Audrey: It’s two hundred and eighty miles to Rhinebeck, we’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.
Robin: Hit it.
It’s that time of year again, where the air turns cool, sweaters are de rigeure, and any knitter worth her stash has turned her thoughts to fairgrounds and yarnporn (yes, it’s a thing. If you have to ask for a definition, then you probably don’t want to know). It’s been a full couple of weeks—wait, who am I kidding, more like the better part of a year—and I’m on the road once again. I’m getting pretty good at the travel packing: all blacks and grays (all the better to wash you in a single load, my dear) and the process can’t be much simpler: dump the suitcase, run the wash, pack the suitcase, run. Recently I’ve had some incredible opportunities (#psuweb, #pseweb, #wds2013, #aeadc, #heweb13, #openva) to learn and engage with amazing people on a wealth of topics (design, UX, ed tech, the future of higher ed, personal growth, world domination), but even I can’t go full force forever. Sometimes a girl’s gotta kick back and regroup for a weekend.
This is that weekend. The trip where some Canadians and Americans come together in a rented house and drink gin and tonics (it’s not Happy Hour, it’s Hendricks Hour), play music and eat great food, tell bad (okay, maybe a bit naughty) jokes, and talk about knitting. You know, while we knit. It’s not your grandmother’s knitting circle, mind you; these are some kickass, amazing women who know a ton of stuff and come from all walks of life, but who are all bound by a common thread (yeah, I went there and only slightly by accident): we’re serious about our knitting. Every October we gear up for the annual pilgrimage to Rhinebeck, NY, for the New York Sheep and Wool Festival — or, for those in the know, simply Rhinebeck. Two full days of stalls of hand dyed yarns to entice knitters, natural fibers for spinners, and where words like malabrigo, bison, swatching, blocking, alpaca, are discussed in earnest. Where fair food is actually taken to new heights (who knew?) and where, no matter where you look, every single fair goer has on at least one sort of hand knit item. A sweater. A scarf. A hat. Fingerless mitts, perhaps. People who are Rhinebeck-bound watch the weather relentlessly to see what knits they can take with them. Damn, knitters are seriously talented.
It’s really amazing.
And so, we’ve packed the car to the gills and hit the road for Rhinebeck, anxious to leave our hectic, everyday lives behind us as we look forward to meeting up with our Canadian friends for another weekend of memories in upstate New York. Perhaps purchasing a new skein or two to add to our stash back home. (Can you believe I actually wrote that with a straight face? Me neither.)
Here’s to friends, yarnporn, and Hendricks Hours. See you on the flip side, folks.