My previous post made no mention of my angst at missing yet another fun, fiber-filled weekend known colloquially as Rhinebeck and technically as the NY State Sheep and Wool Festival. My denial was so deep that I’d buried my resentment to the furthest, dustiest corners of my brain.
But trolling the blogs on Monday reminded me of what I’d missed. The yarn, the food, the cute animals. I must admit to a mild twinge of homesickness – I graduated from Arlington High School, just down the road. I’ve been to many state fairs, craft fairs and yes, Sheep & Wool festivals on those very fair grounds. And let’s not forget that it’s apple season and NY has, by far, the best apples in the nation (and I know for a fact that a lovely farmer and his family sets up a stand just down the road from the festival. They have some good Honeycrisps.).
I missed going to Rhinebeck this year by a hair. Well, by a work-related hair. The upset and anger I felt at missing Rhinebeck was perplexing. I have enough yarn. My knitting time is limited. I spin very little (though I yearn to spin more). Few projects entice me and fewer still captivate me long enough to complete. And yet here I was, pouting in the middle of Michigan because I couldn’t go to the party.
It’s classic, isn’t it? Like the toddler who wants the candy she can’t have or the teenager who wants their own car. We often want what we can’t have. I admire the folks who went for the people – friends and bloggers alike. But in all of their reports and photos there lingers the ubiquitous purchase. The skein of sock yarn, a bar of soap, a lone button or clasp.
And I wanted to be a part of that – I wanted to stroll an entire fairground devoted to fiber and pick up one or two things I didn’t need. I wanted to ogle yarns, ponder projects and make one or two hasty and rash purchases. I wanted a little retail therapy.
I know I live in a town with not 1 or 2 but 4 local yarn stores. I have ready access to fiber-related retail therapy. But it is not the same as trekking to Rhinebeck and joining the throngs of people – fiber novices to experts to revered masters. There is a camaraderie in that sort of retail therapy, as if a thousand other individuals collectively smile and say yeah, that skein of variegated cashmere sock yarn your currently ogling? It will make the perfect socks for your toddler girls.