Ahh, Rhinebeck. My favorite place to go during my favorite time of the year. The drive is spectacular, the town is picturesque, and the destination, well, it’s so much fun! This year I went with Tilinka and we met up with Lilith & her gentleman friend.
After years of going on Saturdays, last year I switched over to Sunday and I am so much happier. There are still crowds, but it’s much less frantic and the numbers are nowhere near as crazy as they are on Saturday. Our trek around the grounds was low-stress and unhurried. I found a gift for a family member, saw a bunch of friends I only see at Rhinebeck, reconnected with others, and ate a seriously tasty lambburger in the shade of a tree with orange leaves.
Of course, no yarn festival is complete (to me) without a skein competition, and this year I entered a ton of categories. Of 10 skeins submitted, 7 got ribbons. I got a 1st (on Grumble, a novelty blend), a 2nd (on purple Romney laceweight that hadn’t shown before), three 4ths, a 5th, and a 6th. Of the three that didn’t place, one had been a 1st place winner at two other festivals. My Reserve Champion skein from the Big E was actually one of the 4ths here. The skein competition was TOUGH. But now I know what I’m up against for next time! Even with the low-placing skeins, I feel like those ribbons were hard-won. And each ribbon came with a grading sheet and comments, so I know what to work toward for next time.
This means that all of my existing skeins that could compete, have. I have nothing finished at this point that hasn’t been entered. Next year, I am truly starting from scratch. Often, what I’ll do is spin a yarn, then enter it in all the places I can possibly enter it, and THEN I can knit with it after it’s made the rounds. The way the timing works, I’ve had yarns that I spun almost 2 years ago that have finally made it through all the competitions. But no more–everything I enter next year will be fresh-spun from this autumn.
If I saw you at Rhinebeck, drop me a line! If you didn’t, I missed you, and you should drop me a line even more. Did anyone else have as nice an experience there this year as I did?