Woolie Excursion to Saugerties

It seems like New York Sheep and Wool 2010 was just minutes ago, but here we are coming up on the big weekend once again. This year we have extra fun planned with a visit to Shaye and Jaime’s new house in Saugerties, New York!

One of the best aspects of NYSW is the expectation that much will be the same, but there will also be new things to discover. It is this mix of expected and unexpected that makes it a comfortable tradition with a bit of discovery.

I cannot say that Jim woke up Saturday morning shouting, “Hooray!!” But he was a good sport and barely mumbled complaints as we piled into the car for the two hour drive north to Rhinebeck. I think the idea of visiting Shaye and Jaime helped him gird for a day of crazed knitters and sheep.

The roads were clogged with traffic and the parking lot already packed when we arrived at 10:15. Due to the rain, large portions of the parking area were unusuable and they were bussing people from further locations to the fairgrounds. It was a typical Sheep and Wool day weatherwise, a bit blustery and cold with a sky changing from blue to grey with swirling clouds. It always pays to dress warmly.

Of course, a big aspect of the festival is the parade of hand knit sweaters, shawls and scarves. It is always fun to see people sporting their meisterwerks and, as with all yarn events, it is permissable to walk up to a stranger and fondle their garment asking personal questions such as, “what yarn is this?”

First thing we do each year is head to the souvenir tent to buy the year’s t-shirt. Every year a specific breed is honored and I have a big collection of t-shirts with various breeds. Jim wanted to buy a pair of fingerless gloves for one of his colleagues at school and we found the perfect pair before we even hit the souvenir tent. That made Jim a little happier. He had also brought along his Flip video camera and he busied himself taking lots of videos of sheep shearing and other activities.

Our second stop was to visit the book signing booth and see my friend, Clara Parkes, signing her new book, THE KNITTER’S BOOK OF SOCKS. Clara is one of my all-time favorite knitting authors and this book is even more entrancing than her two previous works, THE KNITTER’S BOOK OF YARN and THE KNITTER’S BOOK OF WOOL. Clara combines a deft writing style with an encyclopedic knowledge of fiber and a great gift of gathering amazing patterns from the community of designers who love contributing to her books. I swear this book looks even better than the first two.

Clara Parkes

Our two key missions accomplished, we wandered the show a bit. Since I remain technically on my yarn diet, there is more academic than possessive interest in seeing all the yarn. I always adore Nanny Kennedy’s Sea Colors yarn. She uses salt water as the mordant and the colors she achieves are breathtaking.

Seacolors Colors

Since I knew I would be totally envious of this yarn, I cleverly raided my stash the night before for some of Nanny’s yarn and a pattern  I had on hand. It really helped quell the envy to have something already on my needles.

We wandered a bit more and saw the sheepshearing and visited some friendly Llamas.

Soft and wooly alpacas

The Spinner

Silken roving

After a couple hours it was time to go. Next stop: Saugerties and Shaye and Jaime’s new house and the stars of the Areheart/Bernanke family, Dora and Louie.

Dora and Louie may have been irresistible, but they weren’t the only highpoint of our visit to Shaye and Jaime. We had a fabulous time. They just bought a beautiful new house in Saugerties, but it looks like they have been there for years. Apparently, the fellow who owned it had had it renovated for the woman he wanted to marry. When she dumped him, he wanted to dump the house and Shaye and Jaime were the lucky beneficiaries. The house is a modest Victorian, but beautifully renovated inside. They have decorated it incredibly artfully and it is both comfortable and extremely attractive. Shaye has an amazing eye for using objects in unusual ways. Every surface and much of the art was unexpected and fresh.

They cooked us an amazing dinner with lamb, okra, greens, roast potatoes and we had good conversation and some red wine. It was a delightful evening. We slept warm and comfy in our bed and, the next morning, after some coffee, drove up to Phoenicia in the Catskills for a fantastic brunch.

Then we drove down to Rhinebeck to visit the Farmer’s Market. It was a gorgeous fall day and walking through the market was a treat. It is always fun to see new vendors. I bought some goregous leeks and some very fresh mushrooms. We saw a beekeeper with a hive on his table which was fascinating since I have been reading  The Life of the Bee.

Shaye, Jaime and Jim

A Happy HiveAmazing Year for Mushrooms.

Never Saw Anything Like This

After walking around the market, we took our leave of Jaime, Shaye, Dora and Louie and headed home. It was a great, great weekend. Sheep and Wool was wonderful as always, Jaime and Shaye are the best hosts ever and we loved seeing their home. Once home, Jim would have 87 papers to grade and life would return to the everyday.

But in the meantime it was a weekend of fun, fiber and no worries. Completely relaxing.


One Comment to “Woolie Excursion to Saugerties”

  1. Jenny reading about your weekend made me feel like I was there, the down side is seeing all the beautiful yarn and wanting to start knitting again. No good can come of that desire. My knitting is like my singing, enthusiastic but not pretty.
    Looking at the woman weaving fabric brought to mind my search for durable, pretty, fabric for our 12 dinning room chairs which need 24 yards of fabric. Do you think I might find something from one of the weavers? How costly is hand woven fabric???
    Tell Jim I sympathize with the paper grading, lots of work! Good news Scott’s wife Kate earned her MA in education last spring and has been substituing all fall. A week ago they offered her a regular job as a teachers aid. She never expected to get any thing permanent. She and Scott are so excited. Hopefully it will lead to a regular teaching position. 🙂
    Love to all

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