Words fail me.

When *I* am speechless…it’s really saying something. I’ve been trying to post all day, looking for a way to fit it all into one post. I’ve finally accepted that it’s not going to work.
I have had the biggest adventure possible. Since I am still too tired to string together very many complete sentences, you are going to have to make do with whatever ramblings I manage to produce. Many, many more details to follow.
Wednesday: I leave my house in Toronto at 2:30 PM destination…glorious Albany, NY. I arrive in my hotel room in Hartford Connecticut at midnight. If I ever recover from the trauma of what happened to me in the intervening 9.5 hours…you will be the first to know. (Hints: “Homeland Security” and “Fuel Leak”. As you construct various imaginary scenarios using those four words please know that my life was in no actual danger at any time. My sanity? Can’t say the same.) I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to my buddy Linda for the string of increasingly hysterical messages that I left for her during this time. I had a bad attitude and her phone number.
Thursday: Fred the cabbie picks me up and drives me to Massachusetts. I go here. Infer at will. Rhinebeck and I spend some quality time in the hotel room.
Friday: Linda Roghaar and I embark on a yarnish road trip. We end up here.
This is Claudia, standing in front of Countrywool, her shop in Hudson NY. I can’t remember the last time I had such a good time in a yarn shop. Claudia is funny, smart and kind. (We had no coffee. She made some. I love her.) I bought many things from Claudia, but the killer is part of a beautiful moorit fleece. You should go to the shop, even if you don’t need something. I promise that she’s worth the trip. (Wait till I show you the spinning kit. You’ll die.)
We met up with Tara Jon Manning and her lovely baby Zane and continued our journey ending up at Sky Lake Lodge.
Buddhists on retreat are very quiet. I am not. You may once again, infer at will. (It was a time of enormous personal restraint). The Buddhists were however, just as kind and interesting as they were quiet, and I will be eternally grateful for the bowl of soup that they rustled up to save us from starving to death after we drove in reverse up a mountain in the rain. Rhinebeck and I shared some private time at 1AM in the living room installing a zipper. (See that? Finished the sweater with 8 hours to spare.)
Saturday (and Sunday): Rhinebeck and I arrive at Rhinebeck. I hadn’t even stepped out of the car when Sharon spotted me. I was so stunned to be recognized that I barely spoke to her, but she will forever hold a warm spot in my heart as the first person to say something nice about the sweater. Hi Sharon!
Rhinebeck is beautiful.
It is so much bigger, fuller and wilder than you could ever imagine. Everywhere you look there is fleece, sheep, alpacas, llamas, yarn, roving…felt…it is sensory overload. The sweater watching was boggling. The Rhinebeck sweater quickly developed an inferiority complex as I spotted knitwear to die for. The best hats, the best socks (Hi Cassie! Cassie also takes a prize for shawls. She was wearing the most beautiful icelandic shawl. Everybody was talking about her. I wish that I hadn’t been so stunned that I forgot to take a picture.) I met so many people who read this and I’m grateful that all of you grabbed me to say hi.
Bloggers who turned out to be actual people? Norma. Who arrived at the festival a knitter and left a spinner. Note the fabulous sweater.
Gina (who’s mother-in-law is possibly the sweetest lady ever) , Our lady Kathy of the comments, (Has Benoit arrived?) Claudia, Anj, Kerstin, Annie(who ran away from home, just like me), Sandy(Sandy is real fun. I’d say more nice things but I’m me and she’s her, so I’ll just nod in her general direction. She knows what I mean.), Kim, Deb (owner of the best bag in all of Rhinebeck Texas), Silvia( I would like to be re-incarnated as her hair.), Annie(When I met her I was so star-struck that I wonder if I blathered like an idiot. I sure hope not.), Carolyn, Leigh, Cindy, and Marybeth. There were more. I will tell all. Just not now. You may content yourself with this rare photo of a nest of bloggers in their natural habitat.
Some of the bloggers in this picture are eating lamb. Am I the only one who thinks this may be counterproductive in terms of yarn? Just sayin’.
There was Claudia’s treat. I will show you the bags. You can guess what it is.
(I really genuinely liked Claudia, and I’m not just saying that because she gave me a treat. I’m saying it because she was clever, charming, kind and generous. She has a wicked wit, she taught Norma to spin..she spoke sweetly to everyone, her sweater was perfect and her taste….impeccable. If you ever get a chance to meet her you should.)
Was there yarn? Oh yes. I may have had a “yarn seizure” in a place or two…but nothing compared with the moment when I was discretely standing beside the sock yarns at the Spirit Trail booth. (Beautiful stuff) I had slunk over to a quiet spot beside the tent and was quietly staring at the yarn in a fibre induced trance when the wind came up, the side of the tent flew loose, smacked me in the face and revealed my stunned expression to all inside it. Red handed. I am only grateful that the tent hit me. If it hadn’t then everybody would know that I was just making my “yarn face” not my “holy crap a tent hit me in the face” face. (I am a little concerned that these faces are indistinguishable from one and other.)
Since everybody is artfully posing their new acquisitions gracefully in baskets, I thought I’d try.
What? Can’t see the basket? (Wanna know something embarrassing? Even though this pile is next to my desk, this photo is my desktop image.)
More tomorrow when I’m not this delirious. (Like Laurie (yes, that Laurie) in her incredible sweater knit from the famous hand dyed sock yarn, and Annie trying to choose yarn, and my stuff in more detail than you could ever want.) I leave you with this photo.

