Yesterday was a quiet day. Intentionally. We had nothing planned, nowhere to go, nobody to see.
So of course, the day before attending one of the biggest fiber events on the East Coast, I had a radical notion. Let’s check out a local yarn shop!
There isn’t one in Woodstock, but there is one in nearby Saugerties, The Perfect Blend. And it is. Yarn and tea. What could be better? It was a beautiful day, so out we went. It’s only a twenty minute drive, so we got to do some leaf peeping on the way. The Catskills are a gorgeous blend of greens and yellows and oranges right now, the orange becoming even more dominant in the few days we’ve been here. It was a lovely drive to a lovely little shop. They had a nice selection of all different yarns (I will not buy laceweight alpaca. I do not KNIT laceweight anything. I don’t care how lustrous and soft and tempting it is.)
I did buy one souvenir skein of yarn and one Christmas present that I’m very excited about. Nikki got almost exactly the same things I did (shared brain in action!) All in all, I think we showed amazing restraint. Certainly more than the lady from NC who was there at the same time with armloads of yarn!
After that, we went exploring. I kept seeing signs for the Saugerties lighthouse. Which, hello, inland! Lighthouse? Really? Yes, really! We wound our way down to the edge of the Hudson River and then took a half mile hike out to a small Victorian lighthouse jutting out into the river where it joins with the Esopus.
As we wound our way back towards town, we came across an old cemetery and a lovely old church. The sign read St. Mary of the Snow, and turned out, I learned through research later, that it was the first Catholic church built upstate.
I didn’t take enough pictures of this beautiful building, but I had to get the windows. I can recognize Tiffany windows just about anywhere. The cemetery was interesting, built into the side of a hill, with 200 year old stones that have heaved some from the winter. It looks like a prototypical haunted cemetery. I can just imagine how it looks at night! This had originally served a predominantly Irish community, so Irish that many of those older stones were labeled with the name of the county in Ireland where the deceased had come from. It’s fallen victim to the same consolidations that many Catholic churches face today (both the Victorian rectory and the nearby school were closed). I hope the parish survives, though.
After that we came home for lunch, naps, reading and just hanging out. Went out to dinner, hoping to beat the Woodstock Film Festival crowd, although town was starting to get a bit busy. We came home intending to catch up on watching Great British Bake-Off, but both of us were falling asleep by the first showstopper, so we called it a night and went to bed just after 9.
Only to be woken up at 11:30 by something crashing in the kitchen.
I was the brave one who went to check it out, only to find the roll of saran wrap on the floor and half the previously untouched loaf of challah gone. I had just said to Nikki that afternoon that I was surprised we hadn’t had critters, as this place does seem like it would be prone to them. Little jerk just had to prove me wrong!
We were up around 7 and on the way to Rhinebeck by 7:45 with a stop at Bread Alone for croissants and coffee/tea. We have learned through long, hard experience to get there as early as possible, but it was so nice not having to get on the road at 5:30 for a change! We ran into no traffic and got to park right near the gate at 8:30. In line, we ran into Deb and Kathy and the rest of the Quakertown crew, which was such a lovely surprise! So we hung out with them until the gates opened, and then hit the ground running.
We have a system down at this point. First the buildings, as they get crowded faster, then the barns, then any other side stalls. We did pretty well, for a while. WE checked out the fleece sale. I didn’t buy anything (although it came close), but I hadn’t realized that the breed of the year this year was Gotland, so we got to fondle all the Gotland fibers and I learned a lot talking to the breeders who were there, as well as those in the breed barn later on. For anyone who doesn’t know, Gotland is the breed I hope to have when I get my farm. Fun fact: most people who are allergic to wool are fine with Gotland. And it doesn’t felt much when washed!
We surprised ourselves in the food building and found a number of things we intended to go back for, including some very nice wine. I got spit on by an alpaca. Maybe. Maybe she just blew really hard. If’ I’d been wearing a hat, I wouldn’t have been after that!
The seal on my wallet broke when we hit the Sheepshed, though. I had expected it would. I knew I needed another pound of Gotland fiber from them. (Sensing a theme? I love Gotland!) They also had some beautiful merino/tencel and dyed merino/silk that I had to have. But their prices are phenomenal, so I got 2 1/2 pounds of fiber for what I would normally pay for 1/2. At Carolina Handspun, I got two braids of yak/silk which made up for that savings, but the finished yarn will be GORGEOUS. I got goats milk soap and a niddy noddy and figured I was pretty much done, until we found the Yarns Plus stall. Talk about bargain basement prices! I got 1200 yds of a lovely acrylic for $25, and 1100 yds for three different colorways of tencel for $24 each. I don’t even knit sweaters, but I will now! At this point it was almost 1 and Nikki and I were both feeling loaded down and done in. We stopped in one of the buildings to get beads to match the yarns we got, then went back to the food pavilion and got wine, soup mixes, dip mixes and olive oil before finally giving up the ghost. Nikki was looking a bit dead man walking by the end! The traffic going out and coming in was horrendous, between the festival, the leaf peepers, normal Woodstock tourist traffic, so by the time we got home, we were ready to not go out again tonight. I’ll make up one of the soups for our dinner, and we’ve got bread and olive oil dips to snack on. And wine. We may definitely do in a bottle of wine.
So all in all, a very satisfying trip. I’ll be sorry for it to be over tomorrow, but I think I’m ready to be home.
Besides, I left my ball winder at home.