R is a very useful letter



Not an official ABC-Along post…

Very astute Readers may have noticed a title change in my Recent RockStar post.  It was originally posted as “R Could Have Been for Rock Star” because I had another R in mind for ABC-Along.

But then I realized I had no appropriate picture of my own for the R I was thinking of.

So shortly thereafter, the post changed to “R IS for Rock Star” because heaven knows, I have RockStar pictures!

Well, what was this mysterious pictureless R, you ask?  (Pretend you asked!)

R coulda been for RHINEBECK!

  • Some may ask, “What(‘s that)?”
  • Others may ask, “Why (do you bring it up)?”

Just a few of you know the answer to both questions already!

Rhinebeck (being of good German stock and a certain degree of literary pretensions, I keep trying to spell it Rheinbeck, like Steinbeck or like der Rhein), is the familiar or cognoscenti form of New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, held the third weekend of October every year in Rhinebeck, New York.  I wasn’t planning on going (I figured I’d used up my knitterly self-indulgence with Sock Camp this spring).  I know ‘internet friends’ who are going, but did not know anyone that I know in real life who was going; didn’t have a place to stay; don’t know New York (this is upstate); and I was scheduled to work.  Then my colleague wanted me to switch that weekend for another weekend (one I didn’t want to switch for, but she had something significant going on, so I did).  Suddenly that weekend was free.  Hmm.   I had frequent flyer miles enough to go, and there were flights available.  Double Hmmm.  Then I mentioned to one of those internet friends that going to Rhinebeck had crossed my mind and she, ahem, actively encouraged me.  Lastly, I found out that another blog acquaintance with whom I have a fair amount in common, and whom I assist in moderating a group on Ravelry, was going to Rhinebeck by herself and was just about to find a hotel Room.  I’m usually not so forward, but I messaged her on Ravelry and asked if she would be interested in a Roommate.  I thought it would be great fun to meet in person, and more fun to go with someone.  Answer: Yes!

OK!  Plane Reservations made!  Hotel Reservations made!


(sorry to shout, but I’m a little excited!)

I’m now finding out that more and more people I know (through the power of the internet) are going; and I’m sure there are many more I don’t know about yet.  Even some of my Sock Camp Bus friends (who are people I’ve actually met in Real life now!)!  It’s going to be like the coolest, most fun knitting meetup!  With bonus incredible yarn and fiber — not to mention sheep!

And book signings of cool books I’ve been waiting for will be happening:  Franklin‘s new book, “It Itches”, and Ann and Kay’s new book, “Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside The Lines”, for sure.  (Speaking of the latter, Today is the Release Day!  And in celebration, Ann & Kay have likewise Released a pattern from the book on their blog, a Reuseable bag (already on my gifting list for the holidays anyway, so very timely).

SOOOO – that was my big R news.  But hard to show an original photo of somewhere you haven’t been yet.

In other R news of the Realm:

I’m on the Road again!

I wRite to you (OK, that was cheating) from a Room high on an upper floor of a Chicago hotel.  I left this morning for a meeting that will last the rest of the week.  As the Kat and I know, meetings are great for knitting.  And the train is great for knitting, too.

Unfortunately, things are not going according to plan so far.

The train was ReRouted due to track work.  They put those in the ReRoute part on a bus instead.  Grrrr.  Not the Same Thing at all.  (Good news:  No psychotic elderly ladies sat next to me this time.  I did borrow my husband’s Bose headphones on purpose, though, both because of bus noise and the visuality element; they shout, Rather Rudely, “I Am Not Interested In Conversing With You”.  When the crazy lady kept talking to me on the last train trip, I just had little headphones on, more easily ignored.

The other part that’s not with the program?

My thumb is still messed up, though the splint I was able to get my hands on (or in, Rather) Right before I left helps a little.  It does mean I can only knit slowly and with difficulty, and not certain stitches.  Plus, there’s a bit of Velcro that likes to eat yarn, though I’ve tried to cover/cut/tape it.  (It’s yarnivorous.)

How frustrating to have knitting time and not be able to make best use of it!  Wahhh!

OK, whine over (for the moment).  The Pioneer Braid scarf is doable when I take care for the Yarn-Eating Velcro.  And, though purling Continental is hard, I can purl English a little more easily, though it seems so slow now in comparison; so I can work on Swan Lake some, though not much or my thumb yells at me (and the whole point is for it to get better, so I can’t make it too mad).  Can’t do small needles right now; can’t do lots of stitches that require tension; but on the other hand, I might just have to start a new suitable project then, once I finish the Pioneer Braid scarf (and I did a lot on the bus even though knitting was intermittent).

New Project?

Well, I brought some gorgeous yarn that I bought at Loopy Yarns last time I was in Chicago: ArtYarns’ Silk Rhapsody Glitter in a heart-stopping Champagne and Gold color (not shown on the linked page); and the pattern I had in mind for it:  Sivia Harding’s Victorian Shoulderette.  (Loopy Yarns just moved to a new, bigger space; and they have open knitting Friday night — I might be forced to check it out.)  The Shoulderette is all in garter stitch, so easier lace.  But it will be a stunning dressy wrap, I think, in this yarn.

