Last weekend was Rhinebeck, otherwise known as the New York Sheep and Wool Festival and one of the best and most exciting fiber festivals in the country. Or… so I’d been told. I’d never been to it before, but this year the stars aligned and I got my chance!
Rhinebeck was everything I hoped for. Sheep, alpaca, llamas, kangaroos (seriously!), fair food, fine food, wine, spinning wheels, spindles, fiber, and yarn yarn yarnyarnyarn. At the Ravelry meet-up (above), I got the chance to meet Laura Nelkin, a designer I’ve featured here before and whose work I’ve admired a long time. I also ran into the delightful Ariane of Falling Stitches, my friend Julia of Knitterly Things, my friend Gwen of GwenErin Natural Fibers, and Ravelry’s own Mary-Heather and Sarah (wearing a fast-asleep Carlton).
But never mind all that, because I discovered two people whose products I loved so much that I really thought you’d want to meet them!
First is Melissa Tompkins-Stahl, whom I liked right from the moment I met her but — more importantly for you — who also makes absolutely lovely ceramic buttons. Seriously, they are like candy for knitters. My friend Kristen introduced us and pointed out how beautifully the colours of Melissa’s buttons and colours of SpaceCadet yarns go together. Kristen put several buttons against a cowl she’d spun with SpaceCadet fiber and she was right. Melissa and I clearly share a colour connection, and if you’re ever looking for buttons for a project you’ve made with SpaceCadet yarn, it’s worth looking at her website…
And the other person is Leah LaFera of Ulster Soaps. I knew I needed to check out Leah’s stall even before I saw it — the smell of her soaps was tugging at me! And when I got there and met Leah, I knew I wanted to tell you about her. I’ve always wanted to try soapmaking (don’t you?), so I asked her a whole bunch of questions, and she answered them all so enthusiastically. It’s clear she loves what she does! I chose some soaps: Peppermint Delight, Lavender Dream, and Lemon Poppy Seed (nom nom nom!) and I knew I wanted to share them (and her!) with you too.
And of course, there was all that yarn — so much fun to look at it, to smoosh it, to pet it! And it inspired me to do a shop update…
Clockwise from top left: Fingering yarn containing Bamboo in a Dept of Rocket Science colourway, Celeste in Cove, Estelle in a Dept of Rocket Science colourway, BFL yarn in Algae, Celeste in Cove, BFL yarn in Salmon.