Every year on the October weekend the boasts the New York Sheep & Wool Festival it feels like the knitting & spinning community turns very black and white: those who are in Rhinebeck and those who are not in Rhinebeck. We all know that all sorts of people travel great distances to attend this festival including all the heavy-hitting knitterati. As I watch the photos pour into my social media stream of happy faces and wool galore, I am always conflicted. I am most definitely Not in Rhinebeck.
There’s part of me that suffers from extreme FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) with this event. The longing I have to be with my like minded brothers & sisters at this Mecca for spinners and knitters is at times overwhelming. The never-ending barrage of photos that show the traditional reveling in particular food items, the glory of the Hudson River Valley in autumn, the camaraderie, and the wool in so many shapes and forms. Oh, the wool. And the Bosworth Spindle booth. And the Hansen Crafts booth. And… and… And here I sit, 1000miles away, missing out.
There is, however, a larger part of me that is painfully shy and even the idea of the crowds wears me out. I’m instantly nervous at the idea of meeting so many people I admire in person. I mean, that’s a whole lot of opportunity for me to be socially awkward, something at which I truly excel. I think about being away from my family & it loses a lot of its appeal. I remember that even if I were there, how most people do Rhinebeck — all those photos I see, that’s not how I would. Because I’m an introvert, because I will never be one to be outgoing enough to snap selfies with celebrities. There’s a fair chance I’d be too shy to introduce myself. I much prefer quiet time to observe and think and soak things up and while I like to think I would step things up to experience the social aspects of Rhinebeck, I don’t know how much I would. My Rhinebeck wouldn’t be like the photos I see (in reality most things aren’t, right?) and I always come around to the conclusion that the instinct to feel that FOMO is really misplaced.
It’s true. As much as those photos of Rhinebeck tug at my heart a little, the truth is after the last couple of months I’ve had, I would much rather be right where I am: tucked in bed this foggy morning next to my snoring Moose knitting away on my beloved first handspun sweater.
So this weekend, fair warning: I Am Not in Rhinebeck.
For photos of fiber finds and long lost friends and apple cider donuts and perfect fall scenes, you may want to search elsewhere on social media. For photos of low-key shenanigans with my family, knitting on my sweater next to my snoring dog in somewhat unspectacular surroundings, a birthday cake made and decorated by an almost-nine-year-old, and probably some spindle spinning in weird evening lighting, look no further. I’ve got you covered.