Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Yarn ALong -

"The eye, the nose, the palate, the touch, and every sense is an inlet of the book of nature."
                                            Charles Lane 1800-1870

Little Jessie's finished. She was requested  for a birthday gift.  As I knitted her tail with soft brown wool and stuffed her stubby  legs, I grew attached to her droopy jowls. She's soft and cuddly and seems to have a personality all her own. It's silly, but when I had to pack her up, I felt sad to see her go... 

I've finished reading Fruitlands too. Academic and a little dry in places but worth reading if only for small insights into The Alcott's life, like these...

"A picture of ornate and ceremonious kind was certainly painted at Fruitlands on June 24th, little Elizabeth's eighth birthday. Before five o'clock that morning, her mother sneaked out of the house and stole off into the woods, taking Anna, Louisa, and William with her. They hung Elizabeth's presents on a little pine tree, and Anna made an oak wreath as a decoration. Then they crept back. After breakfast, the Fruitlanders marched as a body to the glade (-) Lane had his fiddle with him and everyone sang to the birthday girl. Then Alcott recited a long ode he had written for her in which he evokes a pastoral scene that could belong to Merry England (or classical Greece)as much as central Massachusetts:
Here in the  Grove
 With those we love
In the cool shade
Near mead & glade
With clover tints overlaid...

Alcott goes on to celebrate:
Father's here
And mother dear,
And sisters all
The short & tall;
And father's friends
Whom Britain lends 
To noblest human ends... 
Alcott concludes his affectionate poem with the assertion that at Fruitlands, Elizabeth will be "secluded from all sin" and therefore continue to bloom like a never-fading flower:

A plant matured in Gods device
An Amaranth in Paradise. 

Each member of the party then had to say which flower would appropriate for Lizzie, with roses, the lilly of the valley, a forget-me-not, the trailing arbutus, the wake-robin ( a pure white trillium native to North America- Anna complained in her diary that she didn't know what the word meant) all being chosen. Lane characteristically, nominated a piece of moss (for humility). Then Lizzie took her presents from the tree. They were modest enough, in keeping with the values of the community. Abigail gave her a silk thread balloon, Anna a fan, Louisa a pin-cushion, William a book,and baby Abby a little pitcher. "lizzie looked at her presents and seemed pleased," Anna recorded. Even Lane rose to the occassion, reciting a graceful little poem he had written for Elizabeth:

May your whole life
Exempt from strife
Shine forth as calm and bright. "  

Pages 175-6, Fruitlands:The Alcott family and their search for Utopia

I didn't put it down until I'd finished it...(except to knit!)

All the while listening to The Acorn play Steep

Oh and I mustn't forget to tell you there's just time to find out about the giveaway over here on one of my sisters' blogs that runs out on the 31st...a bit of nepotism...talking of which you might like to check out some other family blogs...

Pen's etsy shop - Oh, I can't find her link and she does amazing illustrations an makes beautiful clothes and handmade leather bags..I'll share it again
Beth's etsy shop 
Matt and Josh of More Like Trees

I've linked over to our creative space and small things again. It's been a while and I've missed joining in. Why not pop over and have a look what everyone else is making and reading...I am...Better still, why not join in too...


  1. What an amazing dog; it is going to make an awesome birthday gift! Was this your pattern design?
    Happy Yarn Along!

  2. What a beautiful dog! I know what you mean about getting attached to them, but when I hear of things I have created being admired and loved in other peoples houses it makes it all worth while!

  3. That is a truly amazing dog. We had a super sweet boxer-rottweiler mix. She was such a good dog and your stuffed one reminded me of her

  4. Aw, what a beautiful dog. I'm not surprised it was tough to give it up! Great job :)

  5. Oh my word, your dog is fantastic. You did a really great job on that. Amazing.

  6. OMG, this is so realistic and cute!! Fabulous creativity!

  7. Thanks so much everyone for the lovely comments.

    Tracey, I looked for a boxer pattern but couldn't find one so had to make this up using photo's and drawing on graph paper and then a bit of trial and error. It was really fun to make.


    1. Well Debby, you nailed it! That is an awesome dog.

  8. Hi Debby, thanks so much for your lovely comment about my mum. I've felt very privileged by the way other people have shared their losses with me. Funny how you think something so inevitable will never happen to anyone you know, isn't it?
    On a brighter note I have been treating myself to a lovely catch up on all your posts. I love your new (new to me, at least!) layout and all your little projects. I haven't been giving my blog much love lately but hope to get back into the swing of things soon. Happy weekend to you xx

  9. hi debby, wow there is so much to love here. but your dog is completely amazing. good that you took photos, so a part of her will always stay with you. well done!

  10. Hi Debby! I just adore your little doggie ... you are multi-talented (but I'm sure I've told you that before). She has such a cute little face (my dog has ears just like that).

    ... And gosh, talk about a talented family!! :)

  11. That little boxer is awesome. I can see why you were sad to see it go. And thanks for sharing some of the pics about your process - love seeing that kind of stuff:) Cyndy

  12. Omg, she's the cutes dog ever!! She looks so real.