Friday, May 04, 2007

Asheville, knitters in the wild, the great Grey Eagle

What a week. We got the new acoustic lawnmower in the mail, and I love it. We've additionally been having tractor trouble, so the Fool has tried to convince me that we should get one of these
to replace the tractor. I remain unconvinced. Later in the week, I went to hear Loreena McKennitt with some friends, while the Fool got his hair cut so he won't be mistaken for a brown-haired sheep this upcoming weekend.

Last night, I sewed the sweater together and cast on for the first button band. Tonight, we are leaving for Maryland, and if we don't get this entry up and written, we will be two Interesting Weekends behind, never mind the Minor News of The Household, or Look At The Paint Colors We Picked, or More Pictures of Angus, Spoot and Mab.


So the third big part of our trip was playing in Asheville, North Carolina, where people are crazy about contra dancing (and lots of other kinds of social dance). When the Fool and I visited last June, we were amazed that there are two weekly dances - Monday and Thursday nights. We learned this trip that some organizers have since put together a third weekly dance, in an effort to make the Monday and Thursday night floors less crowded. Instead it turns out that people just arranged their schedules to accommodate three nights of dancing. Contra dancing is so ingrained in the culture that the alternative weekly paper makes jokes about it in comic strips.
I was a little nervous about playing in Asheville.

No worries. The Grey Eagle, a music hall that also serves great Cajun food (the chef messed up and sent us two orders of fried green tomatoes rather than one ... rats!) is a friendly crowd of good dancers.

Adina is a very organized caller. She color codes her dances and writes them onto index cards.

Adina was sporting a bonny chicken necklace.

Contrary to popular belief, bands and callers do actually talk to each other up on stage!

While we were eating dinner and Adina was sorting through her cards, we pulled out our knitting. One of the local dancers joined us with her knitting - a sock for a guy with very large feet. Truly a labor of love. And then AnneMarie from the comments turned up to say hello in person - it was fun to finally put a face to the name.

Earlier that day, when the Fool and I were hanging around downtown Asheville (Chinese noodles for lunch, shopping for pottery and nifty arts-and-crafts things for the house, visiting the LYS), we decided to refresh ourselves and pause to knit a bit at Malaprop Books, a great independent bookstore with a coffee counter attached. The Fool bought a book on maintaining septic systems, because we seem to have inherited one of them, and my knowledge of septic systems is ... nil. I wrote in my journal for a bit and we drank our coffees, and eventually pulled out the knitting.

I noticed a group of three women doing that surreptitious "I'm trying to look at you but I don't want you to notice I'm looking" thing, until finally, one came over, introduced herself, outed the trio as knitters in the wild, attending Camp Stitches, and asked what we were working on. Pleasant knitting geekery followed.

Then we walked back to Adina's house to get ready to leave for the dance, and paused outside the civic center to horse around with the public art.

Gotta love Asheville.


LaurieM said...

I was going to say "Have fun in Maryland", but by now, I know you two have fun where ever you go. So instead, I just say, have a safe trip and please, take pictures!

Also, love those status. It would have been funny to put one of you two into the grouping.

Matt said...

Hey, he got a book on stuff! The Fool needs to take apart his broken things and leave them in piles that will frustrate him into either trashing them or fixing them. Books help. I was trying to talk him into this while walking to the redline on Thursday. Honestly, if he takes a good afternoon out of his knitting, he could probably fix that tractor, or at least take it apart in time for us to move up there so I can fix it for him.

Abby said...

That trip sounds amazing. Sometime I'm really going to have to find when and where you are playing.
Actually, will you be playing in the Chicago area on the weekend of August 11th? I'll be in Chicago for the ELCA Churchwide Assembly.

the fiddlin' fool said...


Probably not, since it's the summer and none of the weekend Chicago dances (Hyde Park, Warrenville) go through the summer. It's possible we'd be playing a Monday night, but those aren't booked for that cycle yet. And I don't know if you'd actually be here on a Monday, either.

Whereabouts do you live? Maybe we can tour out that way. :)