Wild Wool and Wicked Weed: Unwinding in Asheville
|The vibrant hand-dyed skeins by Miss Babbs drew lots of admiring customers.|
No, even though I did go to artsy, alternative Asheville this past Saturday, I haven't turned into a hippie chick. Wicked Weed isn't an illicit substance, but rather, a restaurant where a friend and I ate, after spending several pleasurable hours at the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) in Fletcher, NC. The restaurant and brewery gets its name from the following statement attributed to Henry VIII: "Hops are a wicked and pernicious weed." Our relaxed meal there, amidst an eclectic crowd, was a festive end to our day at SAFF, where we perused what seemed like acres of yarn, fiber, and tools for spinning, weaving, and knitting.
SAFF and Asheville provided a perfect respite for me and my companion, as we are both school teachers in a time and a place where there seems to be a perfect storm blowing through public education, especially in the state of North Carolina. I won't go into the boring details here. Suffice it to say, the escape from weekend chores and obligations (both home- and school-related) was sorely needed, and as we drove through the rolling foothills towards our destination, the burdens of the week began to subside.
| Here, Andrea enjoys a relaxing moment communing with an|
English angora rabbit. It took lots of self-restraint not to take this
bunny home with me.
|This llama's neck was so silky soft.|
At SAFF we were able to handle soft angora rabbits, luxurious llama, alpaca, and bison yarns and fleece, and talk with vendors and some Cottage Yarn regulars whom I saw browsing the stalls. As I am about to embark on another period of "yarn fasting," I tried not to walk out of the festival in typical fashion--weighted down with bundles and bags and strange contraptions like some pack animal. I bought a cone of sport weight yarn for a reasonable $10.00, a skein of silk sari yarn, a couple of bars of aromatic soap from the owner of Appalachian Naturals--he's the individual who recommended the Wicked Weed restaurant--and also purchased a pair of factory-made alpaca socks to give as a Christmas present and thought I'd escaped rather economically. But on the way out of the smaller building of vendor stalls, a bag of orange-rust wool batting caught my eye, and I couldn't resist. I started to spin it up that same night after I'd arrived home.
|Every time I attend SAFF I come home with a bag of fluff from|
Zeilinger Wool Company.
|Pretty fiber makes pretty yarn.|
|This cone contains over 1,000 yards.|
|This soap would make a great present for someone, but I couldn't resist temptation. I've already opened one bar to use myself. Click here to go to the company's website.|
|Walter Turpening crafts custom-made benches and chairs for weavers, spinners,|
and knitters. Using detailed measurements of the individual, each piece is made to fit.
Someday I will purchase one of his armless rockers, made especially for knitters.
|Here I am at Double D's Coffee and Desserts, waiting for my spicy cider.|