The much anticipated NYS Sheep and Wool Festival, aka Rhinebeck, has been and gone. I'm home, sorting and reorganizing my buttons, the booth components and the rest of it.
On Friday I arrived in Rhinebeck around noon, picked up a sandwich from Bread Alone and unloaded my stuff on the fairgrounds and set up my new display, which is sort of fiddly to do, but shows off my wool buttons and button-centric knit samples better than previous displays or at least I think so.
At the end of the day I had a chance to shop in The Folds booth in it's new location. I couldn't decide which Socks that Rocks yarn I wanted with only a handful of people in the booth! I need that Filene's basement frenzy to do a better job of shopping! Workshop attendees and other vendors have that Friday advantage.
Maybe the alarming weather predictions were a factor this year and maybe the upcoming Stitches East impacted the attendance, but the wonderful, avid, rabid fiber people braved the sunny, brisk Fall weather to come to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds were greatly appreciated. Saturday morning before the gate opened it looked like this, (see the happy-to-be-there attendee waving!):
I took a few minutes before it opened to attempt to shop at my short list of booths. My wonderings are restricted since I'm supposed to be there selling and not shoppin'! Beyond my booth in Building A I sought out Creatively Dyed Dianne's colorful yarns and went away with a skein of the multi-multi colored fingering.
Across the aisle was the popular Briar Rose booth which had a line in it already, so I had to abandon any notion of shopping there or even seeing the selections, unfortunately. (Look at the detail on that lady's sweater!)
Had to scurry back to find my boothmate Sarah selling buttons for me already. The rest of Saturday was made up of a flurry of sales of my leaf pins, shawl pins and assorted buttons. Jane (as in, Not Plain Jane) stopped in to compliment me on my new direction---she's been a supportive customer there each year through all my transformations. I asked about her current projects and she's very pleased to have one of her shawls in Clara Parkes' new book. Yay! Jane!
I also was fortunate to be next to the Wool Room booth where author and artist, Carol Cypher, was helping out. Two years ago I had bought her then current book, Hand Felted Jewelry and Beads, she signed the book and talked with me briefly about the book process, being an author and teacher. I intended to start felting right away! Didn't happen. But now I'm determined with her encouragement to get my dyepots going, dye my supply of roving and get started with wet felting. Hope to take a class from her next month at the Kinokuniya book shop in NYC.
The aisles bustled in Building A with great knitwear and other fiber celebrities. I wore my Swiss Cheese Scarf knit in Dicentra Designs glowing golden orange and it befriended several other Swiss Cheese Scarves throughout the day.
Half way through Saturday a woman in an eclectic array of garments dropped into the booth to admire my Einstein Vest (also in a glowing Manos yarn, glowing was the key word for my accessories) and I started to refer her to the Sally Melville books and the pattern for it. It's a very, very simple garter knit but makes a great billboard for a special set of embroidered buttons. She didn't want to knit it she wanted to buy the vest off my back! I thought she was kidding, but she wasn't. We made a deal, I clipped off the special buttons and she left me there unsweatered. That was just too funny! I asked what she wanted me to knit for her next year!
On Sunday the weather was not so great and surely many chose to avoid the damp and drippy conditions. I got to do more shopping and headed for a booth that Sarah guided me to, Julia M Hilbrandt, who makes sleek, simple bags, purses, pillows out of industrial felt with great machine stitched detailing. I was so attracted to her aesthetic I tested all the strap lengths and found the bag I couldn't live without. She also had on display an apple green, heavy felt tree skirt with curvy stitched pleats that should certainly be on someone's Christmas list. Hope to see her again next year.
A big thank you to those that stopped by my booth and bought buttons, admired buttons, touched buttons, rummaged through my sale buttons and my vintage buttons and appreciated my work.
And I'm thankful that I have friends in the area that are willing to put up with me for the weekend, feed me warm dinners, give me a comfy bed to sleep in and accommodate my whims. Thanks Sue and Jamie!
The sun's out here, the Fall color is just arriving in our neck of the woods and it's perfect light for photographing buttons to upload to the new etsy shop: