So what I did at Rhinebeck, for those who are curious.
Got up at 3 AM, thanks to Rascal. Spent maybe 45 minutes up because he had to go out and took his sweet time before he was finally ready to give me a notice he wanted Out. Managed to go back to bed and fall asleep, for the alarm to go off at 5. Dressed and hit the road in time to pick Tracy up at 5:30, Steph and Amanda up at 6, and Sandi about 6:30. Steph gave us coffee, Amanda managed muffins, and Sandi passed out cider. I forgot what Tracy brought but it was something.
We chatted away until we hit Roscoe for a pee break, which we greeted with a "Holy Shit!" because the gas price there was 2.95. I pre-paid while they took turns at the toilet. It soon become apparent *why* the gas was cheap- the pump was going very very slow, and it took a good 5 minutes for the gas to pump $2 worth. I went and hit the john with someone else holding the pump, and it went to $3. oooo. We gave up after $7 worth, because we'd been there damn near half an hour.
Then we finally got to Rhinebeck and getting parked was easy. The line to get in was already moving, and didn't take long at all. I walked too fast and left the ladies behind, but I made sure they would know where to find me, and we had the default meeting for the end of the day to make sure we all could leave together. I went straight to our booth. Liber greeted me immediately, but I had to do a little bit of work right away, and she wandered off. Then I got to meet Franklin, and I tried very hard not to drool on him or scare him, but I was honored to meet him. He is adorable. (see the "If I were a sheep" link on the right- I'm going to be lazy and not link everyone) Then I sat down next to Brewergnome (who is also more adorable in person with his clothes on) and we companionably got a few things sorted out for selling in the booth. It was nice to get to know him and feel less stalkerish- I read a lot of his posts on Ravelry, but I can be self-effacing about not being noticeable sometimes, so I wasn't sure how much he wanted to know me at first. He's a brewer, and fond of gnomes (and yes honey, he's very, very gay), and I like his sense of humor a great deal. Our chores being done, we walked back to the booth and set out those wares. Then I wandered off by myself and explored about half of the booths.
I found the Socks that Rock booth, and managed to jam myself in and pick out a few skeins... and then realized the line to check out was more than hour long. I put the skeins back. I found pencil roving, which I had not seen in real life before. I found the Bosworth booth and drooled on them all fanboy, but did not touch any of the spindles. I did admire their full size wheel though. If I was MINO, yeah, I would want. But I'm not, and I don't NEED it. I wandered off again. I found a place to shop for Heather and bought way too much there, but she ought to be happy. She'll see all that tomorrow. Then I wandered back to our booth, and offered food and drink and a pee break. I am well trained as a retainer. :) Gwynivar was too cold. I gave her my coat and put heating bandages on her. Then I stopped and explored the other half of the show.
During lunch, Liber called. She wanted to meet for the wheel- so I completed the deal of buying a spinning wheel. Yes, I bought a spinning wheel at Rhinebeck... And later I found Steph and told her her wheel was in the car, and she handed me money to pay me for it... So I also sold a wheel at Rhinebeck. :) I include this interlude to make my sweetie a little nervous, but he ought to be pleased that I did not buy one and bring one home For ME. Some of the wheels they had there included a couple of double fly antique types which you draft with both hands as well as the cheaper and highly portable types like Hitchhikers.
I did buy a few sampler packs of roving materials- so I can see what it's like to spin flax, hemp, organic cottons, and buffalo. And I bought Kissmoose presents for a swap with the Bingo crew. But I spent most of my day at the booth. Itgirl, Jesh, Brewergnome, Lisa and myself were standing at the front of the booth, by Jesh's spindles. Itgirl confessed she never learned to spin. So we asspinerated her, right then. We pulled a spindle off the rack, and grabbed some roving, and had her just try it. She ended up buying that spindle and some roving, and took them home with her. Brewergnome has in the past admitted to being afraid to use a spindle (but he has a wheel). Lisa solved that by handing him a spindle with roving attached and asked him to "just wind that up" while she took care of a customer. He found himself actually spinning with the spindle. So I took him over to the Bosworth booth and helped him pick one out.
I met lots of other people at the booth, including my East Kingdom knitting friends, who introduced me to Thora Sharptooth- and she is THE VIKING EXPERT and I go to her webpage for many research questions. She did not appreciate my "Not Worthy" adulation, but I could reign it in. I promised I'd be at Hrim Schola again in the spring, and there were smiles around. It feels good to have a Laurel admire your new job. I forget I'm a peer now too.
I did a lot of just standing in the booth and answering questions. I think mainly I was there just to see how things are done. The wonderful news is I did not react badly to much of anything- and I was worried I would react to the soap in the booth, perfumes of anyone, and stinky neighbor booths. There were a few places I did have to avoid, but in general the wind was pretty strong and not much bothered me. The cold did not. I'm bringing fingerless gloves next time just in case anyway next year, and probably will wear more knit outerwear. I had a great time. I did not take a lot of pictures, but I'll try to post those I did take later. And try to post pics I know that others took of me.