Wool Days

I’m back from Rhinebeck, and oh, it was lovely. I share this time each year with the same group of great knitters, and it’s such a treat to be together for several days once a year.   Rhinebeck feels like a knitters holiday to me. So many wonderful things, and sweaters and people and… it’s amazing.  I had a lot of words to go with these pictures, but as you can imagine, following the events yesterday and today, most Canadians are glued to the TV right now. Rather than not post at all, I give you pictures. Words tomorrow.  I’ll try and post from the airport on my way to a rather amazingly fabulous event in Edmonton.

goodsheep 2014-10-22

foundpatt 2014-10-22 yarnwindowbest 2014-10-22 rhinebecktree 2014-10-22sheepattacktwo 2014-10-22 foxpaws 2014-10-22 blog 2014-10-22 rhinebecktree2 2014-10-22 glassneedles 2014-10-22

usrhinebeck2014 2014-10-22

PS. Yes.  I finished my sweater. Details tomorrow.)

133 thoughts on “Wool Days

  1. Every time I look at pictures like that, I have only one thought:
    I need a sheep.

    The problem, of course, is bylaws and city limits and not-being-allowed-to-by-the-powers-that-be.

    I need a sheep.

    • Agree. This is horrible. I was in class all afternoon, learning about the shooting(s) this evening at work. I am so sorry that anyone has to go through this. The killed soldier had the most beautiful warm eyes ….

    • Yes – thinking of our friends in Canada tonight and wishing you all peace. I’ve always loved Canada – but given that I’m a yarnharlot superfan – over the years I’ve come to love Canada even more and feel I know more about it’s culture, customs and heart than many. Today felt very close.

  2. Pingback: Wool Days | Yarn Buyer

  3. Ohhhhh…how I wish this prairie farm girl could get out of a tractor or combine and attend some of these events. I’m ever so wistful…

    I smiled when I saw the display of Clun Forest yarn. I used to have a nice little flock and still have 40 lamb fleeces. I’m itching to get spinning!

    Yes, I’m making excuses to stay in the house today, close to the tv 🙁

    And my farmer is letting me…

  4. Lovely pictures and we can tell you had a fabulous time!

    Americans are also glued to the tv and feel we are one with you Canadians.

  5. My thoughts and prayers are with the people affected one way or another by this violence. I hope all of your friends and loved ones are safe. I will focus on the photos you posted and pray for a better day.

  6. Here in Australia, thinking of all Canadians and sending hugs (woolly, virtual and everything in between) from us to you.


  7. It is so unusual to hear of gun violence in Canada… I was just there telling my family how they live in such a saner and safer society than we in USA…

    In an event, the photos are lovely. The tree colors are stunning this year.. In Chicago, ours are blowing down soon. Looking forward to seeing and hearing more.

  8. Hope things go as well as they can in the aftermath up there. 🙁

    Looking forward to your thoughts on the fox paw pattern as well.

  9. Love the sheep pictures! I live in an apartment and I would love to be able to visit sheep. Unfortunately the sheep I know live too far away.
    As for the other thing – glued to the TV? No way! I found out what happened and then turned the TV off, and I went out into the neighbourhood and enjoyed the beauty of nature. Then I smiled at the people I met until they just had to smile back.

  10. Reading the news coming from Canada. Peaceful thoughts to you and all Canadians from Wisconsin, USA as you deal with the tragedies.

  11. The picture with the trees and the fence and the tents. I know right where that is inside the park. I got that place memorized and I have only been there twice! That tells you how much a place you like to be makes an impression. The sheep in the first pic is begging to be adopted. My husband may just oblige me!

    To All The People Of Canada….I shall pray for you and the Sgt At Arms who rescued so many…may you all continue to be safe!

    Barb R
    Shelton CT, USA

  12. Thank you for the wonderful pictures.

    I am so very shocked by the events going on in your wonderful country. I just can’t grasp how those things could possibly be happening in Canada. Prayers, healing thoughts, and peace-filled wishes to all of Canada.

  13. There is a way you have with words. I have been hitting refresh on your website waiting to see if you have any words on what is happening in our country right now. I always carry knitting with me – and now I think what would I do if my building went into lockdown? (Not there yet, but there is heightened security at the moment.) It sounds silly to some maybe that I think of knitting as a way to lessen anxiety, or a way to feel prepared. I feel prepared when I have knitting in my purse. And desk drawer. And glove box. And in the rim of the spare tire. And in the First Aid kit.

    A dear friend was on her way to campus this morning(uOttawa) after she dropped her kids off at elementary school. She got the email to stay away before she got there. In the few minutes to get back to her kid’s school, it was in lockdown and her street was shut down. She is now safe, at home, and finally has her kids back. She is also in a wheelchair – I should not take my legs for granted if I need to run. How tragic that could have been if time was a few minutes different for her today.

