Brown County, Indiana

Circular Sock Machine Society of America Gathering

During June 2008 we attended the annual gathering of CSMSA. Our week-long conference was held at an historic lodge in Brown County State Park. In the image above can be seen about half of the group with their set-up machines.

The gathering of sock knitters was held in Abe Martin Lodge at Brown County State Park, the largest Indiana State Park. The park has over 15,000 forested acres with lakes and hiking trails. Many of the buildings, camp areas, and trails were built by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). We stayed in one of the nearby cabins.

Side lessons included machine repair and lubrication, making heels, toes, tops, and other uses for knitted tubes output from these century-old machines.

While the convention was beneficial for Jim, during the entire week, he was unable to manufacture a single recognizable sock. We did, however, manage to purchase two additional CSMs: a 1902 Gearhart and a Sterling Hosiery Company machine of the same period.

During the convention, we toured For Bare Feet sock factory where we saw how socks are made commercially. Many of their socks are marketed to colleges and athletic shops. They gave each of us a free pair of socks, but Jim and Elizabeth both purchased several unusual and attractive pair.

Members were encouraged to bring objects they had created using sock machines. Ribbons were presented for several categories. Elizabeth's project didn't quite come up to her expectations, so she decided not to enter an item this year.

items Displayed for Judging

Jim Making a Gearhart Machine Operational

We purchased a basket-case 1902 Gearhart from John (a vendor) at the convention. With Pete O. providing necessary tools and cleaning materials, Jim got the machine operational and was able to knit an acceptable tube sock.

Nashville, Indiana

Nashville, Indiana is a wonderful little artist colony. Nashville is a walking town containing nice shops and superb restaurants. While many of our meals were taken at the Boone County State Park lodge, we managed to sample local fare. We relied on reference from 'locals' to select the best eateries. We dined at The Seasons, Brown County Inn, Hobnob Corner Restaurant, and That Sandwich Place. Jim's personal favorite was the Artists Colony Inn. We recommend all of them.

Elizabeth stands in the shade of an ornamental tree as she checks the guide book for a good restaurant. This image was taken near one of the back-street shopping areas.

We were disappointed that we didn't spend more time at the Brown County History Center in Nashville. Elizabeth talked to two working artisan ladies who actually stayed a bit late when they found someone who was very interested in their work.

Shop in Nashville

Most of the shops in Nashville appear to be locally-owned. Inside the city limits, there are few chain stores. This helps to preserve Nashville's charm. Someone recommended dining at the Artists Colony Inn which we did, and in fact, ate there twice during our stay. Not only does Artists Colony Inn have rooms but has a nice courtyard and gardens.