Monday, December 04, 2006

Down the Crooked Road

Booth at Carroll County Crooked Road Christmas
Carroll County Crooked Road Christmas

A last minute addition to my show schedule this weekend took me down The Crooked Road for a Christmas craft show and musical evening featuring an up and coming young local bluegrass band, No Speed Limit and the ever popular Lonesome River Band. I lost count of the number of crafters that participated, but it was a great collection of artisans, and the level of craftsmanship was impressive. There were only a couple of booths that weren't really crafts, and a nice tourism booth and several artists. I think most of the artisans were local. I even found a few relatives! As always, it was fun to get out and see other crafters and their work, and talk 'shop'. A large part of the appeal of craft shows is being able to connect with other crafters as well as customers.

Latest spinning
The Latest Hand Spun Yarns

Customers, well, there weren't many on Saturday, alas. But it takes time to get a show started and this was the first year for this attempt. I did a lot of spinning and learned a lot about the upright wheel and how to make it work. I had a rug under it but on the slippery tile floor the wheel kept wandering away from me. By the end of the day and four bobbins of yarn, I had figured out that it's worth the trouble to bring my own chair, and how to thread the single through all those hooks on the wheel's flyer and which side of the spindle to use! We received a warm welcome from the Carroll County Tourism Office staff and I think they did a good job with their first year's efforts!

Long Suffering "Penelope"

A friend and fellow crafter helped me with some pictures for the Round the Mountain web site. This is the Southwest Virginia Artisan's Guild that is working to promote crafts in the area, which is getting together a database of crafters in Southwest Virginia. One of the goals is to establish a network of trails for tourists to visit artisans' studios and other attractions. I've been working on getting together information for the database page they're offering. I keep thinking that things will slow down with the cold weather!

Lonesome River Band
Really bad picture of Lonesome River Band

I hate to admit that this is the first time I've seen my brother's 'new' band. They've been together awhile, long enough to put out a CD. I didn't get packed up in time to see No Speed Limit, although I heard parts of the show and they sounded like an energetic young group. Friend Jeannie, Patrick County's Tourism Director and her lovely mother came up for the show and we were able to sit and catch up with the news after the wind storm last week.

Mom and Wendell enjoying the show
Mom and Wendell enjoying the show

Even though there wasn't a large crowd, the boys presented an excellent show with many old favorites and new songs from the latest CDs. Sammy's banjo was popular, as always, but young Matt Leadbetter, the newest member of LRB, did an impressive job with the dobro and added a lot to the energy of the band. Three fine singers, all good enough to be the lead in any band, shared the vocals. The hit of the night, though, was a terrific rendition of "Jingle Bells" as an instrumental, which Sammy ended with a cheerful "Frosty the Snowman" that brought down the house! I think LRB should record it! Two more bluegrass Christmas favorites, "O Beautiful Star of Bethelem" and "Christmas Time's A-Comin'" finished the show in style!

Sunday I put the store back together, changing things around a little to feature the yarns and make it easier to fondle them. Today I have a spinning lesson with a lovely lady that is just learning to use her new Kromski Prelude. She's already making great yarn!

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