    So I am thinking about how happy I am that she and her family are safe even though I am watching the security around my office building. It is amazing how unfamiliar familiar faces look with this stress. I have a few yards of sport weight left, which I hope lasts me until I can go home in another hour. (Travelling women shawl, Madelintosh Pashmina, Laurel colourway)

    Steph, you have a way of writing that brings comfort. While I have enough yardage for the next hour, if there are any words you can add as a security blanket to this knitting, that would be greatly appreciated. Thank-you.

  14. Such a horrible and shocking day for Canada! My husband and I have spent the day watching events unfold on TV and are appalled. I remember going to Ontario with my parents several times as a child, and it was lovely. Prayers and good thoughts to all the Canadians.

  15. Nothing has made me more sad than how the only time I have not been in Edmonton in the fall is the time when you visit. I may be living in France but I really wish I was home to see you and meet knitters! Enjoy Edmonton for me – it’s a really lovely place (especially the river valley, if you happen to get to go for a walk there, do it!)

  16. Beautiful photos, so glad you got to go.

    Reading the Parliament updates as they come in, too. I’m so sorry and if there are any others involved I hope they are stopped before they do any more harm.

  17. SIGH! The magic that is Rhinebeck…and the weather was gorgeous. Seriously, knitters, the fairgrounds are gorgeous; there is a generous amount of seating, and it is almost a harvest festival with wool added. There is a whole building of wine and food. I am hoping that the vendor who sells the vast array of apple varieties returned, as well as the maker of the deep-dish apple pies. I have even talked my husband into making the trip with me.

    And then, to abruptly be thrust back into the world where anyone with a mental illness or a grudge can wantonly take lives of people that aren’t even part of the decision-making process. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by this senseless tragedy.

    I want to live at the fiber festival at Rhinebeck.

  18. When I heard the news, my thoughts first jumped to you. I am sorry for your the loss of your countrymen and the violence that you have experienced. No country should have to go through this.

  19. Shocked about the news up there and my thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those affected.

    Your photos are amazing – I especially love the one of you with the sheep.

  20. I was so upset to hear about the shootings. No matter how crazy things get down here in the U.S. I have always taken comfort in the fact that Canada is a peaceful place. I’m so sorry. On a happier note, I’ve been trying to get to Rhinebeck for years. Hopefully, next year will be the one!

  21. Looking at those fall colors on the trees…makes me want to stuff a turkey in the oven, pour LARGE glass of Chardonnay, turn on some music and knit. Can’t wait for our 4day weekend next month. I hope I can one day attend one of those events.

  22. My deepest compassion and sympathy for the events in Ottawa. Like many Americans I don’t know nearly enough about your country but your writings have shown me just a little of how special it is. I pray that the openness and freedom of your nation changes not at all.

    I knit my way through 9/11 and it really helped. By the time I turned off the tv coverage I had a whole sock done. I will always remember knitting that sock.


    • While the events of today are tragic, they appear to be comparatively small in scope. (One crazy person killed a soldier, and was killed trying the next crazy thing.) Compared to 9/11, it is a sad thing of a smaller order – though certainly not to the families involved. We don’t know yet if the man in question was even motivated by radicalized beliefs, we shall see.

      • Well said, Stephanie! These were my exact thoughts.
        My husband and several of my children are soldiers. They are proudly wearing their uniforms today.
        Over-reacting to yesterday’s events will fulfill the agenda of those who want to harm our society.

  23. Dear Stephanie, Thank you for posting such lovely pictures today when the news is bringing us not so lovely images. When I feel anxious about news like that, where I am completely unable to do anything other than meditate and pray for those involved, I knit something easy – cowl, scarf, socks, etc. Even though the process of knitting brings me peace, I find that looking at the FO reminds me of why I knit it. So I give the item away. Someone else gets a hand knit item for their own warmth and comfort, my anxiety has been reduced, and the universe has a little more love in it.

  24. I too, thought of you immediately when I heard about the tragedy in Canada…violence in America has become (it seems) pervasive and I’m sorry beyond words that it has traveled to Canada which I have always thought of as a peaceful place. My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this senseless violence. May our combined knitters’ spirits calm the world. Peace.

  25. Thank you for posting today, Stephanie. I had been too upset from the events of this morning to even touch my knitting. I have family that live minutes from downtown Ottawa, who were thankfully safe and sound at home, but the thought of them being so close just left my stomach in knots. But…after looking at your Rhinebeck pics and reading through the wonderful comments of fellow knitters, I feel settled for the first time since the news broke. Thank you to you and all your readers for the little bit of peace found here today.

