I’m Not At Rhinebeck

Each year I dream of going to the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival – a dream as yet unfulfilled. I dream of –

  • the sheep and goat judging
  • the dog trials
  • the vendors and yarn from all over the world
  • the designers, whose names I know and faces  I’ve seen, milling about
  • the Rhinebeck sweaters and gorgeous shawls on thousands of knitters and crocheters.

Everything I read about it sounds rather overwhelming and I do wonder how I could possibly pick yarns amidst all the offerings. I received this pic of today’s early morning line-ups from a Rhinebeck vendor, Lyn from Shelridge Yarns.

I’ve heard that people go with yarn and fibre lists and head straight for the chosen booths. It’s probably the only sensible thing to do. The alternative, looking at as much of everything as possible, sounds like a recipe for disappointment. Displays can be stripped clean by the time you make up your mind. I fear that would be me.

In the absence of a trip to New York State, here are some cool things I’ve found on-line to fill the gap.

The pic is copyrighted, but it’s worth clicking through to see these sheep – they bear a strange resemblance to knitwear – in a tweet about the British Campaign for Wool. My husband said “You people are all nuts!” when I showed him the photo. (I hope no sheep were harmed…)

Colour inspiration is all around us, but I like to ferret out some of the more unusual ones for the class I teach about using colour in your knit, fibre, and crochet projects. A recent TED talk by Levon Biss illustrates the amazing colours of insects, and while the bugs may be unappealing, the colours are staggering.

The insect photos were taken by svklimkin, shanblan, lisaleo, and AcrylicArtist.

Further on the subject of colour, the Pantone Institute forwards statements to the design community, to sell their products of course, but their colour explorations are useful and fun for fibre folk, too. This column, Playful Release, discusses colours and designs  with “unapologetic aesthetics whose sole purpose is to please, amuse and delight.”

One of my favourite weekly emails, Brain Pickings is not on the subject of knitting at all, but this appeared about colour, (this post seems to have turned completely in that direction) from the journal of Frida Kahlo.

“Kahlo inscribes a lyrical stream-of-consciousness meditation on the symbolism of different colors inspired by an assortment of colored pencils at her desk.” See a pic of the journal in her handwriting and in her colours, here.

I’ll try out the pencils
sharpened to the point of infinity
which always sees ahead:
Green — good warm light
Magenta — Aztec. old TLAPALI
blood of prickly pear, the
brightest and oldest
[Brown —] color of mole, of leaves becoming
[Yellow —] madness sickness fear
part of the sun and of happiness
[Blue —] electricity and purity love
[Black —] nothing is black — really nothing
[Olive —] leaves, sadness, science, the whole
of Germany is this color

[Yellow —] more madness and mystery
all the ghosts wear
clothes of this color, or at
least their underclothes
[Dark blue —] color of bad advertisements
and of good business
[Blue —]distance. Tenderness
can also be this blue

The sheep photo up top is by hot black.

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