stitches on parade

i have often found it hard to articulate, when i’ve been asked (by non-yarnies), just what it is i love so much about the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival. i mean, sure, there’s YARN, and fiber to spin into yarn, and fiber animals, and patterns to crochet or knit, all of which i adore. but i think this year i realized what’s my favorite part: the stitches on parade. everyone plans their outfit to maximize the showing off of projects, whether it be one standout sweater, or many mis-matched accessories. and the pride is evident, especially when you ask to take their photo! i took advantage of my shift at the Ulster County Handspinners’ booth, and kept my camera within reach as i spun, to capture just a few of my favorite projects…

the ultimate goal is always to stitch up a *Rhinebeck Sweater*, the holy grail of projects to wear at the festival. ideally it’s made from yarn (or better yet, fiber you spun yourself) purchased at Rhinebeck the year before. this was the first year i succumbed to the cult of the Rhinebeck Sweater, the result of which you see above. our Knit Local night at my LYS, White Barn Farm, decided in August (i think? or was it September?) to do this as a group Knit-A-Long (or in my and Donna’s case, Crochet-A-Long) using Elizabeth Zimmermann’s EPS system for the pattern. that’s Donna and me above, very proudly wearing our EPS sweaters! and as far as we can tell, we may have been amongst the first to convert EZ’s brilliant system into crochet… i hooked mine out of Jill’s new Empire yarn, an awesome 1280-yards in ONE skein!

here’s another member of the KAL, Melinda in her knit EPS. she also used Empire for hers! i love how the pooling changes at the yoke.

and here’s another from the genius mind of EZ: an Adult Surprise Jacket. i’ve always wanted to make one of these, but worried the proportion would be too wide and boxy. this one convinces me that it can be done longer and more fitted! love it.

look at the amazing stripiness of this sweater! anyone know the pattern? i forgot to ask, i was so mesmerized by the colorful Noro

here’s the talented knitwear designer Laura Nelkin, with her posse, all decked out in Nelkin Designs. one of her posse is my dear Squam Sister Maya, who was wearing her *hodge podge* smock under the wooly layers!

these were two of my favorite outfits of the weekend. Jen (on the left) even sewed and dyed her sweatshirt and skirt as well!

and here are two lovely examples of crochet. that sweater on the left was divine and i also need to hunt down that pattern! on the right is Mary Beth, of the Getting Loopy crochet podcast, which i’ve been having fun listening to since meeting her.

and that, my friends, is what i love most about Rhinebeck! people are already planning what they’ll make to wear next year… what’s in your queue?


  1. this is great! now I’m inspired to pull out the crocheted sweater I made last year for my next craft sale!

  2. Oh nice, yes it’d be awesome to see those sweaters “for real”..
    I believe the light blue crocheted cardigan on the left is part of the “crochet so fine” book..
    (Oh, and so cool that you listed the “practical modern crochet book” in your library thing sidebar, I also love this book, along with those by Liz Paludan.. :-P)

  3. Really nice write-up, Cal, and love your pics! I sure loved crocheting that sweater and seeing the finished product… and I can see the joy I felt in everyone else’s faces, too! Gee… what to make for next year? 🙂

  4. if we’re smart, we’ll start planning soon, and not wait until September again ;n)

  5. ah, thanks Sylvie! that book looks really good but i haven’t seen it in person. i’ll investigate! and PMC might just be my all-time FAVE crochet book! don’t know Liz Paludan but i will look into her as well. if you like her books i’m sure i will too!

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