Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rhinebeck: Faces and Fun

CJ big sock When Mom arrived with CJ in tow Friday night I was surprised since he and his sister had both said "No" to the original invite.

(He got his face painted like a pirate.)

We all settled down to watch the Yankees game.

I was happily knitting on Hubby's Striped Sweater when CJ asked me to teach him how to knit.

Now, most knitters might get giddy with excitement at such a request, but most knitters aren't as cold-hearted as I am.

"No," I said. "I tried that once and it didn't work out so well."

"I was four," he retorted. "I'm nine now."

Since I couldn't argue with that logic, and I didn't remember our previous attempt was so long ago, I fished out the US8 Colonial Rosewood Needles Cynthia gave me for Christmas a few years ago and a ball of light blue Red Heart that was lurking in the dining room credenza. (Proving it really was time to clean the credenza out.)

Despite firmly believing that if you don't know how to cast on you don't know how to knit, I decided to jump to the good stuff and cast on a few stitches.

He called my bluff and asked where the stitches came from and how I did it.

I demonstrated the long-tail cast on. He seemed to get it right away. I demonstrated the knit stitch. He started knitting.

Well, he had a little trouble remembering which direction to throw the yarn, but he got the hang of it awfully quickly.

He complained the wood needles were too pointy, but when I switched him to some metal #9 he said those were too slippery and wanted to switch back. So I said, "Just knit with the wooden one. When the metal one comes free, put it aside for the second wooden one." And he did!

Dude, I've met some adults who have trouble grasping that concept.

The Big Sock
There is a Rhinebeck connection to all this.

I had read that The Big Sock would be at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival and wanted to knit on it.

You can read more about it here but basically it's an effort to get a Guinness Record for the biggest hand knit sock.

Me big sock It is distributed over several circular needles that all just feed into each other. The yarn was mostly worsted weight, as far as I could tell. It has been traveling around the country and the yarn store that has it contributes yarn, in this case Uncommon Threads.

You could just wander up and knit on it. Provided there was an open spot with a working ball attached (there were plenty of open needles, but no yarn).

Maybe you can tell, but I'm totally faking it in this picture. I didn't have yarn to work with, but wanted evidence. I did really add 20 or so stitches of my own.

CJ knit on it to. He did a good job, if I do say so myself. At one point I was next to him and said, "Remember not to pull to tightly." The woman next to me was like, "Oh I know, I'm just fixing this." Ooops! So I explained CJ had only learned to knit the night before. I guess that made someone else suspicious because she told me he had dropped a stitch. But he hadn't. He only split one. So I tinked back and fixed it.

After that, we got our commemorative buttons and moved on.

Of course, this newly acquired skill would explain why he wouldn't part with the yarn is his goody bag. If only I had known about the goody bag contents...but then hindsight is 20/20.

I know you!
Let's see. I ran into Lisa from when I used to take the train.

P from Knitting Central. (She has good Rhinebeck accounts and pictures on her blog too, as you might expect.) I had been chatting on P's Facebook page with one of her friends about how many layers of knitwear we could manage. Turns out it was P's sister, so I got to meet her too.

I saw MathCutie, who I only know from Ravelry and Facebook. She liked the Yankees Socks I made for Hubby and asked for the pattern. She found me at the big sock. I was looking down at the sock and she said she recognized my Coronet.
Ravelry Bob
I also saw the Other Associate Editor from work (who doesn't knit) and G, the woman who does mysterious things with our website database (who does knit).

And I saw Bob! Ravlery's mascot. I don't think it was the real Bob, I don't think the real Bob is that tall.

This was at the Ravelry meet up. Bob was treated like a celebrity and got swarmed. I don't know these people in the picture, so I hid them in case they don't want to be online. :-)

I think that's everyone I saw. Really, I was focused on the yarn.

I had my Felted Ravelry ID Bag with me. As you can imagine, at an event like this, my bag finally got the recognition and respect it deserves. I spend most of my time with non-knitters, who admire the bag, but don't really understand.

Well, some people gawked at my bag in admiration from afar. Most told me how awesome it was. And a couple even took my picture! (link to someone else's flickr stream)

In addition to admiring all the fiber, we saw some cute animals, watched the shepherding dogs, and saw the Frisbee dogs. There were a lot of activities to take in. Did I already mention that CJ must have done the bouncy castle a half dozen times? And the big slide twice? I can see why some people attend both days of the festival.

Ravelry Party
We also stayed for the Ravelry party, which you knew from the goody bag in yesterday's post.
bob tree cupcake It was fun to see all the people and all their fabulous knitwear. The variety of hats alone was mind-boggling.

There were appetizers: spanikopita, chicken wings, mini quiches (which were burnt), pigs in a blanket, and fried veggies. Cash bar, but water, tea, and coffee were free.

There were also yummy cupcakes with fancy designs on the icing. I noticed the images were off the grab bag. How very coordinated!

My only complaint would be that it was cold. The whole damn day was cold. The party was in tents, and they had space heaters, but we ended up in the main tent which just had net sides. So unless you were right under a heater they weren't helping much. We managed to have fun anyway. Despite not winning any of the many, quality door prizes.

You might be wondering how a 9-year-old boy could stand all this. Well, when we were taking pictures of the cupcakes a 6-year-old boy appeared. He had come prepared with two plastic pirate swords. In case he happened to encounter a dueling partner, I suppose. They spent the evening running around having sword fights.

The Measure of a Foot
Also while we were admiring the cupcakes, a woman came over and asked if I knew how long my son's foot was. She said a friend was making socks for a little boy who wasn't around and couldn't believe that 8 inches was the target length.

I said he was my nephew so she would understand why I didn't know his shoe size. CJ and his new friend very obligingly took off a shoe each and let the lady measure their feet. They also reported on their shoe size. I also heard CJ tell her he was short for his age. How clever is that? I think they already knew the other boy was tall for his age.

Only at a gathering of knitters would this encounter not seem odd.

We didn't end up leaving until 10 pm! With a two hour drive ahead of us. We kept debating leaving earlier, but we wanted to be there for the raffle.

When we got in line for the shuttle bus we realized we'd be three, if not four, runs back. Did I mention is was cold? We ended up walking the mile to the school parking lot. In the dark. A bunch of other people walked too, so we felt safe. We also got to the parking lot at the same time as the second bus run, so we would have still been standing at the party if we hadn't walked.

Hubby was flabbergasted when he called at 10 to check on us (at least we were in the car by then!). The drive home was fine. I was flabbergasted at first that Hubby was still awake when we got home at midnight, but the Yankees game was still on. The two of us ended up staying up until 1 am, since the game went into extra-innings.

It was a very full day.

1 comment:

  1. I love the bit about the 6 y.o. with swords and the woman wanting to measure his feet.

    That's one of the things that I love about Rhinebeck. Anywhere else these encounters would seem totally strange. At Rhinebeck (or similar venues) they are just the norm and it makes you feel so connected.

    Sounds like CJ did a great job with his knitting and no wonder he wouldn't part with his goody bag!