Appalachia Chatter and Chitter

2 Knitters Moved In Last Week

Little middle folk school jccfs

The calm of daily life in Brasstown was interrupted last week by John C. Campbell Folk School’s Little Middle Folk School. Every summer the folk school hands over the reins to a campus full of energetic kids.

Little middle folk school

Some of you may remember 2 Blacksmiths lived with me during last year’s little middle folk school-this year it was 2 knitters.

Knitters at little middle
Chatter and Chitter spent every morning last week in a knitting class. Emolyn Liden was their teacher-and what a dandy teacher she was.

Knitting class at little middle 2012

By the end of the week there were hats, scarves, and headbands knitted by the students-most of who were beginning knitters. Emolyn said she was pleased with the progress everyone made and that some of the students even qualified as Ninja Knitters.

Knitting arobics

If anyone needed to stretch their legs Emolyn had Knit Aerobics set up on the backporch-have you ever seen knitting needles that big!

What a way to spend a week-sitting around the cozy bright living room of Orchard House talking with new and old friends. That would have been fun enough, but add in the bonus of learning how to knit yourself a hat and a scarf-it just doesn’t get much better than that for summer fun.

Show and tell little middle folk school

On the last day of Little Middle Folk School all the kids get to show off their work. Chatter worked straight though show and tell to make sure her hat got finished-I think it turned out great.

Knitters in appalachia

Chatter and Chitter enjoyed learning to knit so much that they became slightly obsessed. Every time I looked their way this past week they were knitting.

Steve Hickman and John Devine were at the folk school last week too. They were there to provide music for the dance caller’s workshop that was going on-as well as for the nightly contra dances. Chatter and Chitter were thrilled beyond words when Steve and John allowed them to sit on stage all week and play along with the music.

One night as I stood in the contra line waiting for the dance to start, a lady in my group of 4 told her friend “Look up there at that girl not only is she playing the fiddle she’s knitting in between all the songs.” When I told Chitter what the lady said-she said “Yep I’m a fiddle playing knitter.”




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  • Reply
    July 1, 2012 at 8:20 am

    What a fun week! I SO miss days like this back home.

  • Reply
    June 26, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I learned to knit as a child, then put it aside for other things for years… decades, come to think of it! I don’t wear hats, always wear leather gloves, and I’ve never put on a woolen sweater that didn’t feel like pins sticking into my skin, so I kind of lost interest in knitting…blankets are just so darn BIG to knit!
    But in the past few years I got involved with knitting hats for charities, and now I’m knitting again and more than ever, and find it a great way to do something productive when I’m too tired or worried to do anything else. And I’m enjoying it very much – have become addicted to knitting socks, of all things! I taught a young woman to knit last year, and it was great fun to see her catch on and get to clicking away. I’ll bet Chatter and Chitter’s teacher enjoys her work!

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    June 26, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Sounds like great fun. You’re making me want to learn to knit, then I could add another pot to my stove of things to do.

  • Reply
    June 26, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Slow Kids X-ing?? Pretty smart kids I should have thought! Never mastered knitting, or the fiddle, or…life is so short.

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    June 25, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    I’m a fiddle player like that. It looks like they really enjoyed themselves..My nephews and nieces used to go there every summer..They enjoyed it so much..

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 25, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    make that perspective

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 25, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    A Chatter and a Chitter
    One’s a knitter
    the other one’s a rettink.
    Which is which depends on your prospective.

  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    I love to crochet but never learned to knit. I guess a body is never to old to learn! Just gotta find someone to teach me. so glad the girls are having fun with their new craft.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    June 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    B. Ruth she spoke in double rhymes
    A couple more than a dozen times
    Said it twice so you’uns would know
    That she ain’t just some so and so.
    Now lest we start a back and forth
    B. Ruth is from the finest North.
    (Carolina, that is 😉
    She ain’t no yankee, that’s fer sure
    Her blood is southern mountain pure.
    Today, I’ll call no foul on Tip
    (I’m already in her deep sheep dip)
    So knit and purl, purl and knit
    If you’re lookin’ for the end – well, this is it!

  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Charlotte-NO you’re never to old : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    This is great! I wish more young ladies were interested in learning a craft other that texting. lol I recently posted about wanting to learn to knit. Am I too old to learn?

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    June 25, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Knitting is so much fun. Been doing it myself since I was 8. I love the image of Chitter knitting and fiddle playing!

  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 11:36 am

    You’re right there at the top of
    great moms, always thinking ahead
    for them beautiful girls and making sure they get the knowledge
    from our Appalachian heritage.
    Beverly got my attention with her
    Shakespearian ability, and to be
    included with the Casada boys is a
    real treat. Great to have the
    music player again…Ken

  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Your girls are so talented! Chatter’s hat is very fine indeed, and Chitter – knitting between sets- too funny! The yarn arts ARE addictive, I always have two or three knitting or crochet projects going at any time. Some happy day those bright girls of yours will be making sweaters and afghans for their grandbabies!

