Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Bit of a Detour

Hello again.  Last time I surfaced, I was headed for Peaks of Otter Park.  I did go there on Saturday, toured around, and saw that the "lake" was more of a big pond and the campsite was pretty gloomy.  So, I decided to continue the trip north, toward Acadia National Park in Maine.  After spending the night in W. Virginia, I hit the road Monday morning, and then my daughter called.  She told me that the previously planned mid August visit to Ithaca NY wasn't such a good time due to their band's tour; could I come sooner?  Like in 5 hours, I asked?  For that's how far from Ithaca I was, according to my iphone map (which I love love love. It has served me well on this trip.)  So -- a great few days in NY.  Hiking, eating, stowing wood for the winter, visiting a goat cheese dairy.  Lots of fun, sorry, no pics.  Then unexpectedly I found a campsite in Seawall Campground in Acadia, for Friday, and left early Thursday for a 12 hour drive.  Drove through the day, and got to Acadia by noon on Friday, in a daylong downpour.  Cats and dogs, I tell you.  I checked into the campground, then hightailed it to Bar Harbor, where I found a great room (I know, I know, wussy girl) for the night and tooled around Bar Harbor, a charming little tourist town, in the unceasing rain.  I know, I know, please shut up.  I could have set up my tent in the rain and eaten cold food and stayed in the tent but, no.  I had better things to do.  Ate a delicious lobster mac and cheese last night, too.  I stand by my decision.  This morning I will go visit the local yarn and candy store, Bees, and report on that next time I'm around wi-fi.  Then go pitch my tent on this lovely dry morning.  Keep in touch, everyone.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Southern Highlands Crafts Fair and the Kayak's Next Stop

Yesterday I attended the Southern Highlands Crafts Fair, held twice a year in Asheville NC in July and October.  It was everything you could want to see, except knitting and yarn :( There was one booth with a spinner, and several lovely weaving booths, but other than that, it was wood, and pottery, metal, glass and other beautiful things. Well worth going for the variety and quality of the beautiful crafts.  Highly recommended.  Some of my favorites below:

Bamboo hand loomed shawls and clothing.  Exquisite

Cool pottery

A whole booth full of the most whimsical and useful wooden utensils!!  

Who doesn't need a hand carved wooden zinc, as we call them in New Orleens???


Wavy glass

I met a weaver, Kathrin Weber, who hand dyes warp threads in her Blazing Shuttle Warp of the Month Club.  She sells hand painted warps to weavers who then use them as they wish.  The idea has taken off to the point where Kathrin, who has been weaving for 33 years, is now basically full time hand painting the warp yarns.  She is dynamite, and her work is exquisite, and since I know I haven't done her justice, visit her beautiful website, Blazing Shuttles.

Kathrin with her work and hand dyed yarn

I also visited Home Crafts, a cool store where not only do they have a wide variety of yarn for sale, and a great selection of needles, shuttles, and notions, but they also sell the finished work of knitters and other fiber artists.  Two walls of felted hats!  Go see them if you are in Asheville.

Now the kayak wants to get wet.

Headed out today for the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I've been making my way up north and will camp tonight and probably the next couple of nights at the Peaks of Otter Campground in Virginia, and see how that goes.  No internet, I'm sure, so I won't be posting for a few days.  Keep cool. Ha.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Road Noise

Written Friday PM:
I am in Asheville, North Carolina, and have had an eventful 2 days since I left yesterday.  Yesterday was tense.  I was a little nervous about carrying a kayak on top.  Would it fall off?  Would it land on the car behind me?  But what I did not expect was the road noise.  The tie-downs, flat straps with ratchets, thrummed like a jet engine all the way.  I tried ear plugs, tried putting my headphones on, and still they hummed with a deafening roar.  In Montgomery I stopped at a Lowes and bought pipe insulation, thinking that if I wrapped the flat tie downs they wouldn't vibrate like reeds in the wind and make loud discordant music.  I wrapped the longest one and headed on, but to no avail.  The anxiety that resulted made my trip miserable, I have to admit.  By the time I reached Atlanta Thursday night, tired, I felt like the noise might reverberate in my head forever, or at least impair my hearing indelibly.  This morning I got up and put more insulation over the short parts of the tie downs, which were about 8 inches in length in the front and back of the kayak.  Huzzah!  The noise went away completely!!!!  I am resourceful!  I solved a problem!  I am capable!

Asheville.  Crowded.  Most people seem to smoke on the streets.  Men with gray ponytails doing the drum circle in the square.

In fact, many men with gray ponytails everywhere.  And LOTS of tourists. Hmmm.  Maybe not the best time to be here, but tomorrow I'll go to the Southern Highlands Crafts Fair.  And a store with locally sourced yarn.  Then, head on up toward Maine.  I am looking forward to fewer people and more Mother Nature.   Cheers Y'all.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Off to a Dangerous Start

Hello fiber folks,
I am about to take off on a road trip from the Deep South, New Orleans, to the furr north. Maine, or maybe Nova Scotia.  Along the way, I'll camp and visit yarn stores and fiber events and introduce you all to them.  I haven't planned too far ahead, because the point of this particular trip is to see what comes up along the way, both from your suggestions, and those of  the folks I meet along the way.  I invite your ideas about places to visit and write about.  Tips for places to camp or stay are welcome, too.

Just a brief introduction (ok, family, I realize you already know I'm a compulsive knitter from way back.  But maybe some new people might read this, too!)  I knit and I love yarn.  And knitters.  I also appreciate other fiber arts, such as quilting, but I only seem to have time to knit.  Currently I'm taking a break to knit and travel and blog.  I have two dogs, a cat, and two awesome kids, Jamie and Marie.  They are grownups now. Finally.  Mostly.

This blog is dedicated to my first born daughter, Vi, who was a writer and a traveller, and spun many a tale herself.  I am posting some of her writings on the page, Vi's Tales, which you can find on the link at the upper right.  Sadly, many of her stories are no longer around.  If anyone has any, please send them on to me and I'll post them for all to read.  Thanks.

OK, the trip.....   It is a dangerous start because I'm heading for Asheville, NC, which appears to be a mecca for yarn stores, artisan crafts, and the like.   It appears that there will be many temptations.  The list of participating yarn stores in last May's Asheville Yarn Crawl included 9 stores.  Count them, nine.  (I think NOLA has 3)  And this coming Thursday through Sunday, July 18 - 21, in Asheville is the Crafts Fair of the Southern Highlands.  Lots of vendors in all sorts of crafts, including fiber.  Will there be yarn???  I wouldn't be surprised. I am going to build a special case for my credit card that only opens 24 hours after I first try to unlock it.  That way I will have time to decompress and think things through.  I'm aiming to camp in the surrounding Appalachians if the weather is ok, but the super rainy weather apparently has washed out a bunch of roads.  Again, I'm going to play it by ear, and I'll keep y'all posted.  Heading out Wednesday, toward Atlanta, where I'll spend a night before arriving in Asheville Thursday.  Anyone with a suggestion of a good place to spend a night (not camping) in Asheville please comment.
Oh, yeah, I'm taking my kayak.  Yippee.  See you soon.