Speaking of Loopy Yarns and the Victorian Shoulderette (also, not unRelated to Rhinebeck and Sock Camp); R could have been for Ravelry also, and I seriously considered it.  (I guess I could have taken a picture of my Ravelry button or T-shirt – with me in it – or Rav tote bag.)  Here’s the first Ravelry story:  When I was at Loopy Yarns earlier this year, trying not to drool on the amazing but not inexpensive Silk Rhapsody Glitter and Resolving not to buy it unless I had a specific project in mind (also finding it impossible to justify buying two, but one skein is just 260 yds, 100 g, listed at 4 1/2 stitches per inch); I remembered the pattern I had recently bought at Yarns by Design in Neenah.  But I couldn’t be sure of the designer (though I thought it was Sivia Harding), and I couldn’t remember the name of the pattern exactly, though I was pretty sure it had “Victorian” in it.  The store didn’t have Sivia Harding patterns.  But Loopy Yarns is totally Rav-Savvy!  The employee got me set up on Rav, and shortly thereafter I had tracked down the pattern and found the yardage: 250 yards!  It called for fingering or sport weight, but the Silk Rhapsody’s weight is not as heavy as the suggested gauge makes it sound; it looks like sport weight, actually, in its thicker areas, and the actual gauge of the Victorian Shoulderette in garter stitch is:  4 1/2 stitches per inch!  So I believe it will be fine, and I bought the drool-worthy yarn then in confidence.  One skein, of course.  Sigh.

And, without Ravelry, I seriously doubt I’d be going to Rhinebeck.  And I wouldn’t have been on the Camp Bus or taken the Yarn Crawl before Sock Camp, and therefore probably wouldn’t have had the time to meet Astrid & her husband in person either, as well as my fellow camp bus riders, Cece, Carla, Ariel, MJ, Susan and Sue, Alice and (Miss M)Alice, Sam, Frieda, Marisol, Mya, Rosa and Joan (some were on the yarn crawl, some on the trip to camp and some on both!)  Instant friends before camp even started.  All due to a thread on the Rawkin’ Sock group on Ravelry!  (And Sam‘s MP3 player allowed the infamous knitting ballet to be premiered: without her, it would not have happened!)

So R could have been for Ravelry, too, even though it’s hard to photograph a virtual construct.

Lastly:  My usually fairly mad thesaurus skillz are deserting me:  I need a word starting with R that means: Stupid.  Forgetful.  I-Can’t-Believe-I-Did-It-Again.  Here I am in Chicago with my new P-is-for-Portable MacBook (happy, happy!).  Last time I was in Chicago for a meeting with my husband’s borrowed laptop (the notorious Hard Rock Hotel visit), I had forgotten my camera cable.  I wanted to get a spare anyway, but couldn’t find one to fit my Olympus camera within easy walking distance, so got a card Reader with USB port.  

This trip:  I remembered the cell phone.  And cell phone charger.  (I don’t always carry my cell, so this was a minor victory.)  I remembered the iPod (to foil crazy bus ladies).  And its charger.  Even extra batteries for the Bose headphones.  I remembered the camera.  And the camera charger.  

I forgot the dang camera cable AGAIN.  And the card Reader:  is still tucked in the case with my husband’s laptop.

Rawrr!  (as the RockStar would say!)

Thus: the notable absence of illustrations for this heck of a lot of words.

Well, this is a very time-intensive meeting, so I didn’t expect to have much picture-taking time anyway, but still — Rawrr!

How’s about I dig back through the archives and find a picture or two.  Maybe even unofficial R ones.  Sorry they’re

Recycled.  But it’s something to look at!

The Chicago River, from last summer’s visit to Chicago.

Raindrops, on the Stella D’Oro daylily foliage.

RED Lilies!

Au RevoiR!

7 responses to “R is a very useful letter

  1. Wow! Waahh indeed about the knitting opportunity/no opportunity thing. And Hooray about Rhinebeck!!! (btw, I don’t consider it upstate… NYC folks consider it upstate… I didn’t really even consider Syracus upstate, though I would make that concession…. Plattsburg? now that’s upstate). I have a friend who lives near Rhinebeck… so if I can justify the time away and the long drive and the total lack of need for new yarn… maybe I’ll make it. But I think the trip would be way more fun with other knit bloggers…. hmmmm……

  2. I am jealous! I went years ago when I was a weaver – but have not been as a knitter! My mom lived only half an hour away for years and I still never made it back. Now she lives in Maine and the thought of flying to that area and being in a hotel seems too odd to me! But alas I wish I too were going! Say hi to the sock bus pals for me!

  3. Hurrah! I will be there too! I MUST FIND YOU!!!!

  4. Ooh, have fun at Rhinebeck, you lucky duck! I hope you’re enjoying your time here in Chicago.

    Thanks, too, for the link to the Victorian Shoulderette pattern — that’s really cute and I hadn’t seen it before.

  5. RHINEBECK!?!? Oh, man, you have all the fun! (sniff)


  6. Excellent Rs! I think I know the word(s) you were looking for — “rucking rorgetful.”

    Enjoy all the knitting time and alone time and the Chicago food and the mental stimulation!

  7. Rhinebeck and beyond! Very exciting and fun news….remember your camera!

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