The Fool and I survived the Bishop Hill Midsommar Music Festival, at which we not only played for a contra dance (easy part), but played a hour-long concert in the park (hard part). We both sang and played tunes, and the song he decided to learn in Scots Gaelic (because singing in English is too easy) went off really well.
And I didn't die of stage fright. Which was my main concern, because singing in public makes me a little nervous. We both found the concert part of the day a little easier than the first time we did one of these, which is good, because we're doing another concert July 20 (the final stop on the Cosmic Otters Pre Partum Tour.)
We were a little worried on the way down because we managed to get stuck behind a gigantic organized motorcycle ride. I kept trying to take pictures that conveyed an idea of the scope of this thing -- hundreds of bikers, literally -- but every time I did, I got a photo with one biker in it, usually waving to me. This is the best one. You can't quite see it, but the line of bikers stretches all along the exit ramp, up over the highway and off into the distance on the overpass.
Part of what made the gig so easy was that the Bishop Hill Midsommar Music Festival is a great deal of fun. Bishop Hill is a beautiful little town near Galesburg, Ill., and the concert is in the town's park, which is green and filled with big trees.
(Chicago folksinger and really nice guy Mark Dvorak preceded us - ulp!)
The restaurants in town serve homemade pies and the bakery has homemade baked goods that I doubt have had anything to do with one of the big foodservice suppliers, and when we got sandwiches to eat before our set, they came on homemade Swedish rye bread.
(The Bishop Hill bakery - great ginger cookies and lingonberry orange muffins.)
The town itself was founded by Swedish settlers who came to the United States to escape religious persecution and many of the buildings are the original ones they built.
(Tunes on the porch of the town museum.)
(Abe Lincoln takes a bow. The guy sitting on the board carved this little limberjack and also plays banjo.)
At the end of the afternoon, a Swedish heritage group in town leads Maypole dancing.
We were busy jamming on a porch, and then eating Swedish meatballs and watermelon for dinner, but this is the Maypole. (Large pregnant lady included for scale.)
I've been doing some knitting, too. These are the Nutkin socks, which I got off Ravelry, but which can be gotten elsewhere, made from Koigu. (Thornacious kept getting after me to try Koigu, but I didn't, and finally I think she got fed up with my not buying yarn fast enough and gave me two skeins, in the winter when I needed to think about daffodils.)
They're a lot of fun to knit ... but I felt like the pattern could use some changes.
(My feet are a bit of a destination for me these days, so modeling these socks took some effort. I may have to switch to mittens and hats until I can reach my feet easily again.)
Hence Nutkin II, with the second half of the lace chart flipped to make them symmetrical along the center axis, and k2p2 ribbing on the back. It's done in Mixed Berry Lorna's Laces. I'm glad this yarn is working -- I've been trying to figure out what kind of socks it wanted to be for a few months now, and this is my third guess.