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Dear Ann and Everybody,

So, I get one day at Rhinebeck this year: Saturday. I want to make the most of it. In Rhinebecks Past, I have run around for 7 hours in a fevered state of excitement (which I enjoy). Sometimes I find myself in the same barn, looking at the same beeswax Santas, two or three times. I know I am looking for Something Special, but I get blown off course by running into a friend, or getting starstruck, or gazing into one of those amazing Fair Isle skirts that seem to come out only for Rhinebeck  (you know the ones).  At the end of the day, I get in the car, follow the line of cars trying to exit the parking lot in the gloaming, and feel a vague sense of WHAT JUST HAPPENED. It has all flown by too quickly and I missed seeing people I wanted to see and I didn’t see one single skein of indigo-dyed wool, let alone buy any so that I could cast it on that night, 5 minutes after dropping my bags and jumping into my PJs.

I’d like this year to be different. To maximize seeing people, I am going to go to the Ravelry meet up “on the hill” at 1 o’clock. From there, I’ll go to the picnic tables by the food court, in the direction of the barn where the books are. There I’ll stay, among the People of Rhinebeck, and lap it all up for a while. Sitting still seems like a good strategy for seeing people.

Other items on my list:



–Saying hello to Cecilia Campochiaro, the bright star who wrote Sequence Knitting, who will be hanging out at Carolina Homespun (booth 14-17, Building 39) all day Saturday. (On Sunday she’ll be giving a lecture in the book hall, but alas I will not be there on Sunday.)


–Visiting the book hall (Building B) to catch a glimpse of Kristine Vejar, who will be signing her new book The Modern Natural Dyer, on both days, and giving a talk on Sunday at 1:30. (Alas. Again.)  (I’ve seen this book. It’s exquisite and a must-have for anyone venturing into natural dying. Come for the indigo. Stay for the dead bugs.)


–Spending more time in the book hall (perilously close to the kettle corn stand) to lay a hug on Clara Parkes, who will be signing galleys of her forthcoming book of knitting-related travel adventures, Knitlandia. (I’ve read it. Every beautiful word. If you score a galley, you can read about Rhinebeck, while you’re at Rhinebeck.)

These things will all be fun and will anchor my day. But I need help. Dear people who follow me on Instagram and know what I like, please tell me where to go to find what I like. I mean it. I would love to buy a sweater’s worth of indigo or other naturally dyed, sturdy wool. DK-ish to worsted-ish. I could go as light as sockweight, as heavy as Aran. Where do you think I could find it? If you have an answer or idea, I’d be grateful if you would leave it in the comments. I’m hoping to find this elusive sweater’s worth of naturally dyed yarn before I fall into a deep hole at Heavens to Betsy, the rug hooking booth to which I have been susceptible on an annual basis. (Help. Me.)


(A successful Heavens to Betsy project from Rhinebeck 2009? 2012? — awaiting its destiny as a cushion or rug. I like the way the background radiates around the shapes of bird and flowers; this is one of my favorite things about hooked rugs. It puts me in mind of Keith Haring, Van Gogh, neon signs.)

To anybody who sees me there, I may have a look of desperate longing (for indigo) on my face, but I’d love to say hi. Have a great Rhinebeck. And to those not going in person, have a great armchair Rhinebeck. Layer on an improbable combination of handknits and follow along on Twitter and Instagram. While virtuously knitting the yarn you already have, instead of buying more.



PS Our system for subscribing to our blog is all new, and we’re starting from scratch. (Yes, we are going to keep telling you about this for a while.) Two ways to hear from us:

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  • Oh, to be at Rhinebeck but I’m in SoCal, so I’ll have to settle for the armchair version. My knitting is at hand but there will be no layering on of hand knits – we have a Pacific monsoon hanging over us, which is like the mother of all hot flashes, a Florida-like 84% humidity with a so-so threat of rain. Pet the sheep and alpacas and may the Woolly Force be with you. And thank you both for resuming the blog!

