Among My People

I don’t know what it says about my self-esteem and basically optimistic nature that I looked at my schedule for the next little bit and thought it was doable, because right now all I can do is look around me and feel the fear of the recently disillusioned.  The schedule is, of course, completely doable.  It’s just only doable by someone really super organized, tidy and fresh, who doesn’t need sleep much and has a cook and a maid.
Sadly, it turns out that I am not that person – and although I’ve always known that, I keep thinking that I just have to woman-up and I’ll be totally fine.  Then there I am, two weeks later unpacking and repacking a suitcase while printing handouts, cleaning the fridge, fighting about homework and making soup while confirming flights and still meeting a word count, and the whole thing makes me want to go upstairs and look in the mirror and tell the person there that she needs to work on her self concept.  Then it all works out, and it’s even worth it- and weekends like this last one are what keep me from ever learning my lesson.
After a great experience working at Webs, it was off to Rhinebeck for me, which always for me, is like walking among my people.  It’s a whole weekend where the whole world is the way it should be, if fibre people ran the world. 

Rhinebeck is like Christmas for knitters- at least the way I do it.  I do things I only do once a year, see things I only see once a year,  take time with friends I only see once a year… even eat things I only eat once a year. (I’m looking at you – chips on a stick.)

For three days we talked, ate, laughed…

We made two weavers out of thin air, and helped them warp their first looms.  (I’d be prouder of Kellee and I doing that if we hadn’t have warped their looms totally backwards and not noticed for hours. We both blame the wine – and the fact that somehow we thought it was really smart to do it really, really late.)

We shopped,  we greeted people seldom seen –

We communed with our spirit animals

and we talked for hours about things that other people have a limited threshold for – like necklines, and twist, and roving, and decreases, and the joys of mattress stitch, perfectly done.

We had photo shoots of Rhinebeck sweaters that made it… (Thanks to Caro for these awesome shots- and to Stitchy for smoothing.)

And we tried to figure out what to do about the ones that didn’t quite make it. 

And then… just so we knew we were in the right place…

We watched other little tribes do all the same things. 

It was great. It was like Christmas- and just like at Christmas?
I’ve got a lot of wrapping paper to clean up before New Years, and it was worth it.

78 thoughts on “Among My People

  1. Decided not to go this year, now I wish I had!
    I will, once again, beg you to consider the Md Sheep and Wool. A great time is had by all and you would love it!

  2. Rhinebeck is on my bucket list! It looks awesome, wish I could have been there. Nice sweater, by the way. Speedy knitting!

  3. Rhinebeck was wonderful. I totally understand what you mean by walking among your people. My mother, Aunt, two Cousins and I went this year. We are from 4 different states and we have made this into an annual event. It was awesome.

  4. Who needs organization, discipline, scheduling and all those other boring things when there’s communing over fibre! Rhinebeck is now firmly on my things to do SOON list. Glad you had fun…. And congratulations on the beautiful sweater – I’m in awe (again) that you could pull that together in 10 days!

  5. My life/travel in October was like your current schedule, so decided to forego Rhinebeck. Just don’t have your stamina. Now, the photos make me really, really sad about my decision. Like Christmas, I can plan on Rhinebeck next year!

  6. I am profoundly jealous of everyone who went to Rhinebeck. One day I hope to attend! The pictures look awesome and it seems like you had a great day!

  7. Didn’t see you there, but it might have been because I was so focused on the wool. Can’t believe how much fun it was, and totally, totally worth the long and hideous drive.

  8. It couldn’t have been a more perfect weekend for Rhinebeck!!! I noticed this year that there were a lot of young, very cool people this year and a lot of guys!! It was a great sight to see!

  9. Your cardigan looks great – autumn colours in an autumn setting. Congratulations.
    I prefer ‘our people’ rather than the Clinton gathering seen previously at Rheinbeck.

  10. I just love that sheep. I love the crimp in his wool and how he probably can’t see where he’s going. When I saw him I right away thought of the song Hair from the musical of the same name.

  11. Okay, so I have to ask…chips on stick? What on earth are they and why do they sound so delicious?

  12. It was my first Rhinebeck, and yes, it did feel
    like Christmas!!! I was there with my knit family
    and I had the bestest time…..ever!!!! This is definately going to be an annual event!!!

  13. It was pretty hilarious, watching you take pictures of us taking pictures of us. What a wonderful weekend with some of the loveliest. Folks. Ever!!

  14. I keep thinking of one of your early posts about how you wanted to go to a fiber festival (I think Rhinebeck) and were thinking about riding your bike to get there.

  15. Rhinebeck sweaters look wonderful.
    Not to chill the party, but I just got some spam claiming to be related to a Yarn Harlot post. Of course I didn’t open it, but now I’m wondering: Is it random (likely) or has someone managed to read your “protected” readers’ emails?

  16. That looks like such fun! I’ll need to be retired before I’ll be free to go anywhere this time of year, but it’s only a few more years…not that I’m counting or anything…lol.

  17. I was there too! I so wanted to meet you, but alak & alas I had no idea where to find you. Maybe next year….
    I had the time of my life though and have the pictures also to prove it.

