One word: Rhinebeck! This year, Lucy and I will have the privilege of heading to Rhinebeck for the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival with Patti. Patti used to live within an easy, 2-minute walk from us in Woodside. We met at "playgroup" as it is called, which is a program in a local church basement where parents and care-givers can bring their small children for a couple of hours of playtime, singing, and one of the most pathetic snack times in all history (I loved playgroup, but I never want to see another pink wafer cookie in my life!). Patti was there with her daughter, Kate, who is the same age as Finnian. Someone pointed her out to me and said, "I think she knits too." Being rather shy, I just looked. The following week, Patti and Kate were there, but Patti was actually knitting! Knitting at playgroup! I don't remember exactly what was said, but a bond was formed and, since we shared other areas in common - a love of art, a deep interest in our children and how they learn, and a fondness for laughing - we have become good friends.
Patti once made 1,250 granny squares for me for an art project. If that isn't friendship, I don't know what is! She taught me to filet crochet so I could make the curtains for The House Museum, and she has answered more knitting technical questions than anyone should have to if they aren't actually on somebody's payroll.
Sadly, Patti moved away from Woodside to Rochester, NY, a year and a half ago. She took her considerable talent and knowledge and packed up and moved (along with her husband and Kate). I am still smarting about that since it leaves me with no one who lives within walking distance that I can ask if I ever need 1,250 more granny squares, for one thing. But fortunately, Patti is heading to NYC today via Amtrak (may the train gods be with us and let the train be on time), and tomorrow morning we will head up to Rhinebeck and all the sheepy, woolly wonder of a, no, THE Sheep and Wool Festival. I can't wait!