Sunday, October 21, 2012


It's been a long time since I've written, but this weekend is worth writing about!

Three important things happened this weekend:

1.  It was my Birthday (happy birthday to me!)
2.  My yarn diet ended (happy birthday to me! lol)
3.  I made my first trip to Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival

I'm always excited to celebrate my birthday.  It means I've made it through another year.  And that's definitely something to celebrate!  Think of the alternative....

Back in August, my friend Cristina and I decided we needed to go on yarn diets. No purchasing of yarn of any kind for any reason.  This self-imposed diet was to end at Stitches weekend for Cristina and Rhinebeck for me.  We put up a skein of our treasured Ishtar yarn for motivation, which our good friend Paula held for us (thank you Paula!).  If we fell off our diet we had to donate our skein to a worthy person.  Fortunately, Cristina and I both survived our diet and regained our treasured skeins :)

So I think you can see where this is headed....

No yarn diet

Rhinbeck!!!!  I was so excited to visit Rhinebeck for the first time.  Paula (our yarn guardian) and I drove to Poughkeepsie, NY on Friday 10/19.  We had horrible driving weather - torrential, non-stop rain - the entire drive.  But we took it easy and made it to the hotel without incident.  We checked in, settled in, went out for a bit of dinner and then prepared for the next day. 

We woke Saturday morning to sunshine and blue skies!  We absolutely could not have chosen a better day for Rhinebeck. The Birthday Girls (mine was Saturday and hers Sunday) left the hotel and headed to the Fairgrounds.  We encountered NO traffic so arrived at the site an hour before the gates opened.  Primo parking space!  There was a diner across the street so we walked over for breakfast. We needed to build up our energy for the day.

Then back across the street to line up for entry...

Once inside we were greeted with some beautiful Fall color!  I think this must've been peak weekend for color because it was everywhere!  And soooo amazing...

Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool is very family friendly.  Just inside the front gate there was a petting zoo for the kiddos. (I secretly think they were feeding these goats to make sure they wouldn't eat any of the children later lol)

This bunny has some serious double chin issues...

At the top of the hill were the Vendor barns.  I could smell the yarn.  Well not really, because of the food vendors, but my whole body was

I am so glad that we were there when it opened because we were able to visit most all of the yarn vendors without alot of crowd issues. About 2.5 hours after arriving we were making a trip to the car to drop off all our new pretties :)

I knew going in that I needed a plan.  It was highly encouraged by Cristina so, before I left, I decided that I wanted to buy "sweater's worth" of yarns so I can actually start making some!   I made a list on my phone of possible sweaters, how much yarn and what weight yarn was required.  This came in very handy.

I am proud to say that I did stick with my plan and only bought:

(6) Shephers Worsted Red
(5) A Touch of Twist Alpaca Tweed Black/Grey
(2) Misty Mountain Farm Prime Alpaca Brown/Grey-Blue
(5) Cascade Eco Purple
(2) MadTosh Fig
(1) MadTosh Antique Lace
A Sheep and Wool Project Bag

And I was gifted the sheepie by one of the vendors because it was my birthday!! At one of the vendors where we bought some Alpaca the nice lady gave Paula and I both a gift for our birthdays! She was very sweet :) It helped that we both wore big Birthday Girl buttons all day.  I don't think either of us have EVER received so many "Happy Birthday" wishes from complete strangers. LOL

After dropping all our goodies at the car we headed up to the barns.  We first went through a museum and there were women knitting and quilting as well as making socks and braiding rugs.   

The most fascinating of the four was the woman making socks.  She was using a very cool machine and was mesmorizing to watch.  The socks she produced were amazing.

From there we went through MORE vendors before finally arriving at the sheep pens.  I had so much fun seeing and petting the sheep! 

Sorry for the overload of photos here but there are some great shots to share :)

After seeing all the sheeps we were DONE!

Our friends Jeff and Will, from knit group, were also visiting Rhinebeck Saturday with their friends from Albany - Aaren and Dave.  We had made dinner reservations for 5:00 pm at Terrapin Restaurant in Rhinebeck.  And since it was only about 3:00 we decided to go to downtown Rhinebeck and wander around till dinner.

Rhinebeck is a great little town.  They have some really nice restaurants, quaint shops and lots of places you can sit on a bench and watch the traffic go by.  We visited a really cute old-style five and dime store, a little coffee shop and an amazing little shop where I bought a new sweater coat.  Happy Birthday to me!!! lol

Dinner was amazing!  There is nothing better than eating a delicious meal with old and new friends.  Out of the six of us, four had birthdays.  Aaren, Jeff (10/23), Paula (10/21) and  me (10/20) so there was plenty of celebrating!  Paula and I both had the Mango and Brie on a crostini tapas and the Pumpkin Ravioli with pecans that was beyond delicious. Everyone else said the same thing about their meals.  Perfect choice for dinner.

(l to r - Aaren, Dave, Jeff, Will, me and Paula)

With that, our Rhinebeck trip was coming to an end.  We spent Saturday night in Poughkeepsie and headed home on Sunday.

On the drive home we stopped at a Farmer's Market we'd seen on the drive in and bought some fresh local veggies and fruits.  I loved seeing all the pumpkins and Fall flowers!

This was a GREAT birthday weekend!!!  I got everything I could have hoped for.  And I spent it with an amazing friend (thanks again Paula!). I can't wait to go back next year....

But for now, I'm outta here and off to try to match yarn with sweater patterns....

Michelle :)