Saturday, October 18, 2008

New York State Sheep & Wool Festival 2008

I ran into Karin at the NYS Sheep & Wool Festival today. I know her from KnitTalk (a Yahoo group for knitters) and she asked me if I have blogged lately. So Karin, thank you for getting me back to this blog.

It has been a very stressful 5 weeks with good and bad things happening. First on September 11th, DH was rushed to the hospital with what we thought was a heart attack happening. It turned out that he had a strep infection in his blood and was very, very sick. However, after spending eight days in the hospital, DH came out 20 pounds lighter and with a new attitude towards his health (which at this writing is being forgotten). Then on September 24th, my father passed away. He has been ill with pulmonary fibrosis and a bad heart but to speak to him, you would never think he was as sick as he really was. I am tearing up as I am writing this but I knew he loved us and he knew that we loved him. We spoke everyday and every conversation ended with an "I love you." I miss hearing his voice.

Okay, so I was seriously thinking of not going to the NYS Sheep & Wool Festival. I wasn't in a festive mood; I was concerned with the money situation (did I really need to spend money on more yarn?); my car was acting up. I had excuse after excuse not to go. My dear friend and neighbor Chris told DH that she was looking forward to going and that I had to go. I could just buy our traditional baked potato and hang out. Well, DH told me that this year, more than any other, I needed to go. He was right.

Chris drove up the Taconic which was a bit past peak compared to where we live. We got there around 10:30 and just got lost in all the colors and types of yarns and whatever else was on sale. Chris is great to go to the festival with. We walk around and make mental notes on which booths we would like to visit again. Then we question ourselves whether we really like the item. We would visit the same place two or three times!

We ran into people from our knit-out. First there was Edie. We ran into Edie by the food area where people were lined up to get their chicken pot pies. She was there with her husband and her friend from Boston. Her first question to Chris and me was, "What did you buy?" Well, we didn't buy anything! Edie had a bag full of sock yarn and buttons. Okay, I felt a little pressure to help the economy. Edie was doing her part.

(Edie is the one in the very colorful sweater!)

Chris and I kept walking around. Last year we loved seeing the pumpkins that were needle felted. There they were again. I personally liked the Indian corn kit. We agreed that if we don't buy anything, we'll buy the kits. We had a plan. Then we went to one of my favorite booths A Touch of Twist. Last year I bought some beautiful laceweight merino and silk yarn. I made Karen's Water Turtles Shawl from Wrapped in Comfort by Alison Hyde. (I still didn't block it yet so that's why you haven't seen it yet). This yarn was wonderful to knit with and I thought that I would get some more. There was a beautiful teal color but you know what? I didn't feel the love. I didn't want to make another shawl. Chris and I both passed on this yarn but knew that we may return.

Then Chris and I discovered a booth that sold yak-a-boo yarn, cashllama yarn and yarn with some camel in it. The colors were beautiful natural colors. We considered buying the cashllama to make a lacy scarf. I wanted the brown, Chris wanted the black. We decided that we'll come back for it because that was the second part of our plan. If we didn't buy anything, then we'd buy either the pumpkin kit or the cashllama. We were unusually happy that we had this plan going on. That's when we saw Karin at the Silver Moon booth. She was so sweet. (See the intro). We thought about eating but the line was way too long. So Chris and I walked on. I decided to give Shelley a call. Shelley is also in our knit-out and she has discovered spinning. It turned out that we are at opposite ends of a building. We met up and with her was Nancy. What was their first question to us? "What did you buy?" There we were again, empty-handed. (Chris did buy some fudge for her DH and a stuffed bison for DD but no yarn).

(Shelley and Nancy are the 1st and 2nd from the left respectively)

After we said goodbye to two more people helping the economy, we decided to seek out the Ravelry people because honestly, I wanted a button. After asking a few people, we found the gathering. The Ravelry's owners' mother and brother were there. They were very sweet. I know I was secretly thrilled to meet the woman who gave birth to the woman who developed Ravelry. We both walked away happy. Later, I ran into the designer of the pirate hat which I made Elijah last year. I recognized her name from her Ravelry button.

Chris and I decided to have our annual baked potato. We didn't realize how hungry and tired we were until we sat down and ate. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. That tater was tasty! We sat next to some women who had Socks That Rock yarn and she told us that they were mill ends and a bit cheaper. We decided to make our second trip to that booth. Maybe we'll find something to buy. We both like to make socks and I was already working on a pair. I had a sock pattern on my list of things to do. Maybe I would find something I could use for this pattern. We walked over and saw that the line that normally had over 50 people on it was now down to about 7. Hmmm. Maybe this was a sign that we should buy something. After inspecting the mill ends and the regular yarn, we looked at each other and said that we really didn't love what was left. Then we crossed the aisle over to Brook Farms Yarn.

Last year, this was the last booth we visited. We saw a shawl which was very simple but the yarn was gorgeous. I remember standing holding the yarn in my hand saying, "Chris, should I buy it or not?" She told me that it will be there next year and that I should put the skein down and go. I listened to her. One year later, here we are again at the same spot. I found the skein the sample was made in but Chris looked for other colors. My dear friend always picks the same colors over and over. Blue with different shades of purple. This time she found a beautiful skein of blues and greens. They were so soothing to look at. I was hoping there would be another skein but she had the last one. She picked up a skein for me that was so beautiful. It had a blue mixed in with browns. I loved it. Chris did good! We finally made a purchase and guess who we ran into right after buying our skeins? Edie. We held up our bags and said, "Edie, we just bought something. Look!" Edie had a look in her eye of a woman on a mission. She wanted to go back to Socks That Rock and when we told her that there wasn't any line, she left us after congratulating us. Chris and I decided to call it a day and off we went, southbound on the Taconic Parkway towards home.


Joan said...

I'm so glad you decided to go. One day I hope to be there too. See, you did have a wonderful time!

AlisonH said...

I'm so glad you got to go! And that there was something you really liked still left at Blue Moon; they do nice work.

Karin said...

It was so nice to see you, as I was hoping you'd decide to go.
Thank goodness for friends like Chris who are there for us through good and bad!