  26. Have been away from media most of the day and so was spared the usual breathless over-reportage in which our American networks excel… I hope this was just a single person with whatever sick and inhumane reason to try to take the lives of innocent people; I pray (not a term I use lightly) for the peace of mind of the man who stopped him and all those who were in danger; and I give thanks that my favorite Canadian (you!) is safe, calm, and surrounded by family.

  27. Why can’t everyone be more like knitters? The world would be a much happier (and warmer!) place…

    Thinking of you all, dear Canada.

  28. Thank you for something joyful and beautiful to distract us on a day like today. I just wanted to reach out and touch that sheep in the first photo. Will eagerly await the words…

  29. yes, we are all glued to the TV, but as I wait this out it was lovely to see the pictures, especially the group of wonderful sweaters being modeled and I LOVE that sheep, well both of them actually.

  30. I’m so sorry that Canada is experiencing the gun violence that has become too frequent here in the States. May violence become less frequent everywhere.

  31. You got smooched by a sheep! I bet the sheep got a little sad when he/she learned you’re already married. . .!

    I was saddened to hear the news from Ottawa today. I’ll keep those directly affected, their families, and their friends in my thoughts tonight.

  32. See you in Edmonton – been ‘way’!!!! too long since Audrey’s Books (the basement) in 2005 – when you told us that if “I’d known how popular this book would be, I might not have used my whole name” as you signed every one our copies! (and then told the world about your adventures with self-locking hotel doors)

  33. So you’ve decided to go back to Edmonton, eh? Good for you. They are luck to have you, regardless of what you may or may not be wearing.

  34. I’ve been thinking of ya’ll after I heard this horrible news – tragic and my thoughts go out to everyone. Just so senseless.

    I absolutely love the picture of you and the sheep nuzzling you – what a cute picture – needs to be on a book! You are going to write another book aren’t you ;). I am still laughing over the girls’ water ballon fight inside the house….. ( yes, 2 books ago!)

  35. My thoughts as well are with the friends and family of the slain. I’m glad you got to go and have a good time before getting smacked back to reality. I would love to know more about that white cabled poncho when you can.

  36. So sad for Canada today and for that poor young man and his family. What an awful thing to happen. My husband is recently exRAF and as he said that isn’t supposed to happen when you are standing in fancy uniform doing ceremonial duty. Be strong! BTW saw your tweet about the ISIS/ISIL thing – they keep changing their name -our media seem to be going with “so called Islamic State” at the moment. Although that did type as “Llamic” which would be a lot better

  37. Sending peace and hopeful perspective and solidarity from Australia to friends in the knitting community in Canada. We had a shooting today too – a man had an altercation with his neighbours in a country town and shot three people from the same family dead.

    In light of that, Stephanie, I want to thank you for what you do. You use knitting as a vehicle for people who are different in many ways to realise our common humanity. We can be from different backgrounds, political views, life experiences, religious convictions, and attitudes to natural fibres vs sythetics, and still see one another as valuable and valid people. You remind us that we all have loved ones and passions and a need for rest, creativity and rejuvination. From that understanding it becomes much harder to hate and demean and harm. You keep calling us to respectful discussion of our differences. Thanks for your leadership – you’ve created a wonderful community, Steph, and it inspires me as I seek to create community in my own spaces.

  38. I’m so glad that you had such a great time at Rhinebeck. It was a lot of fun. Even though it looked like it was going to pour on several occasions, it turned out to be a wonderful weekend.

    I’m so very sorry to hear about the violence in your wonderful country. I will never understand why someone could do something so awful in God or Allah’s name.

  39. Hurrah for Canada’s brave first responders, especially the sergeant-at-arms, and shame on anyone who believes that killing in the name of a supreme being is righteous.

    Commentators on U.S. TV spent a lot of time speculating on the awful things other wannabe terrorists could do. I refuse to change my travel, my shopping habits or anything else because of such jerks. I’m striking back at the terrorists by knitting wool beanies to be sent to Syrian refugee babies and toddlers (via the Wool Aid group on Ravelry).

    Meanwhile, I’m hoping that Canada’s legal system can deal proactively with the other wannabes that might want to emulate the barbarians who attacked Canadians this week, and that the vast majority of Canadians will refuse to let these atrocities make them unduly fearful.

  40. So sorry about the horrific things happening in Canada. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    It does look fun to be kissed by a sheep, though! 🙂

  41. Thank you so much for the lovely photos and the rational(mostly!), funny, loving face you show us over and again. May God bless you and your communities as you work through this event.

    And the Rhinebeck pix just bring smiles! The colorwork piece is amazing! WHAT is that technique?

  42. To everyone who has suffered at the hands of those who think violence is the answer, namaste. Peace is the answer. Peace in your heart, in your home, in your neighborhood, then your state, country and then the world.

  43. I am so sorry about the loss of life and random violence happening to our Canadian neighbors and friends. My thoughts are with all of you.

