I went to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival Saturday. I haven’t been there in seven years. They should really rename that festival for what it is “The Holy Crap Yarn Festival”. I don’t know how many times I stood in the middle of a yarny mob unable to move and thought “holy crap!”. If you’ve never been and are thinking of going just brace yourself. It’s to the point where I don’t think the event is do-able in one day. Maybe they should turn it into something like the Shetland Wool Week. We went on Saturday. Rumor has it that the crowds are smaller on Sunday. I went with one of my besties. We’ve been friends since the 3rd grade and she finally caught the knitting bug from me. I taught her how to knit when we were doing an Outlander marathon last winter. Easiest person I’ve ever taught to knit. She picked it up so easily. She’d never been to a yarn festival. Talk about jumping into the deep end of the pool!! She probably went home and threw out her ball of yarn and needles thinking these women are nuts :). We had been warned by friends who had gone to the festival in recent years that it’s crazy crowded and to pack some snacks in your purse because they had spent over an hour standing on line last year trying to get something to eat. That’s an hour they wished they could have been shopping and looking at yarns. Thank goodness we followed their advice. I saw a line at a food vendor that was selling lamb (No not the lamb!!!) and I estimated it at maybe 1/8th of a mile long. We had to hit the ladies room when we got there. A lady working the First Aid booth gave us directions on how to get there and warned us the lines would be very long. They weren’t too bad. There was actually a woman working in the bathroom telling people where the empty stalls were to keep the line moving. She was holding an egg timer (no just kidding). They even had numbers taped to the stall doors :). At the same time they are having the Holy Crap Yarn Festival, there is also a huge wine, cheese and gourmet food event going on at the same place. I bought pumpkin pie and cookie dough fudge for the husband :). While in there I heard someone screaming my name and off in the distance I see two New England friends. One of the girls from the Ireland tour texted me to meet her by the french fries. I was thinking seriously find french fries in this nut house but after 10 minutes of roaming around I found a french fry cart which turned out to the the right french fry cart and found her. We met up with another girl who was on the Ireland tour in the middle of a natural yarn dyeing workshop in an outlying tent. We were there for 4 1/2 hours. It’s a complete blur. Some of the blur might be because I was taking cold and cough medicine with codiene and I’m on antibiotics. Having chest pains today so I may have bronchitis or walking pneumonia (I tend to get that) but I digress...Anyway most booths we didn’t even try to go into. There was a bad car accident in the parking lot/field. Not sure if it was car vs. car or car vs. a person but we did all we could to get out avoiding the first responders. One of the girls told us about a “find your car” app which she discovered only after losing her car and having to roam the parking fields with a case of wine :). Crazy librarians :). She had snacks in her purse I’m sure :). I’d like take credit for being very restrained in my purchases but it was only because with all the people shopping was not easy. I’m not going to say I’d never go again but if I ever did go again, it would have to be for the two full days. We will come with more snacks, have the “find your car” app and maybe wear Depends just in case that bathroom lady isn’t working :)
Anyway this is what I ended up buying, Donegal yarn for a poncho, some buttons and a book of boot cuff patterns for potential Christmas presents.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Back from 11 wonderful days in Ireland. Had an incredible time on a knitter’s tour of Ireland. I took several classes from well known Irish knitters and am now ready to cast on an Aran sweater. The group went to a yarn spinning workshop, yarn dyeing workshop using natural dyes, watched a basket weaving demonstration, hit two woolen mills including a factory tour of how yarn is made from sheep to store shelves, took a scone and brown bread baking class, went to the Museum of Decorative Arts, a wonderful concert by Trad on the Prom, hit the usual tourist spots like Blarney Castle, Cliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry, and Kylemore Abbey. I even did some “pub knitting.” The group went to a sheep farm and watched sheepherding dogs at work, ate more than a couple scones with tea, went to Hedgehog Fibers, spent 2 nights on the Aran Island Inis Oirr and hit Galway, Killarney and Dublin of course. Galway was too much fun and I did a 3 mile walk along the Bay from the tourist shopping area near Quay Street back to the water front hotel. I’m sure I’m leaving some stuff out. It was just jam packed with fun things to do. I met some really nice knitters and future meet ups and knit alongs are planned. Northern Ireland knitting tour on the horizon :). The one thing I took away from the trip is TRAVEL WHEN YOU ARE ABLE and have your mobility. The alternative is not pretty and not as much fun. If you can’t or don’t like to walk, go up a flight of stairs or can’t move a short distance from point A to point B without breaking into a full blown sweat, you should probably just stay home. We had a high maintenance princess and a gloomy Gus on the tour but they were easy enough to avoid. I mean really how much effort does it take to be miserable on a vacation???? I just don’t get it. The food was wonderful. I don’t know why people crack jokes about how horrible Irish food is. It was beyond good! On the Aran Islands, we all had a fish pie that was so good the cook gave us the recipe :). Fish pie on the horizon too :). Miss Ireland already and can’t wait to go back :).