  • Sincere Sheep is a natural dyer and she will be selling at Rhinebeck in the Carolina Homespun booth. Check her out on instagram. I bought yarn from her at Madrona and it is wonderful!!!! Not sure if she has indigo though….

  • Ah, the longing that is not-going-to-Rhinebeck! At least I’ve got the golden and red leaves and sunshine here to remind me of last year, my first.

    I think your strategy sounds great for increasing the fun and ensuring that you drive home knowing what happened.

    Good luck and squeeze some wool, yarn or rug hook, for me!

  • Kay! I am so looking forward to finally meeting you in person! Thank you for including my book in your line-up of Rhinebeck fun. See you soooooon!

  • I’ll have to enjoy Rhinebeck vicariously this year while I look forward to attending in person one day. Thanks for introducing me to Heavens to Betsy. My next craft will surely be rug hooking!

  • I hope to get to Rhinebeck one day. I have been to similar gatherings and a plan sounds like a good idea. I am loving this blog blitz! Its wonderful to hear your voices in the long(er) form – I’ve missed it.

    • I want to go to Rhinebeck, but the drive from NC would kill me. Instead, I’m going to dress up like a zombie librarian and go to a local nerd convention, but I’m taking my knitting with me. I want to order all the lovely books mentioned in this post. Have a great time!! Smooch on some sheep and alpacas!

  • I want to get some indigo dye (and cochineal) because I have too much undyed natural yarn, so I had already done some research:

    Turose, Building 26, Booth 4 sells indigo and cochineal dye and dyed yarns, or so says the vendor list.

    Ditto Botanical Shades, Building 35, Booth 2. I’ve never bought from either of them.

    Feederbrook Farm is a good bet. I’d try Dirty Water Dyeworks and Into the Whirled, too. Lisa Souza (very dangerous booth) might have some.

    Jill Draper has some lovely indigo-y blues, but I don’t know if they are indigo-dyed, and she doesn’t have a booth this year but she does have a 6pm party/open studio in Kingston on Saturday night, with yarn and beverages. Free tickets on her FB page.

    I love Blue Moon Fiber Arts Targhee in ‘Hazy Shades of Blue’ but it didn’t turn my fingers blue. The Fold is carrying BMFA yarn.

    If Rhinebeck fails you, there is always Swan’s Island, online.

  • I am only TOTALLY envious. I haven’t been to Rhinebeck in like four years. It may as well not exist. I expect full streaming coverage of this thing. I want Smell-O-VisionTM re the garlicky artichokes. Bring it on–you cannot over-report on Rhinebeck.

  • PS I really love seeing those book jackets. Remember books? How awesome they are? A good book jacket is a joy forever.

  • So happy that you’re back. I’ve missed you.

  • welcome back!

  • Oh, I have missed you both. Reading 3 new blog posts in a row was like getting 3 lovely gifts! Thank you!

  • Notify me of new posts by email, please.

  • Welcome back.

  • So happy to see you back.

  • Comment

  • So happy you are back. The Instagram and Twitter posts have been great but nothing like a jam packed blog post to round it the menu. Thanks for the book recommendations and for sharing the completed hooked rug which is very cool indeed. Have a great Rhinebeck!

  • Best hashtags or persons to follow for an armchair experience? Please advise!

  • So glad you’ll be there! Oddly enough, this will be the first year I get to go both days! Going with friends instead of my daughter which is bittersweet but my friends are more patient with my quirks! Looking forward to saying hello to you again!

  • Glad the blog is back In action. Enjoy Rhinebeck!

  • Hi Kay, Kristine Vejar has the most beautiful indigo dyed yarns. I don’t think she’s showing her yarns at Rhinebeck but I bet she’d know the best at the show. I think you’ve been to A Verb for Keeping Warm in Berkeley and prob have seen her work. I have a gorgeous collection of her indigo dyed yarns in my stash.
    Have fun and I’m looking forward to the show virtually, through all the posts on IG and Twitter.

