Okay, okay, okay, okay...I really have been working on the "Typical Day in the Life of Barb" post (ala Mrs. G.) but, well, I keep falling asleep while writing it. Because MY typical day? Not really so exciting, unless you like the part where I get to shampoo my carpets because my ancient dog Sydney has given up even the pretense of being housebroken. (Not that I'm bitter.) (And I'm especially not bitter that every time I complain about Syd, my daughter Jane (8) says, "Yes, mom, but you would clean a million carpets just to have her around for a little longer. Right, mom? Right?") (She's right. But STILL.)

But YA'LL, yesterday, while not typical, is so much more fun to talk about. I mean, I got up at 6:30 on a SUNDAY because I couldn't wait to tell you all about it. (And also because I was cold so don't be getting the big head.) (Okay, mostly to tell you about it.) (Just a little cold was involved.)

So, okay, I got up at 5:15 on Saturday morning. Which, it turns out, is very, very, very early. I showered and chose my clothes as I always do--which ones go best with the most comfortable shoes I can find? I made an executive decision to put make-up on over my horrid, disfiguring rash (which is almost certainly poison ivy, because, hey! Look! It's spreading! Oh, yea!) because I did not want to be scaring small children all day. This, as it turns out, was a good choice because Rhinebeck was FULL of small children. All wearing the most gorgeous knitted things... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

So, the day before, Miraculous Laurie had taken me on a dry run of where the bus to Rhinebeck was picking us up and if she hadn't, I would still be driving around Long Island trying to find it. (Dudes, Laurie was not even GOING to Rhinebeck and she made a special effort to show me the way to the bus. She's like...my personal fairy Godmother or something.) The bus was picking us up at a Park and Ride near the highway but to get to this Park and Ride, you had to know the secrets of Brigadoon and 6:30 in the morning is NOT the time to be learning those secrets. I'm just sayin'.

But anyway, there we went. Wait, have I even told you where we were going? Sorry. We were going to the Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, New York. I had first read about it on the Yarn Harlot's site last year and I, honestly, just could not believe I was going to actually GO THERE. I am such a big dork and was so excited that I couldn't even sleep the night before.

(I know, I know. Hush. Just...hush.)

Anyway, we left before the sun came up but when it did, we happened to be crossing the Hudson. (That's not the sun in that picture, that's the reflection of my flash in the bus window.) (And actually, I have no idea if that's the Hudson River, either, since I had no idea where we were at the time. I'm guessing. But isn't it beautiful?)

We got to the festival around 9:30, I'd say. And it was really, really, really cold.

And really, really, really, REALLY FUN.

It's all about SHEEP! And WOOL! And the people who love them! Which, it turns out, is a LOT OF FREAKING PEOPLE!

Felted bags!
Gratuitous shot of a really big man in a kilt. (And also, would you look at the expression of the woman watching me take this photo? I'm thinking she'd been standing in line at the Socks That Rock yarn booth--which had a line going out the door from the time I got there until the time I left.)
My favorite sign ever. Because, ya'll, I've been telling you: New York drivers are CRAZY.
Here's a contest to name this sweater pattern. MadMad would NOT let me put down the name, "Barb."

Oh, did I forget to tell you? I met MadMad at the Festival! Look! Isn't she adorable? And here, she is FREEZING. Because she has zero body fat and it was so, so cold. The wind sort of rushed through you and jangled your bones. I, who have plenty of body fat, was wearing a big red coat (having no knitted goods to show off except socks) and MY teeth were chattering.

MadMad introduced me to her friends Kim and Tracy and they let me pal around with them. They could look at a person wearing a sweater and know immediately what sweater pattern it was. We all went to the Ravelry get-together, where lots of people were standing around wearing things they'd knitted and freezing their rumps off. (Dudes, lest you think knitting is a dying art, Ravelry now has about 200,000 members.)

There was a lot of freezing. There was a lot of laughing. I kind of felt like I was getting to hang out with the popular kids. People would introduce themselves or be introduced and I had to make sure everyone knew that yes, I am a blogger but my blog is not a KNITTING blog because I'm, um, not that STRONG of a knitter. (Oh my gosh, though, how much fun are bloggers? It just never gets old.)

And a lot of shopping. Early in the day, I noticed that my good husband had left me a wad of cash far and beyond what was reasonable. (I actually got a little teary because you know, I'm pretty sure he thought that the whole festival was going to be one eighty-year-old woman and ME walking around some sheep. But he so loves me and I've had such a hard time lately, he's been spoiling me rotten. AND he took the kids into New York City and kept them entertained all day. And cleaned up after Sydney AND emptied the dishwasher. Best husband/father on this planet.) I can't show you what I bought because it had to do with Christmas... but it was really good shopping.

At about 2:30, my cranky ankle made itself known by unceremoniously almost dumping me on the pavement, so I took leave of the the Fun Kids and made my way to a little spot where I could sit in the sun and knit and people watch.
I was sitting on some bleachers in front of this bluegrass band and a lot of families came to sit and enjoy the music and eat a little something. At one point, this young family came--a mother, a father and their little one, who was maybe fifteen months or so. You know that stage when they are barely walking, but very determinedly so? The parents took turns chasing her down until the music started back up and the cutest thing happened. The little one started to dance! And it must have been the first time the mom had seen that because she started laughing so hard that it made ME laugh. She looked over at me, in complete joy and wonder at how amazing it was that her little one had just spontaneously erupted into dancing and our eyes met. Her look said, 'didn't I think it was just amazing, too?' Yes, yes I did.