  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 11:15 am

    It’s great that you have the folk school!! I wish we had something like it in this area. A lot of younger people are getting interested in the older skills for a lot of good reasons–the hand knit things are wonderful. My niece & nephew are really into better eating & she wants me to teach her how to can–they want some real food without a lot of additives!!
    I enjoy Blind Pig every day–thanks so much!!

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    June 25, 2012 at 11:01 am

    My wife taught 12 year old grandaughter Sara to crochet this year. She loves it and wants to learn to knit after she perfects her crochet technique. I got a crochet ‘boggin for my birthday.

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    June 25, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Oh, what great fun! I would have loved to have been there to watch. Did you have a couple of men there trying to do some knitting? The picture seems to show one of them sitting on the end of the couch looking rather intently at something in his hands. I loved this story; I spend time knitting. Wow!

  • Reply
    Kimberly Burnette
    June 25, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Welcome Chitter & Chatter to the world of knitting! 🙂 They will have to join Ravelry where there are tons of patterns and info about knitting! (

  • Reply
    Pamela Moore
    June 25, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I’m a Waldorf trained handwork teacher and I used to start teaching knitting in first grade. It’s a wonderful and addictive skill to learn. Now get them started on plant dyeing and spinning their own wool.

  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Blacksmiths… knitters…guitarists…what can’t those talented girls do? Just wait till they learn to cook better than you and out of the kitchen you go. If that happens, tell them to continue posting recipes on here or you will have one unhappy reader.
    Those knit hats would sell great on ebay. I think everyone in NY was wearing them when I visited there last winter.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 25, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Tipper, Ed sure is observant isn’t he!
    By the time those girls are grown they will be able to do everything!!
    I tried knitting and crocheting when I was younger. It just never worked out for me I kept pulling the yarn too tight, Guess I was just an uptight kid.
    My Aunt Reva used to say that if you knit, rock or crochet you’ll never go crazy. Do you suppose that’s true.
    Yep, I can see it now, the Deer Hunter will be building a lot for the sheep.

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    June 25, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Ode to the Knitters…
    Chitter and Chatter seen a sheep one day, sheep one day…
    Pitter patter, it followed them as sheep do I say, do I say…
    Its coat was getting warm that day, warm that day
    Sheep need shearing and right away, right away.
    What shall we do, I heard them say, heard them say…
    With all this wool and school today, school today.
    Can you knit the sheep did bleat, sheep did bleat…
    There is a Middle school up the street, up the street.
    You can have my wool if you learn to knit, learn to knit
    So off they went, time well spent, time well spent…
    When back they trod with knit caps in hand, caps in hand…
    The sheep was happy as a lamb, as a lamb…
    What a treat the sheep did bleat, sheep did bleat…
    To shade my eyes and beat the heat, beat the heat…
    My wool will grow and I’ll have more to share, more to share…
    Sweet Chitter and Chatter they did care, they did care…
    When the girls did learn they would have to spin, have to spin…
    What a predicament they were in, they were in…
    Tipper, said, I’ll help you out, help you out
    For I know where the yarns can be found about, found about…
    She called on The Blind Pig Men, Blind pig men
    A’ liken to others like Jim, Don and Ken, Jim Don and Ken
    For many colors of yarns they spin, yarn they spin…
    They tell great stories like, mountain men, mountain men…
    Chitter and Chatter are swamped you guess, swamped you guess.
    With knit cap orders they were blessed, they were blessed
    I am so glad that this tale came to a happy end, happy end.
    Maybe someday I’ll be back agin, back agin….
    B. ruth ……(Shakespit)

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    June 25, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Kudos to Chitter and Chatter! And to the folk School for providing such a wonderful summer program. I wish that something like this was available in our area. *sigh*

  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Am always amazed with your talented, fun loving family.Knitting is something the girls can use from now on.

  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 7:57 am

    I have just recently learned the art of knitting, sure wish I had learned when I was younger. It is an art and skill that will always be with them, it’s making a huge comeback as is crochet. Such beautiful yarns available and spinning is making a huge revival also. If I didn’t have such horrible RA I’d try to learn to spin. I love the hat that Chatter made, can’t wait to see Chitter’s! (I have tons of free patterns if they are interested) : )

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 25, 2012 at 7:15 am

    John Campbell School is a wonderful place for a kid of any age. Good job girls!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Jones
    June 25, 2012 at 6:19 am

    Wonderful that the Folk School offers knitting to the Little Middle Schoolers! I can understand why Chatter and Chitter can’t “put down” their knitting once they learned how! I remember when my Aunt Avery and Aunt Ethel taught me how to knit, I didn’t want to quit to do the necessary work I had to do! It’s so good they are being brought up in our mountain ways and traditions (music, knitting, gardening, clogging…to name a few!)

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 25, 2012 at 5:46 am

    You reckon that Chitter youngin could knit her a bag for that fiddle of hern? And a nuddin for the bow? I would suggest that Chatter knit a bag fer her geetar but that’d be like knitting a cover for a VW beetle.
    Is Chitters knitting backerds to Chatters?

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