    The pictures were lovely-especially the sheeps. Made me smile. Funny how wool and events surrounding can take you away!!

  44. That first picture – of the sheep – is so beautiful! The light, the focus, the line of his mouth…. I just LOVE it! After reading about the sorrows in Ottawa I came back to this picture and it helped my heart. So sad about how people treat each other. Hugs to all my Canadian friends!

  45. Caring thoughts and heartfelt prayers for our friends in Canada. I’m so sorry that the violence has reached up to our peaceful friends up north. I live near Boston and needed to “shelter in place” while the search was on for the bombers at the Boston Marathon. Scary and so very very sad.

    On a happier note, your photography is wonderful! Congratulations on that growing skill!

  46. Sending prayers for the family, and the young man who died serving his country – for all Canadians – and for everyone who searches for peace. My thoughts are with you all.
    Namaste –

  47. Prayers to the people of Canada and you, Stephanie. Being a Rhinebeck native, I am curious where the yarn shop is in your photos.

  48. So sorry to hear about the sad events in Ottawa. Kind thoughts are with you all.

    I bottle fed a lamb for one month — “Ryan” (after the film “Saving Private Ryan”) lived in our family room (wore diapers!), and slept in a dog crate. It had been rejected by its mother, but we were able to return it to the paddock 15 pounds later, where he has since become the mascot. What an experience — and a joyful one.

    I love the aran cape that one of the knitters is wearing int he last photo. It would be wonderful to find the pattern.

  49. It certainly was a sad and strange day in Ottawa and today continues with a lot of subdued conversations and quiet streets. I spent most of yesterday in lockdown in my downtown Ottawa office building wishing I was far away, had remembered my knitting (I didn’t realize it was crazy shooter day and left my sock in progress at home), and suffered the indignity of no access to Tim Hortons coffee. Barely a hardship given the events of the day.

  50. Never doubted that you would finish the sweater! Pics are wonderful. Looks like a grand time.

    I love needles. What are those????? Inquiring needle hoarder minds need to know.

  51. In the last photo you posted, I LOVE the beautiful poncho/cape/sweater that one of the ladies is wearing. Does anyone know where I could get the pattern.
    And thank you everyone who has posted about the tragic events here in Ottawa yesterday. I can’t tell you how awful it felt knowing that friends who work and/or live downtown might be in danger, and then might be caught in the lockdown that only lifted at 8 pm. And there’s a daycare centre in the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings, which is where all the shooting was going on. Thank God none of them was hurt.

  52. Festival Envy. Needle envy, sheep envy. So much envy is bad for me I know– but I love the pictures anyway and someday, when I can knit more than half a sock, I will treat myself to a fiber festival. Until then I will just live vicariously through your blog. 🙂
    When I saw the news yesterday, all I could say was “This doesn’t happen it Ottawa. This doesn’t happen in Canada. My mom wisely said “Why not?”
    I answered albeit dumbly — “Because that’s Ottawa– where I was born!”
    She just replied: “Crazy people are still crazy no matter where you go.”
    So I turned off the T.V. and said a prayer for the fallen soldier, his family, the shooter and his family.
    Thank you for the joy you bring Stephanie. Thank you for being a voice of calm, and using your knitterly powers for good.

  53. I am sitting here and thinking of Canada and mourning the loss of one of their young men. I will paraphrase your Prime Minister [?] when I state your law makers were sitting in their places at the seat of their democracy. And, the look at look on your Sgt at Arms when he was applauded. My thoughts…..

  54. I love all of these photos, but especially the one of you with the sheep! Your essay about overcoming camera-shyness, in your latest book, really struck a chord with me. I am so glad to see that you are getting on the other side of the lens, sharing these moments of joy with all who love you.

  55. It was literally heartwarming to read these messages as I sat in lockdown in my office building 2 blocks from Parliament Hill. It was a scary day, but knowing that others were channeling positive thoughts WAS a help. Thanks to everyone.

  56. Very sad to hear of the news from Canada this week, very sad.

    Thank you for the pictures of Fall in New York. One year I will go, one year.

  57. So, furnace wars? Is it only central heating or does lighting the fire count you out? I’ve got really wierd electric radiator thingies in my new rented house, that I’m too scared to use, but two woodburners…

  58. I miss Rhinebeck. I haven’t been back since moving from Ct to Ohio 3 years ago. I always made a round through the sheep barn. You look great in blue! I just wanted to tell you that there are airports closer to Rhinebeck than Boston: Stewart, West Chester County, and Bradley International are the 3 south that I’m familiar with. Best part about Bradley is that it’s about 35 minutes from WEBS!

  59. Lovely photos! The picture of the green sweater being held by the smiling woman has caught my eye. I’m hoping she’s holding the pattern for that sweater and that it can be purchased. I cannot make out the design or the designer name, and chance you can provide it?

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