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The days have been busy, but blissfully sunny and cool…practically a miracle in the Wiregrass. The Bean Tipi is coming along nicely. Gardening began in the kitchen on Saturday evening, with the pole beans soaking in warm water.

Bean Bean 2

Come Sunday, Panthy soaked the peat pellets in a pie plate, (Say that three times fast!) before pressing a handy chopstick into service, poking holes so the beans could nestle cozily in a warm dark cocoon.

Poking Holes

Agapanthus isn’t anyone’s fool this April 1rst, but she might be stringing a pair of Old Fools along. Up and out early in the vivid Alabama morning, she convinced the Gardeners of her expertise in the construction of bean towers, or at least her willingness to help.

Panthy and the Tipi 2

Agapanthus balances high on the green bean tipi.

Investigating Alternatives

Perhaps it was simply an accident. Perhaps it was a deliberate act. No evidence was uncovered, though a thorough search of the garden was made. The missing was never found; the victim not made whole. Was this a bungled attempt at Murder Most Fowl?

Rather than play at sleuthing, the Hittys Hana and Agapanthus performed a Mission of Mercy for the old stone rooster and provided him, until such time that proper care could be rendered, with a somewhat piratical prosthesis and cozy beak-warmer.

BrokeBeak1

Brave Hana balances carefully as she adjusts the prosthetic beak.

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As always, many thanks to the Sweet Home Hittys of Vestavia Hills!

Seedy

They begin arriving, so it seems, the very day after Christmas. Every year. Relentlessly. Full of temptations no gardener or hope-to-be gardener can possibly resist. Before the last gasp of an Alabama winter, the stacks pile up on the odd counter or coffee table. If hidden, they call to you in an achingly sweet chorus, fluttering their gaily colored pages, making impossible promises, weaving dreams too fantastical to utter aloud.

“Horticultural Materials or the Seduction of the Seed Catalog”

botanical-materials

Paisley dog-ears the page, marking the choice of Green Wizards for this year’s garden.

No one is immune to the appeal, least of all the Mad for the Farthing Crowd. Since they share the same sort of vascular system as do these beauties, one can understand the draw. And all the dollies love pretty flowers.  However, they do feel that these seedy snares ought arrive in plain brown wrappers. Recycled plain brown wrappers, of course.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…

                                             Ecclesiastes 3:1

Landmark Park offered a Folk Arts Workshop Week-end. The Wiregrass Hitties and Mad for the Farthing Crowd made a clever plan and decided to attend, en (small) masse. Their purpose? The Hitty Hive Mind determined that wood-turning could be a clear path to population growth.

turn-turn-1

A basket of dollies; models and inspiration

A pepper-mill seemed like a good choice for learning to turn the lovely curves of a farthing doll. The teacher was very responsive to the request for a small change in the pattern and provided great instruction for both a traditional style mill and a rather differently shaped one.

turn-turn-2

A fellow student with instructor, Paul M. Cox, turns an easy-to-grasp pepper-mill.

During the short breaks, Agapanthus admired the work of the more experienced wood-turners. The bowl of spalted wood was charming; the winged bowl of flamed box elder, breathtaking, but Aggie really loved the quirky, colorful bowl turned from colored pencils.

turn-turn-3

Agapanthus rejoices in the beautiful work of Wiregrass Woodturners Murphy Jones and Bob Newsome.

The Queen’s Doll decided the Pepper-Mill had gotten ideas above her station and thought to bring her down a peg or two. Still, she definitely has a head, shoulders and waistline.

turn-turn-4

Not an elegant introduction to the family…

After the dusty class, everyone went to the Martin Drugstore for a Black Cow, an ice cream soda and not-quite-a-penny candy.

turn-turn-5

Tottie chooses horehound, an old-fashioned treat for an old-fashioned doll

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Landmark Park, Dothan, AL

Wiregrass Woodturners

C & S Wood Products

Martin Drugstore. Scroll down to see the store before it moved to Landpark Park, where it now resides, exactly as it was.

 

 

 

Kitty-Hitty-Hatty

Reminiscent of Lyra’s Cat-Hat in the film “The Golden Compass”, here is a simple pattern for a Hitty-Hatty for warmth, humor and resistance. Many thanks to the Huron County Hittys and the Quimper Hittys – kind friends and pattern-testers – and to Wizzy, always an inspiration.

kitty-hitty-hattys

Materials required:

Size US 0 (UK 14, MM 2.0) double-pointed needles

Fingering or lace weight wool

Stitch marker. You can use a simple loop of a contrasting yarn.

Tapestry needle

Take a moment, please, to read through the entire pattern.

Gauge: 

These little hats knit so quickly, swatching for gauge is of little value.  Hittys come in a variety of sizes. The pattern is simple enough for instant adaptation for your particular dolly. Too wide? Either reduce stitches cast-on by four, or reduce size of needles.  Too tall? Reduce the rows knitted by two.  Too loose? Reduce size of needles.

Skills to know or learn: Knit stitch, purl stitch, 2 x 2 ribbing, knitting in the round with double-pointed needles, Kitchener stitch

Cast on 36 stitches.

Arrange stitches evenly over three needles, 12 stitches per needle, being careful not to twist the stitches.  Join to knit in the round. Note: I usually put my stitch marker on after 2 stitches, otherwise I tend to lose it and, really, if you can keep track of your yarn tail on this quick project, a stitch marker isn’t really necessary…just a good habit.

Rounds 1-4: Work in 2 x 2 ribbing.

Rounds 5-16 (Lengthen/shorten your hat here, if you wish.): Knit every round.

Arrange your work over two needles, 18 stitches per needle. Cut your yarn from the ball, leaving a good length for seaming, at least 3 times the length across the top of your hat, with a bit left over to weave in.

Seam the top using the Kitchener stitch. It can be fiddly at this small scale, so take your time and keep count of your pairs of stitches. Use your tapestry needle to weave in your yarn tails.

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Created especially for the Wiregrass Hitties & Mad for the Farthing Crowd  January 2017

The Quimper Hittys knit a marvelous interpretation with their Catkin Hats. Purrrfect!

 

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