Apparently when I ported my blog over from to the knitpistol site, I lost my Rhinebeck 2011 entry. This is an appalling discovery, as that entry, first written on October 19, was an ode to a beautiful weekend getaway with part knit pistols, part Canadian pistols, and all fun. I have exactly seventeen words from that entry:

October 19, 2011 by robin2go. This weekend was Rhinebeck (aka NYS Sheep & Wool festival). You know, mecca of all things yarnporn…

And that, as they say, is all Google cached. Dammit. But I’m stubborn, and I do believe I still have pictures, so let me try to recall the weekend—before it slips even farther from my grasp—and at the very least, repost some of the wonderful memories I have. Before the mind is gone completely.

Rhinebeck is a very full trip. The first time KnitPistols did Rhinebeck in 2009, we got up at o’dark hundred Saturday morning, drove five hours to the fairgrounds for Day 1, got overwhelmed, passed out in a middle-of-nowhere, kinda scary motel room with snoring and leaky air mattresses, went back for Day 2 and more determination, then a long five hour trip home. Like I said, a very full trip.

This year was a different trip altogether. My friend @EmilyKnits grew up in the Rhinebeck area, and knew of a lovely rustic house and barn that was still available for rent for the weekend. Audrey and I were in for the adventure, so late Friday afternoon with Canadians traveling southeast, and Pennsylvanians traveling northeast, we hit the road for Rhinebeck. We arrived at Kathleen’s barn in time to unpack, relax, welcome the Canadian contingent, have some dinner, and get ready for the festival.

Getting up after a night’s comfortable sleep and driving a mere ten miles to the fairgrounds makes an incredible difference in energy level and motivation. The day was beautiful and the festival did not disappoint. There were book signings by the Yarn Harlot and Ysolda, and stalls with patterns, samples, roving, and yarn. There were people who wore many beautiful things and were good spirited enough to allow pictures to be taken so that later queues could be updated and faves marked. There was amazing food to be sampled many, many times. And of course, there was a Ravelry meet up, complete with photo opportunities with @ysolda, @frecklegirl, @casey and the rest of the Ravelers young and old.

Back from the first day, our household spent the evening relaxing in front of a fire, showing off the day’s haul, updating Ravelry stashes, knitting on works in progress, listening to @EmilyKnits’ William Shatner album, and laughing. Lots of laughing. I learned I don’t hate gin, I only hate bad gin, and @CraftyGrrrl showed me that a Hendrick’s gin and tonic was is a beautiful thing to behold. I found a new Canadian knitting friend in @ZippyKittyToo and we’ve already talked about plans for next year. Somewhere in the middle, we rousted ourselves to walk up the street to dinner, and ended up in a local yarn shop buying more yarn (because what else would knitters be doing after a long day at a yarn festival?). Back to the house, and  more gin. And yarn. And laughter.

Day two: Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Laughter. Yarn. Gin. Friends. Sunshine. Relaxation. Yarn. Gin.

At the end of the weekend, reluctantly, we got on the road to head back to reality and Pennsylvania. The Canadians had one more day and took off Monday morning—and we enviously decided that would be us next year as well. For Rhinebeck has found a new place in my heart for laughter, for yarn, and camaraderie. For taking the time to slow down and enjoy the weekend, the surroundings, and the friends. For inner peace, inner light, and personal rejuvenation. Thank you @iAudrey, @EmilyKnits, @CraftyGrrrl, and @ZippyKittyToo for making this weekend something more than just about yarnporn. Thank you for making this about friendship and us. I’m ready for next year already.