56 thoughts on “Words fail me.

  1. It was so lovely to see your sweater – I mean YOU! I was in a similar sensory overload, despite a blessed numbness to the beauty that is Jen’s yarn from drooling over it with the frequency that she allows me to. But add to that sensory overload was the brain overload of taking 20 hours of classes. I am a smarter person. Or I think I will be. When my brain recovers.
    Glad the tent didn’t hit you too hard (says the person who was holding down the other side).
    BTW… Maryland is even bigger. And the invitation still stands…..

  2. Wow! I am so inspired by your “ramblings” that I want to go to the nearest fibre show! I can’t wait to hear more about it. Rest up and take care of yourself.

  3. Steph, it was wonderful meeting you and the stunning Rhinebeck Sweater! Believe me, people, there is no reason why RS should feel inferior–it’s gorgeous! I was also in the Spirit Trail booth when the wind nearly blew it away–was it the Yarn Goddess sending a message? “Buy more yarn now–soon it will all be gone with the wind” My DH took an excellent picture of you–we’ll be sending it to you.

  4. You must have posted minutes before I visited. I have been worried all day about why there was no Rhinebeck Report. The reasons I envisioned included:
    Your house was so messed up, you couldn’t get the door open.
    You family liked being “on their own” and changed the locks.
    Canada Customs made you take off your shoes and you are still with them, trying to explain how you managed to stuff pounds of wool inside your dainty slippers.
    You liked Rhinebeck so much, you stayed there.
    Welcome back. I missed your humour. Look forward to reading more of your adventures.

  5. I was starting to worry about you… I am so glad to read your post, and wow! you bought quite a bit. Your seizures definately subsided well before mine.
    Here’s to the next sheep & wool festival — wherever it is!

  6. Wow! Yes, you bought a lot!!! I see some Mountain Colors in there, and I’m pissed, because obviously I missed a vendor or two! I didn’t see no Mountain Colors. Except on the real mountains, but that doesn’t count. I adore their yarns. But anyway, I broke the budget, so it’s just as well. It was SO WONDERFUL hanging with you, soulmate. I’ll see you again soon. MWah!

  7. Pout. I hav a cramp in my right shoulder from hitting “reload” for the last seven hours, and then I step away and you post then. Nah, I’m mainly pouting ’cause I am the only one at Rhinebeck that didn’t bump into you. But hurray, Rhinebeck was done in time, as we all knew it would. And you got yourself blogging material for the next year. Looking forward to the details.

