at this event. He whined minimally and actually showed interest in the spinning wheels. I suspect he wanted to take them apart and leave the bits strewn about the festival grounds. I told him we could try to find the husband pen and I’d drop him off there. Unfortunately, if such a thing existed, they’d want to talk about sports. He was better off with us gals and the pretty yarn. Next year he wants to open a booth for Yarn Widowers that will have a bunch of reclining chairs, Playstations, and a fountain of beer.

Alright already!! Get to the good stuff, Yappy McYap-pants! When we arrived, I made a bee-line for A Touch of Twist’s booth. I have a huge crush on their yarn. I placed an order for some Stormy Skies, which they didn’t have on hand. I also got some Middle Earth (I love their color names). I’m perpetually impressed that this is undyed.

After that, we wandered and it took me a while to get focused. I got a hold of myself and took a stroll down the Spirit Trail where I happened upon this lovely fluff.

It’s Cormo and has been taking up a lot of my time since I’ve been back. Jen was really nice and directed me to Grafton Fiber’s booth where I purchased a lovely drop spindle (mine is a dark brown hardwood called Bocote). I showed it to my brother, who is a carpenter, and he thought it was gorgeous. I asked how much he would have charged me for it and his answer was “Probably more than $30!”, so I got a good deal. Actually, my mother-in-law got a deal. She bought it for my impending birthday. Yay! AND, Jon actually want to take a crack at it. Yowza! I’ll have him converted to our yarny ways before long. mwaah ha ha ha haaaa . . .

I started trying to spin as soon as we got home Sunday night. I think I’m getting the hang of it. Here are some results so far.

I also stopped at Delly’s Delights Farm (I love that name!) and got a pound and a half of natural black alpaca.

And so begins the Age of Alpaca. It’s my new favorite yarn and I want to be swathed in it from now on. My brother agreed as he held up the skein Middle Earth to his face (turns out he’s a yarn sniffer, too! Must be genetic.). I offered to make him a scarf with it and he said he didn’t need anything that big. He just wants something big enough for his face so he can feel it all day.

As we were leaving, I ran over to Wild Apple Farms to pick up this wool for a great price ($4 each!).

I’m going to make a stripey felted bag for myself with it. I should have gotten more – they had lots of colors and the more you got, the cheaper it was. But I had hit my budget and behaved myself (plus I had no cash left).

I got one more thing, but it’s a secret. It’s for Melanie and I don’t want her to see it. But I think she’ll really like it. Can you keep a secret? If I show you, you won’t tell her, will you? Promise? Ok. Here it is. Think she’ll like it? I’m going to see her Saturday, which is good because I don’t have a whole lot of room. I hope she likes it.

And that was that. It was a great time and I will definitely go back next year. I was hoping to spot some bloggers, but since I’m terrible with names and faces, I may have been bumping into them all day without realizing it (I probably bumped into you when I was pretending to trip on (to prove a point) one of the gigantic baby Cadillacs people were parking in the middle of the aisles – seriously! Smack dab in the middle!). There should be a blogger sign in book so you know who’s there.

Oh, and because it’s almost Halloween, here’s is a terrifying picture to get the hairs on your neck standing on end.

Notice how Dot is summoning all of her supernatural power, causing her eyes to turn to laser beams that will disintegrate anyone who dares get in her way of eating all this delicious yarn? Luckily we had some tuna treats nearby. They are her kryptonite. Man, just seeing her near it is going to keep me awake for days. It’s worse than the end of Blair Witch. Gah.

13 Responses

  1. Lauren says:

    This was your first try at spinning? Your yarn looks great :) Wow, you got some really yummy stuff… almost too much to take in. Love the stuff you got.

    Thanks for sharing all the great photos and stories :)

  2. A Touch of Twist is *awesome*. The guy who runs it is so, so nice and remembers DD and I from year to year at Cummington and NH Sheep and Wool which makes me feel really special, especially with the number of people he sees every year!

    It’s so funny you mentioned them because jusst last night I pulled out some yarn I spun with fiber who came from him and wondered how he was doing. Does he have a website yet?

    this is lynn at

  3. melanie says:

    You got me OOMPA LOOMPAS!!! OHMIGOD that’s like, the best present EVER!!!

    Seriously great haul! I’m drooling over the black alpaca and your new roving. Beautiful spindle too! Hooray for new hobbies!

  4. Lauren, yes, this is my firt attempt. Thanks! I made it pretty thick first the for the first try. That’s what I knitted the swatch with. I just don’t know how strong it will be that way. I started a new batch that’s much thinner so I can ply it with another strand. It’s fun, but if you do it for too long, you can end up with a sore shoulder.

    Lynn, it’s nice to meet a fellow fan of A Touch of Twist! They really are nice people and their yarn is just amazing. I just love everything about it. Unfortunately, they don’t have a website yet, but you can order stuff over the phone. You can also request a color card to make shopping easier. Their number is 518-864-5885. Just order two of everything and you’ll be fine!

    Melanie! I can’t believe you PEEKED! Of all the . . . well, now I don’t know if you deserve the Oompah Loompahs. Hmph! Actually, I can’t wait until you take them, they’re leaving droppings all over the house. :)

  5. Elisa says:

    I’ve always been a little afraid of oompa-loompas, myself. I’ve always been afraid of anything short in stature that might provoke someone into making a comparison between me and said strange thing. Of course, I hate Ewoks, too. 😉

    If Jon sets up his Yarn Widower booth for next year, I’m sure I’ll be able to get my boyfriend to go!

    Great haul, though – I’m quite (read extremely) jealous.

  6. crystal says:

    yes, those sheep are totally adorable. i wonder if i could convince my landlord that it’s really just a big breed of dog? and you are doing a wonderful job on the spinning! next time you will want to buy a wheel 😉

  7. melanie says:

    Oh don’t pretend to be surprised. You knew I’d peek. You wanted me to see the oopma loompas.

  8. You’re right, Melanie. I can’t keep secrets at all. Once you shear these little guys, you can make a kick ass sweater. The hair on their backs is really thick and lush. Ew, now I’ve gone an grossed myself out.

  9. Katy says:

    My DH would be all over the Yarn Widower booth. Could you annex on a soundproof plexiglass booth where we could park the little people? (My kids, not the Oompah-Loompahs!)

  10. Amie says:

    GORGEOUS first work on a spindle (and my bag was already too full, or some of that roving would have come home with me, too!) Looks like someone needs to join the Spinning Wheel!

    I think my GB would like your Yarn Widow booth…

  11. Helloooo McYarnpants. I’m your neighbor on the New England Knits Blog Ring and I wanted to say HI! Also, please sign my husband up for the yarn widower booth. He would be in Heaven!


  12. Anonymous says:

    Dot scares the crap out of me. Just sayin.
    Wasn’t Rhinebeck a blast?

    (Yarn Harlot) Saving her pennies for next year.

  13. Anonymous says:

    eerrrrgghhh…..must resist all evil ploys to spin my own yarn….must resist!

    But it’s really pretty…

    ….NO!!! That Red Heart is just as pretty…resist! Resist!

    But I would be a better knitter if I spun my own yarn. And think of the colors!!!


    Resistance is futile…so what’s a drop spindle?