Twas the Night Before Rhinebeck
Rhinebeck is swiftly approaching (can you believe it?!) so I wrote you this poem about knitter’s Christmas.
TWAS THE KNIT BEFORE RHINEBECK
Twas the night before Rhinebeck, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring not even a moth.
The yarn was all packed by the front door with care,
in hopes that at the Sheep and Wool Festival, we’d soon be there.
The knitters were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of alpaca fleeces danced in their heads.
And mama in her seamless top down Icelandic yoke sweater and I in my wool’s itch,
had just settled our hands from a long winter’s stitch-and-bitch.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Only after taking care to check on my stash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen leaves
gave the look of undyed wools all sat on the eaves.
when, what to my wondering eyes should I peep,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny sheep!
With a little old driver, a scarf ’round her neck,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Rhinebeck.
More rapid than eagles her coursers they came,
And she whistled and shouted and called them by name!
“Now Shearer! now, Spinner! now, Cashmere and Cables!
On, Fair Isle! On, Gusset! On on, Intarsia and Laces!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now swift away! Swift away! Swift away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the sheepies they flew,
with the sleigh full of yarn and St. Rhinebeck too!
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Rhinebeck came with abound.
She was dressed all in wool, from hat on her head to sock on her foot,
And her handknits were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of skeins she had flung on her back,
And she looked like a LYS, just opening her pack.
Her fun fur, how it twinkled! Her merino, how merry!
Her cottons were beautiful in colors of berries!
Her superwash skeins were wrapped up in a bow,
And the fluffy undyed fiber was as white as the snow.
A set of circular needles she held tight in her hand,
And cast on the most beautiful sweater in the land.
Her cables were perfect and stitches so soft,
Before I could blink, she’d already bound off.
Then she spoke not a word, but went straight to her work,
And left yarn presents, then turned with a jerk.
And laying her finger aside of her nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney she rose!
She went to her flock, they rose up in the air,
And away they all flew like the down of mohair.
But I heard her exclaim, ‘ere she drove out of sight,
“Happy knitting to all, and to all a good-night!”
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