  8. Thank GOD you’re back — I don’t begrudge you a few days off, but you were missed, Yarn Harlot! But your new posting caps off a pretty good day — my birthday. On the table? The knew Knit journal from Melanie Falick. Next to the computer? A brand new knitting swift and ball winder from my sister-in-law. In the mail? Three gorgeous skeins of manos del uruguay from the yarn shop my mother works at in Nova Scotia. A gift certificate to Lewiscraft. Okay, not normally the greatest yarn place, but an excellent source of Patons patterns and knitting needles in larger sizes — ones that I cannot justify spending $$$ on Addi Turbos. And a whole basketful of presents that I won’t open until my husband arrives home. And then, joy of joys, the harlot is back from Rhinebeck. Welcome home. The sweater looks lovely. The yarn looks lovely. I have the same “oh my god look at the yarn” face.

  9. How DID you get all that stuff home?? Well it was a great time, wasn’t it? I’m SO tired today, and my kids have NO SCHOOL! All I want to do is sleep and play. Who knew there would be the aftermath?

  10. I’ve been surfing everyone’s sites looking at the pics from Rhinebeck while waiting for your return. Then lo and behold! You’re home with humor intact and a treaure trove of yarn. Perhaps a cornucopia would be more appropriate instead of the basket? Welcome back and the RS is beautiful.

  11. Can I say I’m green with envy? ’cause, yep, I am. Yarn, bloggers, Buddhists, llamas, fleece, wool… I would have loved it all!
    But not the plane-related stuff. That part sounds unpleasant.

  12. So great to see you again in the flesh, lovey.
    Selma and I have even forgiven Lene for not letting you travel with Monsieur Benoit.
    No, he has not arrived, but that’s okay, I’m mesmerized by the amazing veg-dyed wool from Snow Star Farm that I showed you at coffee talk.
    Did you and your lovely people get back there?
    I am chuffed that your “business” part of the business trip worked out well, and we all loved Siobhan.
    We all drooled over fiber, met cool new people and laughed like hyenas. What more could anyone want?

  13. I knew you would finish it in time. Eight hours? Hah! Plenty of time. You’re a knitting Queen.

  14. Glad to see that the yarn-break you put yourself on after your trip in August is over.. great to see thy bounty (ehmmmm… your yarn…) Maybe next year we can chart a bus from TO to go down there…. that’a be a hoot..
    Ps: DH, Huxley and I drove by your house on Sunday and everything looked very quiet, so I asume that the kids, big and small, did not burn it down…
    seeing all your yarn makes me think of those movies where robbers trow all their money onto a bed and sleep in it… would Joe let you do that?

  15. WOW! I want to know more about all that yarn, it looks like Christmas in the fall. Happy to hear you had a blast, I’ve been reading all about Rhineback on many blogs. πŸ™‚

  16. It sounds as though you had a great time, Stephanie, and all that lovely stuff you brought back with you!
    I am dying to hear the Storey – can you tell?
    One of these days I am going to go to Rhinebeck!
    liz πŸ™‚

  17. Oh Harlot – I am so insanely jealous of you all!! I have been floating around the blogs and being jealous of everyone that got to meet you, and now of you who got to meet everyone! I am only hoping that there is such a thing like Rhinebeck in the pacific northwest or in B.C. I can only hope. I have to say, I searched all the blogs this morning to see if you had finished your sweater, i think i finally found confirmation on Silvia’s blog – congratulations! We are all now updating our house shrines to include pics of your Rhinebeck sweater! πŸ™‚ All hail the harlot – she makes me happy to be a canuck-in-training.

  18. holy crap, you were in north adams?? i went to school about ten minutes from there. it’s delightful, huh . . . right. i’m jealous that you were at rhinebeck – someday, i’ll make it back, and when i go back to visit the school, it will have to correspond with rhinebeck . . . but until then, i’ll just live vicariously through you.

  19. Welcome home! I’ve missed you.
    But I spent the time you were gone rather well: I read your archive. The whole thing. OOOOOH!
    OK, here’s a prediction: you will make a LOT of money with your upcoming book. I wish I were a publisher (heck, Stephanie, reading your blog has almost made me start that publishing house I plan to have in a few years. I hope this thought is late, though, because you deserve to be in print WAY before I get my publishing act together!) That Storey Publishing detour had better be a business meeting – for their own good!

