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a journey with yarn, part one

I found myself thinking this week about my history with yarn.  My story, in which yarn has an amazingly large part.  Which seems to funny to me, while also making complete and total sense.  Is that the same for you?

(BTW, that’s me up there in the photo!!  Can you see how excited I was about yarn, even back then?)

I grew up in a wee town of 3,000 or so on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains.  The *Nevada* side of the Sierras (though we lived in California).  You know those pictures you see of Nevada when you watch CSI or other shows, and you think, “yikes, it can’t really be ALL desert like that.” Well. It is.

What you might not know about the desert is how amazingly cold it gets in the Winter.

Snow.  Lots of it.

The photo above shows you the beautiful snowy mountains that we enjoyed from the farm that we lived on for a couple of the years that we lived in that teeny tiny town.

(I know it looks like a tintype photograph from the early 1900’s, but I assure you that I am not that old. And I promise you this was taken in the mid 1970’s with an old fashioned black and white polaroid camera.  You can see our dog, Missy, in the forefront, and Daisy the cow on the back right, with Betsy and unnamed calf who died far too young over on the left.  Ahh, life was good.)

So growing up in a Caifornia town in the high desert on the Nevada side of the Sierras involves sweltering in the Summer and freezing in the Winter.  But you know what else Winter meant?  SKIING.

This is not a story about Brenda’s skiing prowess.  I’ve never been a very talented skier. I stuck with the bunny trails and the occasional EASY side of the intermediate trails.  I was seriously challenged at basic things like … staying upright (though I did get exponentially improve as a young adult, I’m happy to report).

But in a town in which all the skiers from Southern California passed through on their way to the ski resorts, skiing was a big deal.  And what I REALLY loved about skiing was this:

Ski gear!  Oh man, oh man, I thought I’d die if I couldn’t get a ski jacket, even if I didn’t really ski.  I did eventually get one, which made me instantly 1000 times cooler, and it looked a LOT like the vintage jacket above (click on the photo to see the source!), except that mine had powder and light blue stripes along the top.

I don’t ever remember wearing a scarf as a kid, but I definitely had to bundle up with the poly fiber fill gear and I’m sure I wore caps.  None of which I knitted or crocheted.

In ski land, though, people DO crochet and knit.  In bright, amazing colors. And in the mid to late 70’s, they did so with … acrylic yarn.

I know, I know.

And with that bit of background, I’ll share my acrylic stories and how skiing fit in with a passion for yarn with you next – stay tuned!

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • nancy norment October 21, 2011, 11:47 AM

    A charming tale, nicely told, and I await the next “episode”! Geography, as well as familial origins surely put us on the path of Wooly Things early on! And if there are sheep, winter sports and the allure of the Gear–Look out! Then, the cultural factors, if you will! A certain Hippy-Herb-Goddess who always loved Nature/plants “got into” natural dying, late ’60s-’70s…and weaving. The Poloroid shots are priceless! nmn~ P.S. Must See franklin habit’s little book “It itches”, a stash of knitting cartoons, stories. Genre :: [Ewe & lamb looking at Family Album] ” ‘ Ah, yes. That was your Great-aunt Irene. We no longer speak of Irene. She married an Acrylic.’ “~

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