Monday, October 22, 2007

The Best Time I've Ever Had With My Clothes On.
This is Rhinebeck.
And this is Rhinebeck.
But most of all, the people are Rhinebeck. Rhinebeck-a-looza. What a glorious day it was, too. Many pictures, kids. Not enough words to express how much fun this day is.
So the story begins. I get there at 9 a.m. sharp, before Joe, before Carol, before Ted, and I head over to see Dr. Mel and David. I had missed Mel and David last year and felt terrible about it, so I made sure that they were #1 on my list. Mel was wearing the kilt. And it is the first garment he has ever made. Unfuckingbelievable. (Carol did lift the kilt--I'll leave it to her to tell that tale.) And of course, I bought some wonderful black baby alpaca top from them.

Within moments, Carol shows up. OK, C, I know this isn't the most flattering picture of you but it does show you in a pensive mood. Or something.

I leave Mel and David to their rapidly increasing line of customers and head back towards the concession stands, where the Wolvies traditionally gather, kinda like flies on shit. Suddenly, I spy the Frecklefaced Girl and the Code Monkey (who inconveniently turned his head when I took the picture but he's a handsome young geekboy).
After all this time of emails, I was very glad to meet Jess and Casey in person. As far as I'm concerned, if this is the face of young knitting, then I'm thrilled.
Jess and Casey came with Ravelry buttons, so I put that one on my right tit, my Rhinebeck Bingo Square button on my left tit. It seemed the esthetic thing to do.

Finally, the rest of the crew shows up: From left, with his back to the camera, it's JoeWi, Ted's friend David (a new spinner and a swell guy!), Fredda hugging Ted. Let the games begin. And to my great surprise, Lars showed up. Appearing from nowhere. We weren't expecting him to come and I was shocked and awed that he had found time in his insane schedule to come.

At this point, it's getting close to noon, time for the Ravelry/bloggers get-together. I perched precariously on a bench to take this shot. Is this fucking incredible or what?
A lot of people came up to me, some with Bingo cards in their hands. "Who are you?", waving the sheet in my face. "Well, who do you think I am?" I always make people guess. Usually they figure it out. But as Ted said, if I'm too nice and gracious, then people won't recognize me. Good point. I should have said, "Who the fuck DO YOU THINK I AM???" But I really tried to be on my best behavior. Kinda.
Honestly, one thing I enjoy enormously is meeting my readers. And I met quite a few, although rumor had it that some people were afraid to approach me. I hear that every year. Come on, people. Get some balls, willya?
Jaya (left) and Monica had balls. And we had a wonderful conversation. The two of them were funny, smart, and a pleasure to talk to.
Oh yeah, and Rhinebeck's all about the food, too. Fried pickles, artichokes, apple crisp a la mode, and whatever the fuck Ted was eating (I think it was one of Thaddeus's sandwiches that he snuck in under security's collective noses.)
I do love these two men so much. I can't ever say how much they both mean to me.
And then it it was time to break out with a rousing verse of O Canada. DUDE.
Yes, it's Lee Ann and Spiff, with Ted's incredible Shetland stole wrapped around her neck. The color was perfect for her and she looked ever so chic. But Lee Ann and Spiff came sans Twinkletoes, much to my great sadness. I completely understand why they chose to leave one of my favorite little girls home with her grandmother. Frankly, were Corinne and Jenn of that age, their asses would have been parked elsewhere too. But I'm always glad to see Lee Ann. Wish I had had more time to spend with her.
Canadians were all over the fucking place. And I have to say, they are some of my favorite people. I was thrilled to meet Veronik Avery in person, finally. We've corresponded at times and I've always felt she was one of our top designers. If I don't get off my ass and get her book, well, my library is still incomplete. Somebody took our picture together but I don't have it. I think it was Carol.
And then...there was the primo Canadienne. With her sidekick Juno. It was showdown at the OK Corral. I walked up to her and threatened to beat the crap out of her. Blood on the streets of Rhinebeck. Just so everyone could see how much we hate each other's guts, which is what they love to think.
Um, sorry to disappoint. Steph's another one of my favorite people. There was no blood, just a big hug. I loved her sweater and damn, I forgot to ask her from whence it came. It was spectacular.
Later on, at Morehouse, which is sadly closing its shop doors in Milan, NY, and moving to online sales completely, I ran into Kristin Nicholas, who took me out to her car to show me her book. Now, having interviewed K for Interweave Knits Winter issue (shameless self-promotion), and having photographed many of the projects for the article, this was the first time I'd actually seen the book. Kristin Knits. It is fabulous. And that's not just because K is my friend, either. It's because she's a fabulous designer. So buy it, already.
Last but not least, here are some pictures I took of winning entries in the knitting and spinning competition. The lacework and the spun boucle were so inspiring, I had to include them here. Because this, to me, is also Rhinebeck.
At 5 p.m., with sore feet, I began my trudge out of the fairgrounds. I was going over to Morehouse (yeah, I bought some laceweight--pictures of the Rhinebeck loot later this week), and then to dinner with Ted, David, Carol and some of Carol's friends at the diner by the Holiday Inn. Except that Carol got the wrong diner, dope-e-lah that she is, so it was Ted, David, me. I was sorry to miss the Ravelry party but I needed some quiet time before I made the 2-hour drive back home.
As I walked out, I saw this woman. And all I can say is, that's the way to end the day at Rhinebeck. Nothing more rare and handy than a beach chair and knitting. Anywhere.

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