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Welcome to Esther's Blog

The World According to Esther

Fall Festival Fun- Rhinebeck and SAFF!

One thing I love most about the Fall is festival season!! The crunchy leaves, the crisp air and everyone wearing their best woolies! This year brought me back to my favorite hometown festival, SAFF, and was my first time at the all famed Rhinebeck!

I have to admit, I was quite excited to be teaching at Rhinebeck!! There are very few festivals who’s name brings as much anticipation as New York Sheep and Wool. Maybe it’s the leaves, or the maple syrup.. but Rhinebeck stands alone!

I admit, I had more fun than usual since I was back with my travel partner, Jackie Graff from DyeMama Woolworks and Swans Island. She picked me up at the airport and we had a bite to eat, and then we headed down to Rhinebeck. I was excited to wear my special sweaters- my Lopapeysa from Iceland, and my special handspun, natural dyed and hand knit Enchanted Mesa given to me by an amazing student in Norway.
I admit I didn’t see much of the actual festival, past the few buildings that were right next to the workshop building!! OOOH they were full of colorful woolies and yarns though!!  I did get to have lunch one day under an amazing tree!!
10703951_10203730283796098_648456087961916762_n 1891022_10203731299981502_170057342646887550_nMy days were filled with amazing students in all my classes!! My students were excited to spin luscious hand dyed tops by KnittyandColor and FatCatKnits, and fun carded batts from 222Handspun!
10420759_10203726265135634_1423954453880719429_n 10714396_10204774647867768_3553770120462948416_o 1901442_10203731068175707_8138960051908064902_n 1779091_10203731560108005_1892367808102775325_n 1920093_10203731732592317_2942383205880749940_nFestivals are also the rare opportunity to see friends- since we all use workshops as reasons to get together! I even took my color blending students on a field trip to hear my friend Cirilia Rose talk about color and her new book!
10593117_10203739547347681_5562000141935168308_n 10410596_10203725800324014_2925521852751714320_n 10710819_10203743114276852_7917862319101197854_nEvenings were spent with Jackie, Abby, Beth, Jacey and Levi eating huge cuts of meat and other delicacies at the various amazing restaurants in Rhinebeck. 10712858_10203728350587769_788249741910865947_n 10350625_10203728221504542_8348559220156872353_n
As far as seeing the festival, Jackie and I did manage to sneak a peek of the fleece show on Friday afternoon.. thus allowing me to grab a few amazing fleeces on Saturday morning! We also walked though the hipster llama barn on our way to workshops on Sunday.10712977_10203733825724644_3143690427586603029_n 10387469_10203743916336903_7762273182217361167_n 10730886_10203743946697662_3589809025402419802_nI made it home with enough time to do laundry, repack and load the trailer to head up the mountain for SAFF. I love SAFF because it’s Asheville and we all have a good time eating and hanging out, as well as it’s such a great festival!   The booth looked really great this year. I had lots of long locks, and a wall full of batts and loads of yarns!! And I rolled out my NEW smooth carded prep- Fractal Ply packs which flew off the rack!!
10801542_10203854950072677_9043883020020173519_n 10501979_10203854951912723_7608147262043118410_n 10402958_10203854951472712_1033969347169607975_n10805697_10203854950632691_2700483764295867437_n
I missed my friend Deb this year, who had to miss the SAFF fun because she had too much Taos fun, but we were joined by the amazing ladies of Kismet Fiber Works!! Angie and Steph dye beautiful colorways on super yummy bases- the hit of the show was for sure their 50/50 Baby Camel/Silk!!
10644880_10203773203869073_2517030875088416280_n 1274388_10203854953872772_1461348075593529914_oAngie, Steph and I  really enjoyed putting colorways together for customers!!  Our yarns paired wonderfully!!
1546440_10203854959112903_1562649938086534807_nWe are having lots of fun planning future collaborations.. We’ve started with an amazing hood and boot toppers that will soon have patterns available!!
10534876_10203854961472962_6847551110108425638_o 10665302_10203854926672092_6683185168572060971_n 10644545_10203854937512363_546773979163714059_n 1404493_10203854963113003_3214122828864044596_oI had wonderful classes each day!! Tailspinning, wild plying, layered plying and yarn couture! It was awesome to watch spinners of different abilities inspiring eachother. We were all inspired by Violet, the 9 year old master of spinning on wire.
1483332_10203854929432161_1856837154910126796_n 1514617_10203854956272832_8804912370066676472_n 1969240_10203773206789146_5481914947878268442_n 10441139_10203854940952449_1566666942050471601_n10645245_10203855799813920_5455023951188272863_n 10665695_10203855800493937_9163490603538682313_nOf course we ate well every night.. it’s Asheville!! We were excited to show Abby our favorite joints! We hit Universal Joint, Wicked Weed, Thirsty Monk and of course White Duck Taco. Ron and the gang from Buffalo Wool Co. joined us for White Duck and I think it will become an annual event. As is our yearly tradition, we spent Sunday night, after load out with our friends Otto and Joanne Strauch and the rowdy gang that joins us at Tupelo Honey.   This year there was a new pork chop on the menu that Abby and I just had to have as a shared memory of the fun from the weekend before.
10418381_10203854926992100_6398459138941691314_n 10517565_10203854913631766_7236106745860555721_nThe next morning before heading down the mountain, Bryan and I went apple picking. Then we headed home with the sun at our backs.
1395299_10203854917471862_164914219691068161_n 10409201_10203854922031976_5915962073417632038_n 10801718_10203854922831996_1460014255832214843_n 1656314_10203854911431711_7982894024986511155_nI’m spending the days making apple pie and relaxing from a long show season!! I’ve still got a handful of spaces in my last workshop of the year- at WC Mercantile in Texas in a couple of weekends! I am also photo’ing yarns tomorrow for an etsy update sunday!

Happy Fall everyone! I hope the air is crisp and your leaves are beautiful!