  18. Someday I’m going to make the trek from California to Rhinebeck. The sweater looks great. This is we don’t always tell you you’re crazy when you decide to do some impossible feat, because so often do the impossible.

  19. I was there, too! On Saturday – kept half an eye out for you, but after a while gave up and just looked at yarn. I wore my socks, maybe next year I will have (my first) sweater done. Of course, it was so warm on Saturday that I would have been carrying my sweater anyway. My 2nd time, but I need to find some peeps to go with. ‘Tis a little lonely by myself (not that I didn’t meet some lovely people).

  20. So sad to have missed it this year. No good reason except I have some wicked carpal tunnel and I thought it would be torturous.

  21. I adore the unfinished sweater! Does anyone happen to know if it’s a commercially-available pattern?

  22. How fun! Some year I will make it to Rhinebeck (especially now that some “friend” of mine made me learn how to spin – and I’m really like it, damn it – how can I prepare my husband for the onslaught of fiber packages now headed to our home?).
    You look fabulous in your sweater. That picture belongs on one of your book jackets I think! That’s how you do it!

  23. I think I’ll have to go next year too. The sweater with the dark threatening clouds in the background – what a great photo!!

  24. Love this post! RB is on my list for next year. Noticed how there are so many “young” people in the crowd – fabulous!

  25. Rhinebeck is so wonderful–I want to live there! Great photo of the Yarn Hoars & Sherry’s crazy sweater!

  26. Damn, girl. You look so smooth!
    Rhinebeck really is an official Christmas-like holiday. It’s that ingrained into my yearly schedule. Merry Rhinebeck to one and all!

  27. Thank you for the great post about Rhinebeck. It is on my list of knitterly things to do but this year I decided to go to Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago. Btw, the sweater is fabulous!

  28. RE: SURVEY
    Hi, Steph, Please relay to student following info, as there was no way to add it to the survey, and mine is incomplete. Thanks.
    I went to half day kindergarten but don’t remember am or pm. Possibly pm, as I have a sense of nap time, but I really would have said morning. Maybe it swapped part way through? It was over 50 years ago.
    My own children: son went to half day, am, public kindergarten. It was a disaster. Daughter did not go to any kindergarten; it wasn’t offered in her public school. I am not sure the average kindergarten is really ready for GT kids anyway.
    Currently we live in a school district that has a lot of poverty. Just started doing all day kindergarten. It’s turning out to be a good thing. We are catching kids who need help/remediation/school supports sooner. It’s easier to fix problems when you catch them early. It also means we are able to support in forms of health systems, food, clothing, etc earlier, which helps longer term. (I’m in the US, where the government does not provide automatically for children’s needs.)
    It also means parents may be able to take jobs where they previously were unable to. Kids are also in safe, secure, learning environments younger. (Additionally, we have public pre-school, but it’s for kids who already have been ID’d with disabilities and other children who are mainstreamers for them. Those kiddos might pay tuition. but it’s cheaper than day care.)
    I suspect full day kindergarten in wealthier communities is less needed than in places that have a lot of diversity or poverty.
    Hope this helps.
    Carol Morrison

  29. It was an excellent Rhinebeck this year!
    I laughed myself silly after I dug through the fleeces with all of Judith McK’s wisdom ringing in my ears, absolutely certain I was NOT buying a fleece this year since I got one last year and haven’t, um, done anything with it yet….
    And then of course the most stunning Romney/Border Leicester fleece just sort of fell into my arms… and after the dust settled and strangely I seemed to have bought it, I realized the fleece came from about 10 miles from where I live in Vermont!
    HAH! I didn’t “buy” it… I was “rehoming” it!

  30. My first visit to Rhinebeck was magical! Saturday was a gorgeous fall day with all things yarn and fiber everywhere! And lo and behold, I looked up to see a Harlot standing in front of me all decked out in her beautiful new Rhinebeck sweather! It does not get better than that!

  31. Hey, Miss BB lives! It really is possible!, Now, let’s hope the knitting gods don’t enact revenge upon your next deadline sweater…

  32. Your sweater is beautiful in a beautiful setting. From those of us stuck at home — thanks for posting pictures! I especially enjoyed seeing one of my friends in the last shot.

  33. Your sweater is gorgeous. I love it.
    Also, what is the name of the pattern for the (unfinished) yellow ginghamy patterned sweater in the post? It’s stunning and I think I need it.

  34. Your jumper looks great, what did you end up doing to the sleeve, do they now match? And I agree with Julia Q and Cecilia what is the name of the gingham jumper (unfinished), beautiful.

  35. So – As I have found – being among your ‘peeps’ is a wonderful thing…. I keep putting off Rhinebeck – too many people – but if they are ‘your peeps’ – it’s time to go.
    October ’13 here I come!
    YH, thanks for the photos, fun and info.