See, that's the thing that about parenthood: people tell you all about the sleep deprivation and poop and projectile vomiting but no one, NO ONE remembers to tell you that at some point, your baby is going to have to get her groove on and she's going to look like a drunk person with gum on the bottom of her shoe and that you will laugh so hard that you are incapacitated by it.

(It felt pretty great to me to laugh, too. I think maybe I'm back.)

So, before I left to catch the bus, I made a trip over to the Border Collie Frisbee Exhibition to take some pictures so I could show our spastic Border Collie Mix what SMART Border Collies look like.

And then I knitted all the way home. Look at this! I now have two fronts or two backs or maybe, just maybe, one front and one back of Ana's sweater finished.

That, my friends? Is what I call a good dang day.


Mrs.Q said…
That is a very fine day, indeed! (And I am so jealous!)
Stefanie said…
Rock on, Barb! What a fantastic day full of wonderful knitterly dorks just like you. :) I'm very jealous of you! (Oh...and nice sweater!! :D )
Lynn said…
I'm jealous, too. It's 64F at 11:00am in Fort Worth, and you are up there in Wool Country, grinning like the Cheshire Cat. [Last night I was dancing like your toddler friend, trying not to tear up my knee again. And succeeding, though the drive home nearly did me in.]
Anonymous said…
And I do believe that one of the highlights of my day was getting to meet you. A truly fun and exciting day!
Bethany said…
Hi Barb,

Don't know if you remember me, but I "met" you on the PS October 2000 board. I've been meaning to post an it's a small world comment for a long time. From some random meeting on a message board, you now talk about MadMad, with whom I went to college, you go to Knit Night about 2 miles from my parents house, the mention of Smithtown brings back fond childhood memories, and now you go to Rhinebeck which is about 40 minutes north of me! I'm sure there's more, but my 40+ year old brain can't recall right now. Small world!

Bethany (mom to Cameron)
DK said…
I squealed when I saw the title of your post. Out loud. So out loud, in fact, that my dog came running back in to the house to see if I had just been murdered.

But no, Just sheep.

WOW. So cool. SO cool. I'm so jealous.

Do you think that maybe, maybe next year I could come up and we could go together? I just thought of that right now or I would've suggested it last week.

Your sweater is gorgeous, by the way. Love the wool. And the handwork!
Amanda said…
I have yet to get to Rhinebeck, but I'm guessing it was as much crazy fibrey fun as Maryland Sheep & Wool. Glad you had fun!
I just love your copywright remark! You go girl!
Tenna Draper said…
Such a great day!
How do you know that you have poison ivy?

Usually poison ivy itches and there are little red, seeping pustules...


If your honey has been burning brush, and pulling down red leaves from brush or vines on trees--yeah, it could be poison ivy, because you're not supposed to burn poison ivy--as the poison takes to the air and gets in your eyes and stuff and the reaction can be worse than just walking through the stuff...but seriously, it looks more like something bit you in the face..like a spider or something--or perhaps one of those black flies that come around in the heat of summer--

My dad had that happen once, a black fly bit him on the temple, and half his face swelled up like crazy--turns out that they bite you and lay eggs inside the bit, and your body has this huge reaction! Hope that it wasn't a fly--he said that he never felt it bite him, too...

I feel bad for you girl. Put on some Calomine Lotion...better than makeup and makes you look even more hideous while you're treating the poison ivy, but what can I say--it dries up the seeping sores (if you get them). Good luck, and still glad you had such a fun day.
Miri said…

And you had this amazing day! Did you see all those people copying your felted bags?

And thanks for the kilt shot. It made MY day. What on Earth was that lady staring at you for?

Oh, to be a blogger and take photos of people who don't know why you must shoot them...
hokgardner said…
I am so jealous, both of your getting to go to Rhinebeck and of your getting to meet Madmad. Please tell me she's as neat in person as she is in written word!

And when my husband gets poison ivy, it gets into his system and spreads over his whole body. He usually has to take a course of steroids to get rid of it all.
Ann in NJ said…
How much fun is that! I am absolutely putting that on my calendar for next fall.

Sounds like just the thing you needed - crafters don't need spas, they need craft shows and shopping. Very theraputic!
Ream O Rama said…
What an awesome day! Gotta admit I had never heard of Rhinebeck but asked a knitter friend and she oohed and aahed like you had been to Woodstock except with sheep and knitters.
Unknown said…
yay, Barb is back!!! :-)
Katie said…
So glad to hear that you got to belly laugh and have a blast at the yarn fest.

Sarahviz said…
Yay! You met MadMad. I heart both of you!

(and I'm NOT a knitter!)
MadMad said…
Oh, it was fun, wasn't it? Even if it was so darn cold. And I just LOVE that story about the dancing baby - what a great one!
Great post, again, Barb.

I'm jolly well jealous, too! I've wanted to go to Rhinebeck ever since Martha at Knit Night mentioned it. I'm a complete sucker for border collie trials.
LaDonna said…
Hi, Barb! It's good to hear you sound so happy! Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Hugs, sweetie, lots and lots of hugs.

Oh, and when you check your reports and don't see Fargo, don't think I moved without saying anything...I'm in Seattle this week :)
TLCknits said…
I had a great time!!! and it was SOOO much fun meeting and hanging out with you. We all must go next year for a repeat!
Well, really, I think it would have been lovely if you had gone to a place with sheep and men in kilts.

And that baby! That is such a lovely story. A bonus.