  • Alas, yet another year I won’t be able to attend. I will so enjoy it from your perspective, Kay.

    Next year in Rhinebeck.


  • So glad you are back!

  • Someday, I will do Rhinebeck! (Also, no time today to surreptitiously read your blog during a meeting. I was forced to wait until I got home!)

    • Yay! Doing our part to destroy American productivity…

  • Rhinebeck 2009:
    where I was actively looking for something in particular when I accidentally learned that cashmere comes from goats.
    I think you know the rest of the story.

    • I hope that doesn’t happen to me!

      • I raise cashmere goats so other fiber maniacs don’t have to raise cashmere goats.

  • I agree with Ann that you can’t over-report on Rhinebeck for those of us who can’t attend – so, thank you in advance. Good luck with the plan! Also, I’m so glad to see that the blog is back! We appreciate the dedication and effort that it takes for you and Ann to continue facilitating our conversations about all things yarny (and to mulling over other miscellaneous stuff of life). Basically, I don’t knit very fast and I love seeing all of your pretty projects!!
    PS. No wearing of woolens here in Texas. it was in the 90’s today (blagh!)

  • If you weren’t only looking for naturally dyed yarn, I would recommend Spirit Trail Fiberworks or Briar Rose Fibers. I’m afraid I’m not up on natural dyers….

  • Notify me of new posts by email. So glad the two of you are back! You’ve been missed!

  • Sorry I will miss you. We will be there Sunday but I will def look for that book on dying and if you get stuck, I have a box of indigo waititng to be out into a tub in my yard.
    Enjoy and get another rug kit. Life is short. YOLO?

  • Nice to read your posts again.

  • So glad you all are back. Hope to see you, Kay, at Rhinebeck. I don’t think I will sleep tonight for all the feverish excitement. First destination: the fleece sale. I get to buy three fleeces!!

  • Have missed you and glad you are back. Signing up for all notifications now.

  • Hello, Ladies,
    Earlier I requested to subscribe to your blog, but have found that I am unable to keep up with you!
    I am changing my request to the newsletter, only.
    Please remove my email address from the “notify me of new posts by email” list Thank you.

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      We have indeed been rather chatty. Unsubscribing from the emails is easy–just go to the bottom of the email and click on “unsubscribe.” The newsletters will not be more frequently than weekly. (Knitter’s honor!)


  • So wish I could be there! Rhinebeck signifies my New England fantasies, being a west coast gal all my life. Fall colors, kilts, knee socks, penny loafers–my visions are straight out of Seventeen Magazine circa 1968.

  • of course i would love to hear about your next post!

  • Comment

  • Just so you feel as awesome as you are, I think you saved a life today. A really, really horrible thing happened. I was trying to distract myself on the internet and thought, “I’ll go look at Modern Daily Knitting. I haven’t looked there in awhile” and there you were. Thank you. Thank you for talking about Rhinebeck and reminding me that the world is a big, beautiful place, and everything will be all right.

  • One of these years I’ll make it there!!

  • It’s good to see you back on the blog – looking forward to more, but your family and life and work come first. I’ve missed you both, but my life is rich and full and I do take full responsibility for my own entertainment. But, your blog added to my pleasures immensely!

  • Comment

  • Please sign me up for both the blog and newsletter. Thanks!

  • I got to meet Cecelia at Madrona. She explained her concept and showed me some swatches – wow! good stuff in that book. Glad you reminded me of it now that it is out!

  • I how I would love to come to Rhinebeck. It’s on my bucket list, but it’s looking less and less likely that I’ll ever make it. I guess vicariously is better than not at all, but …

  • Notify me by email of blog posts. So glad you’re back.

  • So happy you’re back! Your rich writing styles sing to me when I read your posts. Perfect prose, indeed.

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