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To a six-inch doll, the lawn is a vast wilderness. To the homeowner, it is a private meadow. To the neighbors, the unruly garden is a nuisance, always trying to spread its wealth of weeds beyond that which is seemly. The Spiderworts are particularly generous with themselves – happy to grow in any and every corner. Some consider Spiderworts nothing but invasive, but Hyacinth Paw-Paw sees something worth celebrating.

Like herself, wearing the effects of age and toil, the Tradescantia are flawed. Their habits are untidy, their beauty fleeting. But, of course, both doll and flower are much loved…warts and all.

Understanding the stories of Patrick may not be entirely true, but wishing to celebrate his feast day in a way consistent with his faith, Hitty Elodie sets out to offer refuge to those rumored to have been driven from their homeland by the Blessed Saint. Seán, Séamus and Casssidy have found friendship, comfort and a home in the Wiregrass, as well as potential employment with a local acting company.

Pith Viper Pattern

A pithy pattern for creating the Vipers. Snakes are approximately 5 inches in length.

Materials required: A very small bit of fingering weight wool (I used KnitPicks Stroll Tonal), US #0 or #1 double-pointed needles, small stitch marker, tapestry needle, two small beads, sewing thread to coordinate/contrast with beads, sewing needle, regular knitting supplies.

Begin: On one dpn, cast on 2 stitches. Work a 2 stitch I-cord for around 1-5/8 inches, or to your liking.

On next row: K1, KFB, K1. (3 sts.) Work a 3 stitch I-cord for 1-1/2 inches, or, again, as you wish.

On next row: K2, KFB, K1. (4 sts.) Work a 4 stitch I-cord for approximately 1-1/2 inches. Reduce to 3 stitches by working K1, K2tog, K1.

Working the head: On the next row, KFB in each stitch. (6 sts.) Divide the stitches evenly across 3 dpn’s. Place marker. Round 1: Knit around.

Round 2: Needle 1- K1, KFB. Needle 2- K1, KFB. Needle 3- K2. (8 sts.)

Round 3: Knit around.

Round 4: SSK, K2, K2tog, K2. (6 sts.)

Round 5: Knit around.

Round 6: SSK, K2tog, K2tog. (3 sts.)

Finishing: Cut wool, leaving a 6 inch tail. Thread the tail onto tapestry needle. Slide the 3 stitches off their needles onto the tapestry needle, pull through and tighten to form “nose”. Use your tapestry needle to neatly work in both ends. Roll the head around a bit with your fingers to shape it.

Stitch beads onto the head with the sewing thread and a very fine needle. (It helps to look at a photo of a snake.) Pull the sewing thread snugly to encourage the beads to nestle into the head and not merely lie on the surface.

Created especially for The Wiregrass Hitties & Mad for the Farthing Crowd,

St. Patrick’s Day, 2021

At the junction where the Choctawhatchee and Pea Rivers meet…

…rosy lily pads invite wanderers to step across time…

…into the shelter of Age and Wisdom.

The Old Constitution Oak has stood for over 200 years. To even pronounce on its venerability seems impertinent for a young sprout like Elodie. However, The Oak knows its worth, and bears her no ill will for all her youth and presumption.

https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/alabama/oldest-living-tree-al/

Many years ago, three tiny dollies sprang to life under beautiful blue Mediterranean skies. The three were “Make-Do” dolls, cobbled together from bits of familiar old fabric with a lick of paint and glue – whatever could be found in the scrap basket. Old hands worked with young hands…the young hands very likely still bearing the remnants of crinkly molasses cookies. Molasses must have given the dolls their sweet dispositions and a certain tenacity.

Little girls grow, of course. Dollies may not be forgotten, but perhaps exchanged for company more suitable to the time. It is the way of the world, and dollies are patient souls. The three were quite unshakeable in their hope for the future.

Time passed, and before another Christmas could come and go, a special pair of grandmotherly hands loved the dollies into new life with a bright and cheerful new home. Each was given a magical set of wings, for the dolls had become Fairies – Thistle, Clover and Sorrel.

Sorrel, astride her noble steed

The patient Fairies live now with a wise little girl in a beautiful garden. They enjoy an ideal life – tending wee Fairy chickens and reading books. Their original companion is quite grown, with a home and family of her own, and still baking molasses cookies.

~~~~~~~~~***~~~~~~~~~

https://dollmakersjourney.com/vasalisa/

On the way to creating topical ornaments for the Christmas Tree, a family was made instead. There is nothing to be done, but to welcome them, perhaps recalling the time long ago when there was no room; no welcome.

Tippy

Taffenous recognizes that this particular family, though sharing a common Ancestor, might have descended from quite a different branch of her Family Tree.

Rollie

Rollie is a little apprehensive, not entirely sure of where he’ll fit in.

Tippy, Rollie and Little Lou

But hospitable Taffenous is there is offer assurance and comfort to all.

Elodie

A time to be born, and a time to die… Ecclesiastes 3:2

A patient little soul is at last birthed into the waning of the year – Elodie.

A solitary sprite, belonging everywhere and nowhere at all…
…in the world, but not of it.

Grateful for at least one gig during a year in which most actors are out of work, Yorick guest stars with Hitty Taffenous in The Farthing Crowd’s send-up of the 1935 classic “Bride of Frankenstein”.

The doorbell rings frequently during Mid-Autumn. Not as frequently this year as in Autumns past, but still often enough for the Gardeners to claim they’ve had plenty of exercise, zipping up and down the staircase.

The guidelines are simple. Whatever grows in the front garden is yours for the taking, providing for care and safety, of course. Throughout the year there are figs, blueberries, Korean pears and herbs – far too many for the inhabitants, including the vast Wooden population.

The Persimmon Tree is beautiful, bright with heavy orange fruit in Autumn. Plenty for neighbors; plenty for jams and sorbets. Plenty even for Wooden Dollies with a bit of a sweet tooth.

The once towering tomato plants had, after Hurricane Sally billowed through, collapsed, along with their stakes, into the grass that surrounded their previously confining bed. Tomato plants the Gardener could look squarely in the eye had seemed such a clever plan, but Nature had different ideas…and so did the Farthing Crowd.

The ridiculously tall plants produced ridiculously tiny fruit – wee spoon tomatoes perfect for wee spoon hands.

Bunty spent an hour in the bed, grateful fruit once out of reach was now easily gathered and placed in her basil-lined basket. It was the silver lining to that rather boisterous cloud, Sally.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We were so pleased to find Spoon Tomato plants earlier in the summer at https://www.dothannurseries.com/ The plants have thrived in the garden, despite their upending, and produce the tastiest little fruits with lots of zing!

“I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley…”

Song of Solomon 6:11a

Miss Hickory made her way out into the October garden, past the crape myrtle and past the tickseed, brilliantly orange in the late afternoon sun.

A soft breeze made the Coreopsis dance and inspired ripe pecans to gleefully release their hold on parent branch, clattering down, down, down to the ground below.

Fetchingly striped in brown and charcoal, the Pecans appeal to Miss Hickory, both as handsome family members and fellow sojourners through the World Garden – like all gardens, a home alive with wonder and fraught with danger for Nut-Kind.

https://thefarthingcrowd.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/mourning-rituals/

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