I’m back from North Carolina, which turns out to be a hard state to leave. We were at a place called Earthshine for five days to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary — four generations of us. Earthshine turned out to be the perfect place. On top of its insanely beautiful location, it’s built around a steady barrage of activities meant to be fun for all ages and to keep everyone perpetually busy. There were zip lines and a high-ropes course and pond fishing and stream hiking. There were goats and chickens. S’mores and a paper airplane competition. And a double-decker porch with the most amazing mountain views, both levels amply furnished with rustic rocking chairs and benches. Unfortunately, “knitting on the porch” wasn’t one of the options on the sign-up board, so I didn’t get much done. But there was a surprise fiber-craft moment along the way.
Woven in among all the adventure activities, they have these educational mornings that felt exactly like school field trips, which I guess they actually are. One morning was spent in their Cherokee Village making clay beads and grinding corn and throwing tomahawks. (I mostly skipped that one.) And another was in their Pioneer Village, where I knew there was to be blacksmithing and candle-making, but what I didn’t know was that there was also a little lesson in spinning wool. We were each given a handful of raw fleece, which we were taught to wash and card, after which we placed our clean, combed puffballs into a big basket. And then one of the staff “pioneers” sat down with it at a spinning wheel and showed us how it’s done. I realized as I watched her that I’d never actually seen anyone spin before, or at least not that I recall. Thankfully, it didn’t give me the spinning urge (I don’t need another hobby), but it was fun to watch. Sadly, despite the lovely hand-written sign on one of the village doors, we didn’t do any dyeing. But it was funny to find myself in the middle of this lesson in the last place I expected it. I also happened to be wearing my Togue Stripes tank that day, and everyone was very impressed that there was a real live, 21st-century knitter present!
Speaking of which, some of you asked if that sweater was on Ravelry so you could favorite the notes — it’s there now.
Next time you are in Asheville, check out all the fiber activities there and the wonderful community of fiber artists. I just finished a great class at CLOTH in the River Arts district.
Love field trips and workshops that give us opportunity to learn new things! Let’s do SAFF!
My head just exploded – I had forgotten ALL ABOUT Earthshine! To be totally honest, I don’t remember a ton of it, but this:
“Woven in among all the adventure activities, they have these educational mornings that felt exactly like school field trips, which I guess they actually are.”
…is perfectly true. When I was in second grade this was the big multiple-day class field trip for lower elementary (1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades at my Montessori school) when I was in 2nd grade. I remember a lot more about the colors of the super 90s sweatshirts everyone was wearing than I do about Earthshine itself, but still, reading the name was an intense blast from the past.