Every time I go to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, I leave with a full heart and sense of overwhelming gratitude. Spending time with other designers, meeting passionate enthusiastic knitters, petting the sheep, and talking with farmers and producers—all reminds me that I'm part of a big wonderful community. Every year feels like a warm fuzzy reunion, but this year seemed especially good, and just at the moment when I was starting to wonder why I'm doing this crazy job.
[Cue the violin music]
Leading up to the festival, I had been working day and night putting the finishing touches on Homage, Knit Darling Book 2. I had a hard deadline to get my final files to the printer—the same day I was leaving town for Rhinebeck—and the same day I was set to start taking pre-orders.
For weeks I had been working 16+ hour days, squeezing every spare minute trying to make this book perfect. I sent my final files just after 1am the night before my deadline. The next morning I got up at 6:30, sent out an email announcement and started taking preorders. I also had to go work at my day job. I was already late for work, and hadn't even started packing for Rhinebeck. Then, almost immediately after sending the big announcement to my rather large mailing list, something broke on my website. This sent me into total freak-out mode and my poor web-programmer (aka husband) had to scramble to figure it out. I have nightmares that go something like that.
And then suddenly, so perfectly, everything was resolved. I somehow packed my bag in like, 2 seconds (more on that later), Brian fixed my website, and I was on my way to work. Pre-orders were coming in, and I remembered why I do this—it's for you guys!
That afternoon, I met up with my knitwear designer friend, Dianna Walla, and boarded a train to Rhinebeck where we met our other knitwear designer friend Beatrice Perron Dahlen. Then we drove to the most perfect beautiful house that we had rented for the weekend. We poured some wine, and Bea made us a delicious dinner. And the next morning we woke up and knitted with our coffee in the sunshine. Perfection.
The next day at the festival, I was absolutely giddy. I met some seriously amazing people, and I think I said some coherent things to them.
[ Pictured above: Beatrice Perron Dahlen, Dianna Walla, Karen Templer, Jessica Forbes, Ysolda Teague, Emily Greene, The Sundance Kid, and Megan Williams]
I also met some seriously amazing yarn!
Meet my new pile of luscious Magpie. I now have a sweaters quantity of Magpie's gorgeous Domestic Worsted thanks to the encouragement of Magpie owner Dami Hunter, and also due to some serious peer pressure from one of my designer idols Amy Christoffers who literally stacked most of these skeins into my arms and told me I had to. How could I argue with that?
I also picked up some Magpie Swanky Sock and Solstice on my own volition because they were just too delicious to put down.
I'm so excited about this absolutely amazing skein of Tidal Yarns I bought. I know it looks like a messy pile of gray yarn, but trust me, it's special stuff. It's rustic, and bouncy, and somehow still quite soft. I also picked up some beautiful skeins of YOTH Daughter and Best Friend. I've been hearing people rave about YOTH yarn, so I wanted to see what all the fuss is about.
I wasn't sure how I was going to get all this home from the festival because I had done such a terrible packing job in the first place, almost entirely filling my small bag with unnecessary shoes and WAY too many pants. Fortunately, I also picked up this super cool tote bag from Fringe Supply Co., which saved me from hauling this yarn home in a trash bag on the train. I just love all the cute illustrations. I already caught a gawker on the subway trying to read all the little notes.
Speaking of huge quantities of yarn—there is only 1 more day to pre-order my new book, Homage. Pre-order the book or ebook and you could win free yarn to knit your favorite design from the collection!