Monday, October 20, 2014

Rhinebeck 2014

It was fabulous to be back at Rhinebeck. I have been enjoying the fall colors, which I missed in China. Rhinebeck gives me the opportunity to see them as I drive up and down and walk around the fair grounds.

I was there for most of 4 days this year. I signed up for two classes on Thursday. i took self-striping yarns with Abby Franquemont. We went through many different striping options and I spun two. I finished only 1 single in class so I have to finish up the other single for both of them and then show you what I did.

In the afternoon, I took Thick and Thin Coils with Jacey Boggs. I was pretty pleased to end up with coil-looking things on my yarn! Jacey and Abby are both wonderful teachers who can work with people of different abilities. I had fun and learned a bunch along the way.

On Friday afternoon, I volunteered to scribe for the fleece judging. I had done this for the skein judging and learned a lot but I knew I needed to learn more about fleeces. We scribed in pairs which worked very well. There was a lot to do. We had to take down the jedge's scoring on Uniformity, Density, Crimp, Length, Weight and Handle along with any comments they had. On the sheet we also had to put the number of the fleece (in case it got separated from the fleece) and a sticker indicating if it was excellent or merely good quality. It meant juggling a clipboard, sticker sheets, a pen, paying attention to what the judge said without dropping anything. The evaluation had to be peeled off the sheet after it was done and stuck on the fleece bag.

Our judge was responsible for the medium and long wools in the white category. There were some beautiful fleeces and also some really dirty ones. Really, really dirty. I didn't envy the judge having to get up close and personal with those fleeces. We went through a lot of fleeces. 3-4 tables of closely packed fleeces occupying the entire top of all of them.

Once that was done, he had to select the top 3 from each category. We had been putting aside the best fleeces so we didn't have to go back and find them. These were opened up and spread on the table and examined in more detail to select the #1, #2 and #3 fleece in each category. I learned a lot about crimp and fiber breeds and also found a couple of farms that breed prize winning spinner's flocks. If I want to buy one, I know where to go.

All in all, that was about 4-5 hours of standing. We took a few breaks but they were just for a drink or potty. Not very long at all.

On Saturday, I went up early as I had volunteered to help Jennie the Potter with the morning rush. Jennie was sharing her booth with Jill Draper, so there was more stuff to set out and organize. But also more help. I am always amazed at the crowd and the desire to buy stuff - as in 'must have' stuff. People stood in line for hours to buy things from the booth. I would not have the patience to do this.

After 1 pm, I was free to wander around with my friend. We ate Artichokes French and Beans and Greens to fortify ourselves and then headed out. I succumbed to a couple of bags of Jacob roving, a cute hedgehog puppet, some Into the Whirled fiber. I then went to Carolina Homespun to get a flick carder and... fell down a rabbit hole. I fell in love with a supported spindle and ended up getting it, a spindle bowl AND a Zoom Loom.

 It was a pretty exhausting day and we hung around in the car for about 20 minutes to avoid waiting in line to get out.

Sunday was a more relaxing day. I had some errands to run. I needed to get my WooLee Winder bobbins to the booth to get them reamed out to specification. The plastic screw end had collapsed slightly inward and they weren't fitting on the flyer shaft any more. Then I needed to get my Hansen espinner over to their booth to get the soft-stop feature installed as well as pick up a couple of bobbins. My espinner is old enough not to have the newer feature. Thankfully, both vendors held my stuff so I didn't have to carry everything around with me.

My friend and I both bought some paco-vicuña roving from Victory Farms. This was pricey but oh-so-soft and cheaper than buying the yarn. Yes, I am delusional. I also got some one-of-a-kind braids from Fiber Optic Yarns, beads and a set of stitch markers. After that it was time to stop shopping and head off to volunteer at the workshops. I helped people sign in and find their classes, hand out and collect feedback forms, chat with the other volunteers - who are mostly people from my spinning guild - and then start cleaning up and packing stuff to be stored away for next year. It is a big undertaking to organize the workshops and we are not even responsible for the rooms. We have to leave them clean. But there are signs, office supplies, coffee/tea supplies. decorations, and a myriad set of items that had to be sorted and packed away. I didn't stay till the very end as I had to come to work today and I had about an hour drive home.

I am satisfied and content and tired.

Here's my haul in pictures
 This is Adalin - one of the paco-vicuñas whose fiber I bought.
 Clockwise from top left, the paco-vicuña fiber, the two Fiber Optic braids, beads, Hansen bobbins and the Zoom Loom and the flick carder in the center.
 The hedgehog puppet. Isn't he cute?
 My KCL supported spindle. Can you see the lovely shaft and the color on top of the whorl?
From left, the Jacob roving, two ITW braids and ooops! a Gale's Art braid that I completely forgot about.

The only things missing are the little supported spindle bowl and the stitch markers, both of which were put away before I took the photos.

I think I would be totally exhausted if I had to deal with Rhinebeck each week but there is a part of me that wouldn't mind. i'd have to hide my credit card, of course, but there have been many years where I spent very little. I love meeting my friends from out of town who come in for the festival, among them many vendors who I have known for years. I love running into local people unexpectedly - like a long-time friend, someone from work, and the lady who took over my Tuesday night class at the yarn store. I like making new friends like Gloria Smith of Victory Farms who was very patient with us and our questions. I will be visiting her and the animals again, though I may not buy more fiber. 

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