  36. Ohmigawrsh! Christmas for knitters! That’s it exactly, and with the added bonus that there’s no snow or ice to contend with. I’ve never been to Rhinebeck, but I’ve been to the big fiber shows at my side of the continent (and to Sock Summit!), and that’s what it’s like, all right. The knitting group makes plans, we car pool to the event, we do our shopping, we gather someplace to knit and spin the afternoon away. Planning, saving, buying, food — it’s a knitter’s big holiday.

  37. Can we talk about the gorgeous picture of you? Because wow – right there is proof you need to ease a tad on the olive green, and go for blues the color of that sky, and more of the gorgeous curry-red of that sweater! So lovely on you!

  38. I want to know the name of the sweater that has the colored squares around the bottom and around one sleeve!!
    Please share pattern names!!

  39. I will go to Rhinebeck again. Last time I was up there was for an air show in the 90’s and my uncle is a friend of those people. I will bring my daughter up with me and as long as we don’t come home with our own alpaca I see that as a win.

  40. Sounds like such a lovely experience…something I would like to treat myself to, after I retire… I KNOW I would enjoy it so very much…

  41. OK. The sweater looks great in that photo. No holes, charred spots, or stains showing.
    Do you realize how lucky you were that the Knitting Deities did not smite you mightily??? Or is there really a huge stain on the back??

  42. I agree wholeheartedly with one of the prior posters: how about a Rhinebeck sweater calendar, with the proceeds to go to Doctors Without Borders? I would definitely buy a bunch, for myself, my knitting sister, and my knitting friends!
    I loved the pictures of beautiful sweaters, with real live people wearing them … all so gorgeous, the women and the wool!!

  43. OK. I want to go to Rhinebeck. It is out there – hear me, please, I want to go to Rhinebeck. Any chance of seeing any of the (Christmas) Rhinebeck presents. I love knitting presents – even if they are to myself.

  44. Okay, I’ve just got to go on record and say I absolutely love the ram with the long, curly wool. He is handsome and I’m sure has a whole flock of ewes madly in love with him. I want to know the texture of yarn made from that wool and I want to see an item made from it. Please, my dear yarn harlot, can you arrange it? Or at least BLOG ABOUT THAT WOOL!!!! Thank you so much, your devoted fan,

  45. So happy to run into you wearing the lovely, finished Miss BB. I love Rhinebeck esp going with my knitting daughter. Already planning on 2013, along with better prep of project ideas/weights/amounts of yarn needed. This year was random – though I did score some great BFL to knit a sweater for granddaughter. Seeing you, along with feeling the ‘with my peeps’ made for a great weekend!!!

  46. Looks as though fun was had by all the Great Fiber people.
    Plans made now for next year will be Rhinebeck.
    When living in the Greater Washington area, we always went to Maryland Wool Festival. Which was great.
    We retired to Texas, so we went to Taos,NM That is fun.
    Being with Fiber People is so refreshing and fun.Love the sheep.

  47. It was nice to see you at Rhinebeck! Sorry we startled you 🙂 We really aren’t stalkers LOL (We did the same thing to Ysolda Teague the day before and she looked just as shell-shocked as you did!)
    It’s like knitting “celebrities” have no concept of why they’re celebrities. My friends recently started a podcast, and people were running up to us all weekend to tell them how much they loved the podcast, and they were totally floored 😀

  48. Funny that your “spirit animal” is an Angora goat! A lovely lady goat at that. I’d be happy to hook you up, as I’m now up to eight of the little darlings myself. Honest, they’re like wool stash you can never have enough.
    Stunning sweater! I wish my needles worked at the speed of light like yours do! Congrats

  49. So this was my first trip to Rhinebeck………… I see Steph walking to the building behind the 4H food…..”Stephanie” I yell…….. you turn and look……”Welcome” I shout!!! Me, never been before, welcoming you who comes year after year. I must have been high on fiber fumes..

  50. Oh you said it so well. It was my first time this year and I feel a tradition developing. It was so exhilarating to be among people who share the same passion. LOVED IT. We rented a cabin in Taconic State Park which added to the magic.

  51. Saw you a couple of times at Rhinebeck, and your sweater looks even better in person! It fits well, and I love the color.
    It was the most perfect weekend for Rhinebeck – glorious weather!

  52. Delightful shooting you and your posse in your color coordinated knitwear at my photo booth. .Thanks for the cheery photo of Ariana and me in our handspun mitts,you can tell we were on a Rhinebeck high all weekend.

  53. Gorgeous knitting! I too would like pattern info on the 3/4 sleeve red raglan sweater with the hem blocks. That is really cute!

  54. Thanks for being so funny and gracious when I flipped out when I saw you and wanted a picture with you.

  55. If you’re able, can you share the names of the rest of the patterns in the photos? I especially love the olive and green colorwork (almost)sweater! Beautiful job to all of the ladies. Tres jealous!

  56. I am SO sad that I didn’t see you at Rhinebeck. Unfortunately I was busy visiting different vendors, corralling my other half and his daughter, and buying a spinning wheel. I love your sweater! Perhaps next year I will be able spot you and say hello! 🙂

  57. I think I’ll have to go next year too. The sweater with the dark threatening clouds in the background – what a great photo!!

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