Rhinebeck is something I look forward to every year, pretty much like a little kid looks forward to Christmas. You make your wish list, you count down the days until the actual event, and then *poof!*
Just like that, it's over and you have to wait until next year.
Since I only live a little over an hour from Rhinebeck, I stay at home and drive up each day. This year I took a workshop - All Spindles All Day with Abby Franquemont. Although I've been spinning for a number of years now, I wanted to get a different perspective from the master spindler herself. It was a very interesting class and I did come away with different opinions than the ones with which I had started the day. Particularly, low-whorl spindles without hooks.
Since the first spindle I learned on was a high-whorl, I had subconsciously made them my preferred spindle of choice. I could spin on a low-whorl, but would always switch back to the familiar. In this class, we practiced both. And I discovered that you could get a lot of spin out of a low whorl by rolling the shaft on your leg.
We also used a spindle with a hook and one without. I had always been of the opinion OMG I NEED A HOOK! But I found that tying a couple of half-hitches isn't so bad, and the yarn doesn't jump off as it sometimes does with a hook.
So, on Saturday while I was shopping with limited funds (made a mental note to speak to the organizers of Maryland Sheep and Wool and Rhinebeck about scheduling these festivals to coordinate with my bi-weekly paychecks), I found a big, clunky low whorl spindle for $12. I also found some amazingly soft Border Leicester roving (purple, of course) and I started spinning it on my new spindle on the car ride home (don't worry - I wasn't driving!). It's not quite the size of a Navajo spindle, but it will hold a lot of yarn.
Notice a color theme here? I also picked up some Country Classics dyes and some felted friends. And wine and cheese. And more wine. I was also very excited to find the burgundy/grey CVM/Romeldale I had spun last year, but forgotten where I had purchased it. I found it at Spirit Trail Fiberworks, so I bought some more along with some Targhee/Merino/Dorset/Finn. Their fibers are amazing and unique - they have a lot of rare breed fibers which are incredibly soft and still have a bit of that wonderful sheepy scent to them.
We had our Spin City- NY meetup around 3:00 on both Saturday and Sunday. It's fun to get together and check out what everyone bought. Just before the meetup, I had found a pound of Ramboulliet roving at a ridiculous price so of course I bought it. We were busy chatting and passing around our purchases, and when I went to leave, my pound o' Rambo was missing! But being among fiber friends, I didn't panic. I figured someone had mistakenly put it in their bag and I would see it again. Sure enough, I got it back the following Monday at our regular meetup.
On Sunday I got to meet Richard Ashford and try out the new Ashford Country Spinner 2 at Loop's booth. Steph Gorin helped to develop this wheel, which is great for spinning big, chunky art yarns! It is amazingly smooth and easy to use once you get used to its appetite for fiber. Check out Steph's tutorial videos on the Ashford website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_Mu84kn5Sg&noredirect=1
So, another Rhinebeck has come and gone, having enhanced my spinning knowledge as well as my stash. Good classes, good friends, good fiber, good times. Only 160 days until the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Is it too early to start my wish list?