Hey people....it's almost RHINEBECK weekend! Oh happy days!
I go away twice a year to fiber festivals, in October for the New York Sheep & Wool Festival and in May for the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. Both weekends are highlights of my year because not only do I get to oooh and ahhh over yarn, animals and fiber, I get to spend it with friends and family.
If you have been lucky enough to go to Rhinebeck, then you know how amazing it is. It is two full days of happy knitters walking around smiling, shopping, eating, meeting up with new and old friends, the podcast meet up on the hill, the sweaters, the shawls, the hats, the knitting stalking, the leaping llama contest, the leaves, the donuts, the weird pan flute band with the grumpy looking drummer, the author book signings, falafel lines for miles, crisp morning air, bumping into the "famous knitters", rubbing elbows with designers....and most importantly spending time with my knitters.
Can I brag to you about "my knitters"? Let me tell you a little bit about "my knitters"....
About four years ago, I decided that I was comfortable enough with my knitting that I could start teaching others to knit. I was working from home at the time and my schedule allowed for more time for lessons so I put myself out there and opened up some beginning knitting classes.
This woman I had never met emailed me. She was recently on leave from her job to care for her daughter with special needs. She had been wanting to learn how to knit and now that she wasn't at work full time, she had time to learn. After a few back and forth emails, we found a date that worked for her. This is how I met Robin. Robin has become a close friend, confidant and an extremely accomplished knitter! She can knit ANYTHING and EVERYTHING! And now she dyes her own yarn and sews project bags. She's Robin from Robin's Roost!
There was another woman that had visited our farm many times. We instantly fell in love with the amazing woman that we now call "Purple Debbie". Debbie is one of the strongest, kind hearted, inspiring people I have ever met. Debbie has MS and although she has a daily battle on her hands, you would never know it because of her spirit and determination. She smiles through the obstacles and she thought she might want to learn how to knit. And boy oh boy did she learn how to knit!!!!!
She's never without needles and yarn these days. She has knitted so many hats that she can't keep track. A Guernsey wrap you want? Sure...she'll make you one. Knitting has given Debbie so much more than a hobby. It has helped her dexterity in her hands (according to her doctors). Of all the people I have taught to knit, she is the most special to me. Knitting has brought her so much joy and I love seeing her soar. She's a wonderful person and I'm so thankful to have her joining us this year!!!!!! This is her first ever girls getaway! I hope we make it a good one! She has a wonderful blog too...follow her! She shares her adventures with her husband Chuck and you'll love it. I promise.
And then there's this lady named Joan. Joan is my knitting buddy and feels like family to me.
She stopped by the farm one day a few years ago...hung out with us. We talked and laughed and the connection was instant. She had done a bit of knitting but was looking to learn more, so she signed up for every class I taught. Literally. Every class. At a certain point I swear she was just handing me money so we could spend time together. At a certain point I refused to take her money and we started learning things together. She and I learned how to knit socks together, trying out new kinds of heels. We love the same kind of knitting so we knit sweaters together. We'll both make the same pattern at the same time and call or text each other if we have questions. If she's reading this right now she will say we don't knit at the same time. We START at the same time. I'm a quick knitter and she loves to remind me to slow down so she can catch up. Joan makes me laugh, teaches me about life and motherhood. She's more like an adopted aunt. I'm so fortunate to have her in my life and to spend time with her this weekend will be fabulous. And her husband makes some amazing wine which she spoils me with....so you know, there's that too. We have grand plans of doing a video podcast someday. We just need to find the time!
A woman that wanted to learn fair isle signed up for my class and once again, I met this fun, smart, artistic woman that is now a part of our knitting circle. Laura teaches at one of the local specialty high schools and at times I'm super jealous of her job! I don't get to see Laura much so this weekend is extra special to spend it with her. She made us laugh so hard last year when she took a ride up to the festival with my sister. They had never met each other, but we're all knitting people so she figured she was safe to take a ride from a stranger! Her kids were a little skeptical but hey it all worked out! And she's back in with us for another year!!! Laura also has a podcast, Knit, Read, Pray that you can check out on her website, knitreadpray.com
Seashore Sharon is a fixture in the knitting community and we are lucky to have her all the time!!!!
She also signed up for my lessons but let's be honest...she could have taught the classes herself. Her company is always a pleasure. She is beyond generous, always has great projects on the needles and loves her knitting retreats. If you are anyone in the knitting world, you know Seashore Sharon!
And then there's Paige :) The girl that makes me laugh and inspires me. Her snort is the best. Her laugh is contagious. She is the owner of Frame & Fiber, a local framing shop/knitting/fabric store in Point Pleasant. She's generous, thoughtful and creative. We go back a long time but not until the last two years or so have we become close friends. I credit knitting for tightening up this friendship! We seem to enjoy similar knits, colors, yarns, food, wine...all the important things in life! She went to Maryland last year with my sister and my mom and I and we had a blast. Paige will be helping out at Needles Up on Friday so if you see her say hi! You'll be a better person for knowing her.
My sister Andee is able to join us again this year. She's an every-other year joiner for Maryland so it's always fun to have her along for this weekend. Andee can knit faster than any human I know. Seriously. She knits are warp speed and she's probably designing it at the same time. Her brain works way better than mine with math and knitting and numbers. I can follow a pattern. She can design it. Andee has a knack for striking up conversations with all kinds of people and getting the best pictures to document her adventures. Hoping she brings the good camera along to get some shots of the weekend. Andee also has a blog and is known as AndeeKF on Ravelry. She is also a guest blogger for Amano yarn. Check her out!!!! She's brilliant!
My cousin Maryanne is also part of our group! Maryanne is someone I aspire to be like. Not only is she funny, smart, well traveled and interesting, she's young at heart. I am so lucky to have a huge extended cousin crew to spend time with and celebrate New Years together. Her knitting skills are superb and she's always fun to be with. I remember last year she took a seat on the bench at the top of the Rhinebeck hill during the podcast meet up. She was cracking up at how we all acted like screaming fan girls at a boy band concert. A few years ago we took Mary Jane Mucklestone's fair isle mitt class together at Vogue Live. She's always up for an adventure. Can't wait to spend a whole weekend together!
Our last housemate is not a knitter, but she's a sister of a knitter so that counts right?!
Judy is Joan's sister and I had the pleasure of meeting her last year when she joined us for our Rhinebeck weekend. She sat back and smiled at all of us while we went on and on about our yarn, the people we saw and met. She is traveling down from Maine to join us again!
Wishing so much that my mom and sister Liz could join us but my mom and dad are headed to an alpaca show for the weekend and Liz is staying home to take care of the farm.
We'll update you on how the show animals do!!! Let's hope for some ribbons and banners!
I was going through some older pictures the other day and came across these....
This was the first lesson that Debbie and Robin ever took with me. Who knew that this day would lead us to today. I am soooooo thankful for these women and the joy they bring to my life.
And to think, it's all because of a ball of yarn, knitting needles and friendship.
Wishing everyone that is attending Rhinebeck a safe trip with lots of laughter, yarn and memories. I'll be at Needles Up on Friday so if you see me say hi! And an exciting little known fact....I'm the designer of the Elizabeth Zimmerman enamel pin that Amy Beth (AKA the Fat Squirrel) is selling! Woohoo! See you all on the hill too! Have fun!