I think of inspiration in a couple of different ways. There’s inspiration for a specific project, and then there’s just the general inspiration to knit. For the former, I find the usual sources really helpful: Ravelry, Interweave Knits magazine, random Google searches, and my ever-growing library of knitting books.
But something I find even more important at times is simply the inspiration to keep/get back into knitting. This usually takes on particular significance in the early fall. After a summer of warm weather and little desire to hold heavy woolens on my lap as I work on them, the fall fiber events in my area help me regain my enthusiasm for new projects, and provide the real, tactile incentives to get me started.
In past years, the Hudson Valley Yarn Crawl was a fun way to take in not only some great fiber shops and farms in the area, but also the gorgeous landscape of the region I call home. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a yarn crawl in some time, and none seem to be scheduled for the upcoming spring or fall.
Though it takes place at what seems an odd time of year, the Chancellor’s Sheep & Wool Showcase at the Clermont State Historic Site is a small festival that provides a welcome opportunity for hibernating Hudson Valleyites to get out of the house and sniff the first hints of spring.
Just as the summer’s heat is abating, I like to visit the Adirondack Wool & Arts Festival (formerly the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival) in Greenwich, NY. It takes place in late September and provides a more manageable foil to October’s New York State Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck. Though the Greenwich fair doesn’t have nearly as many vendors as Rhinebeck, the smaller scale doesn’t draw such big crowds, which gives visitors ample opportunity to chat with the vendors, ask questions, get recommendations, and take their time perusing without the crush one experiences in Rhinebeck. Though I would never dream of missing Rhinebeck, the Greenwich fair was an instant favorite and one I’ll enjoy attending year after year.
Being at these festivals and seeing the wide variety of fibers and colors, checking out the sample knit pieces, matching the patterns offered by many vendors to the yarn, getting up close and personal with the animals – nothing else gets me more in the mood to have a pair of needles in my hands.