  20. Okay, I am nodding to you. It’s a moment. Again.
    In Massachusetts, you were not in Beverly, were you? WERE YOU?? Okay, upon review, maybe you were in North Adams.
    Note to you: I live in Beverly. That’s in the United States, just so we are on the same page!
    Nice basket!

  21. Your love can be purchased rather cheaply. As can mine.
    I will, for sweetnesses sake, not complete the circle of logic on that thought.

  22. Very interesting. There is no talk of husbands with nervous breakdowns and children who have run away from a motherless home. Quick! Book the next trip! NOW! It was a pleasure meeting you. I can’t remember the last time I met someone so high energy. (I was gonna say “wired,” but I don’t want Homeland Security to come down even harder on you next time around.)

  23. Wow! Sounds like a very interesting time in Rhinebeck. I wish I could have been there & met all of you! Your purchases are amazing. Enjoy everything you got. πŸ™‚

  24. Welcome back!!!! My friends thought they might have seen you from a distance but…..
    They arrived at my home at 8pm last nighr with a basket of goodies for me. Opal, Mountain colors and alpaca. Made out great on the guilt trip:-)

  25. Bestill by beating heart. I’m floored by it all. The lovely yarn, the places you went, the beautiful yarn, the adventure, the gorgeous yar- I think you get the idea.
    So glad you had such a great time. I second the charter to Rhinebeck next year! πŸ™‚ Wonderful to have you home.

  26. Welcome back. I trust the house & Mr. Washie survived your absence intact. Your loot is enviable, as is Rhinebeck (the sweater). You’ll have to spread out your haul & give us more pictures so that we can vicariously enjoy your purchases.

  27. hehe…Kerstin dosen’t know the “wired” was maintained by coffee. ; ) Your one hip lady and so glad you made the trip.. ah…you and the lovely Rhinebeck that is.
    Notice I was not eating lamb either, I also had that sheep compassion thing going on.

  28. Hartford?! I live 20 minutes from Hartford. *sigh* I can’t believe the Harlot was so nearby and I didn’t get to meet her. (But I am DETERMINED to go to Rhinebeck next year, and hopefully my mother can come with.)

  29. I’m bummed I didn’t get to see the Rhinebeck sweater in person. I was so busy looking at all the roving and yarn and animals that I really never saw anyone’s faces, lol. In any case, seems like there’s several of us here who live in western MA, so the next time you come for a business meeting, let’s plan a knit-fest! yeehaw!

  30. The lovely Harlot is home! Your sweater was almost as lovely as you. Glad my sister hooked you up with that cashmere (I almost said crack)–you win the sweater war. It’s Monday and I’m just finishing my Rhinebeck attempt. I wore mine unfinished in Rhinebeck so I’m about as legit as a Florida election…sigh…

  31. I missed you (your blog) and thought of you often. I hope you had a wonderful adventure and I look forward to reading about it. Your picture of people eating lamb… well it reminded me of this, and so I am forced out of lurkdom in order to share:
    Let the Wealthy & Great,
    Roll in Splendor and State,
    I envy them not, I declare it,
    I eat my own Lamb,
    My Chickens & Ham,
    I shear my own fleece & I wear it,
    I have Lawns, I have Bowers,
    I have Fruits, I have Flowers,
    The Lark is my morning alarmer,
    so jolly boys now,
    Here’s God Speed the Plough,
    Long Life & Success to the Farmer.
    English Verse circa 1890
    Welcome back!

  32. BRAVO — travels and travails all came to a happy end. Your enthusiasm is as beautiful as the photos and yarn. Attagirl.

  33. So glad you had a good time and that you and Rhinebeck were able to work out your differences.
    Your adventure sounds wonderful and so do all the lovely people you met.
    Welcome home, Harlot!

