Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sunday morning -- early rising -- checked out of the Inn and paid my room deposit for 2008. [Rhinebeck will be Oct. 18th and 19th next year for anyone thinking of going.] Then, over to Calico Cat for my latte and brioche, where I ran into Margie and Charlie. Charlie left to explore the region and Margie and I were off to the fairgrounds to view the judging of the colored sheep and the angora and cashmere goats. Is this the cutest angora goat?

And here is a snow white cashmere goat. She looks like she just had a bath and combing. I want her but she wouldn't fit in my suitcase.

Here's another beautiful cashmere goat.

And these two magnificent boys are the Grand Champion cashmere goat rams.
After taking in the judging, we began roaming around the vendor booths. There were so many things we missed on Saturday because it was so crowded, but Sunday morning, the buildings were practically empty. We got in some good viewing and shopping. I bought these beautiful handcrafted ceramic buttons from Annie's Sweet Handspun (from Michigan). Won't these look amazing on a sweater knit with my handpainted, handspun yarns?
And on Saturday, I had seen a woman spinning angora rabbit in her booth -- Margaret Critser from New Hampshire. She does an extraordinary job of spinning angora. I just had to have a skein of her handspun and some of her bunny fur to spin. This skein is from a "cinnamon" angora bunny. I'm thinking of stranding some crystal beads on this skein and knitting a lace scarf.
We dropped by the Sheep to Shawl competition. There were four local spinning groups competing. Each team had four spinners, one plyer and one weaver. They had three hours to card raw fiber, spin yarn, ply the yarn and weave a 70" (?) shawl. Margie told me later that only one team reached the required length.

Back over in the alpaca and llama barns, owners of animals were selling raw fleece and rovings from their animals. There was so much lovely fiber, it was hard to contain my spending, but I bought some beautiful cocoa brown roving from an alpaca owner. It was a blend of the fiber from four of her alpacas.

Over near the angora goat barn, I bought some mohair locks from Tina Evans of Dry Creek Naturals from Georgia. This fiber is from "Sweetheart" and is the first clipping. This is amazingly beautiful, and I was sorry I did not get more. But . . . I have asked Lynne Vogel to get more for me when she goes to SAFF this weekend in Asheville, N.Carolina.
And I bought a silver blue roving of 50% kid mohair and 50% Rambouillet wool from Kate Bostek of Roclans Farm in PA. Rhinebeck is a spinner's paradise especially if you love the natural colors of the animal fibers.
More pictures and information about the Rhinebeck show can be found on the Knitter's Review website:

Well, all good things must come to an end. I had to leave Rhinebeck early afternoon to catch the train back to Grand Central and my wonderful little Inn on 23rd Street. As soon as I arrived, Linda LaBelle at The Yarn Tree in Brooklyn invited me over to her shop, so I hopped on the "L" subway to Bedford Avenue and walked down to her shop. Linda showed me a copy of her book, "The Yarn Lover's Guide to Hand Dyeing", coming out on Nov. 13th. It's a great book; she did a wonderful job; and I am so proud to be a guest artist in the book. Linda says the book can be preordered at:
Linda took me over to her neighborhood pub where we had dinner, wine, beer and a good chat. What a treat!

So, now I'm home, trying not to breathe in all the bad smoke from all the surrounding fires. I'm anxiously watching as the UPS truck comes up my street, hoping that today will be the day all of my treasures arrive from Rhinebeck.


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