Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Feeling Festive

You know, being as short as I am, I hate crowds; and being a generally irritable person, I am bored to death at festivals. I hate walking around and looking at things, I hate waiting in line, I hate having to stay vivacious and engaged for prolonged periods of time. It's just all too hard for someone like myself. And, of course, where I live, any festival held at a fairgrounds is more an endurance test than anything else, what with the humidity and the mosquitoes that are common during summer and fall. Everyone walks around pretending to enjoy themselves, but - to my mind - the looks on their faces would be more suitable to the Bataan death march than to a festival.

I know, I am a FUN person.

So, I was worried about Rhinebeck.  I worried I would hate it. I was worried I would drive hundreds of miles and sleep in a stranger's house only to feel bored to death by the whole sheep-and-wool thing.  I worried about making Larry take a day off work just so I could drive hundreds of miles and be unhappy.  I prepared myself to lie to Larry when I got home, no matter what. "Great! It was great!" I'd say.

But, in the end, I didn't have to lie. There must be some magic in the air at the Duchess County Fairgrounds, or maybe it helps that the weather wasn't 90 degrees and humid, or maybe all the yarn fumes were simply intoxicating.  Whatever it was, the Rhinebeck magic had its effect. I wandered through at least a dozen buildings, each with 20 or more stalls filled with vendors/creators. Not bored. I watched a sheepdog round up some very silly-looking sheep. Not bored. I spent an inordinate amount of time on the long women's bathroom lines, as I was dealing with a very inconveniently timed stomach virus.  Still not bored. (And, hey, even the bathrooms were nicer than any I had seen at other fairgrounds.)

I thought these guys were cute, and I don't even like sheep.

EVERYONE there was happy.  Everyone was wandering around in amazing knits, laughing and talking and petting baby sheep and then eating lamb gyros and lamb-barley soup (not cool, people, not cool). The fairgrounds themselves were far from the flat, desolate, humid wastelands to which I have become accustomed. Rolling hills, pretty buildings, gorgeous trees - they all combined to make Rhinebeck the festival feel like some woolly wonderland.

Just one tiny sample of the gorgeous foliage

This, my friends, is what yarn-fume intoxication looks like.

Magic. As noted here, even my 10-year-old felt it. It all feels like some weird dream now, and I can't even begin to explain what I found so interesting there. All I know is that here I am, back in my home state, with a large rug loom sitting in my living room. Apparently the Rhinebeck magic convinced me that I need to make braided rugs. NEED.

I'll give Larry some credit here - he hasn't even blinked an eye as the girls and I rip up all the cotton fabric we can get our hands on and argue over the proper tension of our fabric twists. He hasn't even tried to suggest that maybe I don't need a new hobby, when the living room is already inundated with baskets of yarn and stray knitting needles can be found under couch cushions and in the silverware drawer. Maybe he knows resistance is futile. Maybe he understands that one cannot argue with Rhinebeck.

Or maybe he hasn't noticed.  That's always a possibility.


  1. He could be thinking he owes you this after all of the inconveniences of his past home improvement projects.
    Or maybe he is secretly plotting his next home improvement project?

  2. I agree, he may well have non-home-improvement blindness. I wonder if he'll notice the finished rug?

    There is definitely a Rhinebeck magic factor. I attribute it to all those people who Get It, who share the yarn-love and love your shawl and want to know what the pattern is, and ooh where did you get that yarn? We may all be crazy, but it's the same kind of crazy. Even when you see someone wearing something that makes you raise your eyebrows to your friends because wow, really? You still have something in common with them.

    Can't wait for next year!

  3. Sounds like you were with your people which is why you enjoyed it so much! And perhaps Larry is thinking that you can make a bunch of rugs and sell them at next year's Rhinebeck festival to perhaps earn money to pay for more home improvement projects?

  4. I'm so jealous!!! I think I need to put this on my bucket list. Maybe next year.

  5. Huh. I want to go now. And as long as the man doesn't try and stop the project who cares if he notices or not... :)

  6. One of these years... and my money is on blindness. Male blindness to female activities is a well-known phenomenon in my house.

    1. I don't think we should discuss male blindness without also discussing male deafness. It amazes me how they walk around all day without two of their senses and manage to survive. Oh yes! That's right! It's selective. They can switch those senses on and off at will. What a trick of evolution!

  7. I'm glad it surpassed your expectations. It's always nice to go someplace and be surprised by the fun you have!

  8. Oh, now who doesn't like a braided rug??? Although my bet is on 'has not noticed'