  34. I read Norma’s blog. I’m horrified at the welcome you got from our lovely [cough] Dept of Homeland Security. I am glad to hear that all seems to have turned into a lovely time in the end.
    I was rooting for that sweater–glad to see it made it!

  35. Hey, Stephanie, so they found out the Dreadful Truth about you and set Homeland Security onto you?
    Looks like you had a fab time! I am sooo jealous cos the only woolshow I can go to in Oz has about 40 companies flogging stuff and half of it is supplies to help older folk, if you get my drift, or for sheep dip… And I missed the other one cos I got married. D’oh! Marriage or fibrefests?
    One day, when the US and this homeland security thing has calmed down, I might visit. But not whilst I am treated like an enemy alien rather than a woolfreak. Hope Canada isn’t so excitable.

  36. Ok, I will confess that I peaked at queerjoe’s blog yesterday and there you were wearing Rhinebeck. I am glad that you finally sneaked some time to post about your trip and aquisitions. Welcome home!

  37. Glad that Rhinebeck was all you imagined it would be. Hopefully I will make it next year. The Rhinebeck sweater looks great. Unbeknownst to you, I knit along. The pieces were finished in time, but due to our big cross-country move I still have blocking and sewing to do. Thanks for the inspiration!

  38. Another green with envy one here. Sounds like your trip was amazing, and your yarn basket is the stuff of daydreams. I can’t wait to see what you make out of all that lovely yarn!

  39. There are a couple of great pictures of you Stephanie wearing the sweater on Claudia’s blog:
    Sounds like you had a great time after some hectic initial travelling. How do you pay for all this yarn, just wondering, lucky you.

  40. It was great getting to meet you and your Rhinebeck sweater! πŸ™‚ What a great trip. Looks like you did it all while you were in Rhinebeck. And you did manage to buy a few things, I see. Yay!

  41. It was fun to meet you…I hate that I had to miss Day 2 of the festival, but one day was better than nothing!
    I was pulled out of line to be “searched” for both of my flights. I even got up close and personal with a female agent- if you know what I mean πŸ˜‰ But, thankfully nothing as awful as what you had to encounter. And, they let my addi turbos go through without a comment. Whew!

  42. you are now officially invincible. two weeks for an aran as gorgeous as that one? amazing. πŸ™‚ glad you had fun at rhinebeck. now what’s your next project? πŸ™‚

  43. Err… Kathy? I didn’t so much “not let her travel” with the man, I had an assignation of my own the day she was picking it up. With Morrissey. He was awesome and I’m not sorry. πŸ˜‰

  44. oooohhhh!!! that red in the foreground looks luscious – and there is something tealish peaking from behind the handle – must see that…. please give us all the intimate details of your new friends!

  45. Okay, Norma stated in her blog, yesterday: “the antiBuddhist* Canuck psycho Aran designer-knitter-writer-spinner… who gives the Office of Homeland Security the heebie-jeebies with her DPNs. Luggage searched, flight canceled, rerouted, knitting taken away… a SEVEN-HOUR wait without her knitting… (…she IS the antiBuddhist, or something like it, or so she found out, while staying at a Buddhist retreat.)”
    I await details, Harlot.

  46. You didn’t blather – you were lovely – and so was the gorgeous sweater you had on –
    So great to meet you – sorry I missed so many of the other bloggers (that’s what I get for being socked away in a classroom for two days) I gotta get out more…

  47. dear Stephanie –
    As you wrote the words, “I would die if Meg Swansen read this…”, you must have guessed that SOMEone would rush to send it to me… sure enough…
    Actually, I do not dislike Purling (nor did my ma) as much as some knitters seem to believe. Without Purl, there would be no Arans or Ganseys … and no ribbing – for gawd’s sake!
    Purl has its place and I am grateful that it exists – I just choose to avoid it when possible.
    Keep teaching those new knitters to Purl… and know that Joyce Williams (author of Latvian Dreams) taught her sweet little innocent grandchildren to Purl FIRST – and they now prefer it to Knitting. So there.
    Meg Swansen
    Schoolhouse Press

Comments are closed.