Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm not really crazy...

I have some new yarns up, the nearly last of the Squanto series. And maybe tonight before I fall asleep exhausted I will write about them.

But right now, despite a quilt deadline looming tomorrow like a guillotine and besides my own 6 kids underfoot (though admittedly my eldest ds is absent for a few hours), I am pinch-hitting for a friend who had a major test, watching her 3 yos and 5 mod. Plus my BIL and HIS 5 yod are wending their way here, even as I type, because he is building a webpage for his business and may need help with his HTML.

So I am not really crazy... just *slightly* overscheduled. Really...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Who the HECK is Squanto anyway?

My latest yarn series is Squanto and The First Thanksgiving. Why would I choose that? I have some GREAT ideas for yarn series for Christmas... why not go on and get those up? Some reasons:

  • I LOVE Autumn! For those of us who are Olfactory learners, it is a Smell-O-Rama!
  • I LOVE Thanksgiving. Not only is it a uniquely American holiday, but how can you go wrong with an entire holiday devoted to eating? Break out the Maternity pants and pass the yams with marshmallows, I say!
  • I LOVE the idea behind Thanksgiving. Most of us aren't NEARLY thankful enough. No, let me rephrase that. Most of us don't give a minute of thought to anything we have to be thankful for. In fact I would venture to bet there are a lot of us out there who think we don't really have anything to be thankful for.
  • It irks me that our Major Retailers skip right from Halloween (news flash, not all of us "do" hell-oween) to that Major Moneymaker, Christmas.
  • Every one of my kids so far has loved the book Squanto and The First Thanksgiving.

    So who was Squanto anyway? He was an Pawtuxet Indian brave (hey, I know the Politically Correct term is Native American, but as a partial Native American, I don't take offense to the term I grew up with, Indian. Besides, you expect a woman with 7 kids to be politically correct? HA!) under the leadership of Samoset. Their tribe befriended our totally discombobulated Pilgrim ancestors and kept them from starving... teaching them to hunt like snipers, plant a dead fish in with their corn and bean seeds to fertilize them, showing them how to survive the drastic climate changes of our Northern Atlantic coast. (For more info, visit
    http://www.nativeamericans.com/Squanto.htm )

    Because of these, some of my yarns are called:

  • Squanto - a lovely wool in self-striping reds, oranges, and tans
  • Venison - earthy tan and brown wpp;cashmere/acrylic
  • Planting Fish with Corn and Beans - pale gray wool hand dyed with yellow and green
  • Cornucopia - deep rich colors!
  • Log Cabin - deep red, tan, brown, black in 100% rustic silk
  • Johnnycake - looks like homemade bread! A nice thick chunky yarn.
  • and Pumpkin...

    Well what can I say? Pumpkin is a very fine 80% wool/20% nylon yarn in pumpkin tweed with slubs of cream, tan, and blue. The entire sweater this came from weighed a mere 204 grams... not even 7 oz. At 800 yards to a 100 gram skein, this would make great lace or the softest socks. I said to Richie (my dh, who for years went by Dick, until one of our pastors' wife couldn't bring herself to say it), "Shall I hand dye this yarn?"
    " No, honey... it looks great just like that. "

    And I tried to listen to him. Really. In fact most of the time I do listen to him. No REALLY! But after being up several days, poor lil' Pumpkin has no one to heart it. So today my itchy fingers, that haven't had a good coat of dye in a week, got hold of Pumpkin. I overdyed some areas a nice earthy olive green, and some areas a nice dirty brown. Now Pumpkin will be Pumpkin On The Vine, and I think it is much happier.

    Speaking of pumpkin, I have a funny story. We built a scarecrow with a Cashmere sweater (don't gasp, someone partially felted it so I can't unravel it) for a head, a flannel shirt, my old jeans, and my dh's ancient boots that he wore on a 22,000 mile motorcycle trip. No really. We set him (the scarecrow, not my dh) up on a haybale with some pots of begonias and some pumpkins, out under this totally ridiculous shelter that some previous owner of our house built out near the road.

    I came home from my daily walk escape a day later to find the scarecrow lying on the haybale with his "head" on a pumpkin, a newspaper as a blanket and his boots off and setting next to the haybale like he took them off for a little nap. I figured the Neighborhood Vandals got to him. But no, one of my kids said to me, "Mom, the scarecrow kept falling over so I gave him a little rest." Hmmm. My kid is the Neighborhood Vandal.

    Tomorrow is busy... I have handmade double-pointed knitting needles to mail, my daily walk, three of us have quilty objects to finish for a challenge, by Wednesday. School for the kids, two more yarns to unravel/dye/put up in the shop and I have some merino batts I am nearly dying to try to spin. But finally I got a chanceto take a picture to share, of the scarecrow.

  • Saturday, September 27, 2008

    Resistance is FUTILE!

    I have LONG resisted doing a blog. I kind of subscribe to the theory that all of cyberspace isn't out there waiting with 'bated breath for my latest deep (or not so deep) thoughts on ANYthing. And, I very rarely read anyone else's blog, because, well,
    --6 kids still at home that I homeschool
    --Quilting, and 4 kids at home who quilt or want to quilt or need help quilting
    --Unraveling sweaters and dyeing, which takes up a great proportion of my time
    --about 20 loads of laundry a week
    --several meals a day
    --my walking habit
    --my knitting habit
    --my dh, who is but a big old child himself
    --I have trouble enough remembering to read my Bible, let alone drivel on the internet (which I feel wastes more than its share of my time).

    And, not bragging or anything, but I have so many creative ideas and outlets, that if I did nothing but stay busy all day creating things and got only 6 hours sleep a night for the rest of my life, I could not do it all. In fact my oldest daughter (now a mom of 2 herself) told me once I should write a book called Quilts I Will Never Make (and sequels, Garments I Will Never Knit, Yarns I Will Never Spin, etc). Not that I can do that anyway, because even as I write, my 18mod is climbing me, fussing with teething and hanging on me like a leech. Sometimes I think if I ever meet up with what I call my Sadistic Psycho Muse, I will take to her with a rotary cutter (or the nearest pointy implement).

    But I have been told lately, that since I make these recycled yarns for sale on Etsy, and since I do them in series of (mostly literary) characters, that I should blog about why I choose a certain work or characters and how I choose which fiber should represent them and what colors I think their personalities are. You know, kind of give a glimpse of the thought processes behind what I am doing.

    So for all its worth here I am, going to let you in on my innermost thoughts. If I can remember my log-in...