Staying put

My mother-in-law lives three hours (mostly) north of me, and about one hour from the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, where the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival is taking place this weekend. You know, Rhinebeck–the fiberfest whose name is spoken in hushed, reverential tones.

I first heard about Rhinebeck last fall–when knitting blogs were teeming with post-Rhinebeck reports, “you’ll never guess what famous person I saw there” sightings, and “look at my yarn haul” photos. I felt like I’d missed the boat on something all the popular kids already knew about. And now that I knew about it (but still wasn’t one of the popular kids), I resolved to attend the next Rhinebeck.

So I hatched a plan: Jan, Sylvia, and I would drive up to his mom’s place on Friday, spend the night there, and get to the festival bright and early the next morning. We’d all get a kick out of seeing the animals and participating in the hustle-bustle of a big festival, and I could pet and maybe even purchase some can’t-get-this-stuff-anywhere-else yarn. The plan expanded to include our friend Gina, who decided to come with us, leaving her uninterested-in-yarn husband, Todd, home to look after their six (yes, six cats). (And yes, they are nuts. “They” being both the humans and the cats.)

But a few weeks ago, I looked at my stash (not huge by any means, but there’s enough in it to keep me busy for a while) and my bank account (not huge by any means, but there’s enough to pay the bills–but not enough to take a big hit from festival-euphoria-induced yarn purchases) and decided to stay home. If Rhinebeck were an hour away from me, yeah, I’d probably go. But four hours there plus an overnight plus four hours back add up to far too much time and effort to make a trip just to look at yarn (but not purchase) and other nice stuff worthwhile.

(There are several wool/knitting festivals in my part of the country, but I’ve yet to attend one. This reminds me of my experience with academic conferences: many of my fellow graduate students were barely scraping together funds or sometimes even going into debt in order to go to academic conferences, but I didn’t attend one until late in my grad school career, when there was one close to my university and I could actually afford to go to it.)

Gina took the news well, thankfully, and I’ve decided to start saving my pennies now for next fall’s Rhinebeck. Or maybe I’ll try Maryland Sheep and Wool* in May (which I’ve not attended because my daughter’s birthday has fallen on the same weekend) or Knitters Day Out in September (which I’ve not attended because my anniversary has fallen on the same weekend). Next year, all those weekends are free of other events (thank you, Leap Year!), and I’ll be ready for them!

(* Take a look at the URLs for the NYS Sheep and Wool and Maryland Sheep and Wool websites. Think there were any fisticuffs over who got which one?)

4 Responses to “Staying put”

  1. Katie Jon 20 Oct 2007 at 1:19 am

    Someday I would like to attend Rhinebeck, but Maryland Sheep and Wool is quite wonderful, so that could satisfy the urge for a while.

  2. Laurie L.on 21 Oct 2007 at 4:42 pm

    Oh, wow! How frustrating to be so close (only three hours drive) and not be able to attend. Now, before you say anything, I live in California! Yeah…three hours to Rhinebeck is nothing compared to the mountains and money I would have to overcome to go. Not that I would have money to purchase (or even have room to store more fiber if I did purchase) but I would like to go to an event like that just to see and feel and absorb the festive mood. (Maybe it’s the 4-H gal in me…). Sounds like you will have many opportunities to attend events this coming year, though.

    Welcome to Knitter’s Coffee Swap, by the way. I think combining coffee and knitting in the fall to usher in the cooler days and longer nights is such an amazing concept for Knittymama to “mama host.”

  3. Ginaon 23 Oct 2007 at 9:49 am

    Hey if you go to Maryland Sheep and Wool, I am so there! Road Trip, baby!

  4. Marshaon 23 Oct 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Katie and Gina: Let’s tell Pat now to get the van ready for Maryland Sheep and Wool! Gina, you and I have birthdays around that time, so we should definitely do some shopping there.

    Laurie: I’m sure I’ll get to Rhinebeck one day–just not this year! :) Do you go to any wool/yarn festivals out where you are? Oh–and you’re right about coffee and knitting and fall going well together, though I’d add that coffee and knitting and any time of year go well together!