Friday, December 3, 2010

The Genealogy of My Yarn

Oh my goodness, I made that scarf and forgot to bore you with the details of the yarn that went into it. Please forgive me. I feel I have to include these details for two reasons:

First, there is so much fiber floating around in my house that I cannot remember what it is if I don't write it down. I try to make a point of including a card with each bag of fiber that says where I got it and what I did to it, because my memory is so poor that sometimes I'll come back to a pile of fiber and I won't remember if I washed it or not.

And second, I am a genealogist by nature. I am the keeper of the family history for my parents, and have ruthlessly tracked down relatives they never even knew they had. I suppose that what I do next tells you more about me than I should perhaps reveal, but what the heck, we're all friends here, aren't we?

Yes, let me introduce you to the "Dear Stranger, I think you may be my cousin" letter. Over the years, I've created four family books, two for my Dad's side of the family, and two for my Mom's. I troll around on the internet collecting fellow family history enthusiasts, and I scan and catalog pictures as people make them available to me. And as I've explored the family lines, I've discovered that I can, occasionally, dig up a whole new collection of pictures and information if I can find a relative and convince them to share.

Finding relatives with the help of the internet works out pretty well, so once I find a candidate, I put together a copy of the book (each book runs about 200-250 pages), and then I put together a cover letter that pretty much says, "Dear Stranger, I think you may be my cousin, and here's why". This methodology has helped me locate quite a few cousins. I always finish up by offering to pack up my trusty scanner and computer, to spend a day, or a week, or whatever, scanning photos. And then I finish up by updating the family book and sending it, along with the pictures that I've scanned, back to the hapless relative who has let me into their home.

Now, with all that said, here's a picture of the yarn that went into the scarf that is oh-so-patiently waiting for me to make a felted shibori flower in order to finish it off:

Notice how nubby this fiber is? It is a blend of 70% wool with 30% bunny.It's from my Random Act of Kindness friend at guild. I plied it with an off-white alpaca/moreno yarn. I'm wondering if I should take the scarf and run it through the dryer with no heat to see if I can get the bunny part of the yarn to fluff up.


  1. Write some more!!!

  2. the nubby grey looks luxurious; do you have photos of it once it was plied?
    my father is the family tree tracker, but i don't think he'll ever try to contact those who he finds (i think perhaps most are gone now). i think i would like to create a family tree with their names at least, but he's a bit of an overprotective magpie with his info.

  3. Well, now, don't make fun, Anastasia, but you can see what the nubby grey looks like knit up in my post

    It would be the picture of... well, my dog, wearing a cowl that I made for my sister-in-law.

    I looked for a picture of the plied up yarn before I knit it, but couldn't find one.