Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fall Movings and Musings

Greetings Dear Friends.

Well, it has been a busy week indeed around here. Today, our person did Fall Cleaning. In the process she re-arranged her furniture...and even re-arranged some of the doll accomodations. I am afraid our neighbors at Ms. Merriweather's Victorian Seminary for Young Ladies have moved. Not far, fortunately...just across the room...but it is still an adjustment.

In the process of cleaning and re-arranging, our person rescued the big pink dollhouse (otherwise known as Preble House) from the basement. It had been on a large table that simply took up too much space. Our person finally found a place for it again upstairs on a smaller table.

My sister Mehitabel's household, who had been living in a small cabinet since their house moved to the basement, moved back into Preble House. My person promised to add wallpaper and to finish the two side wings in time for Thanksgiving, which will make Preble House a very comfortable (not to mention active) home.

That left the small corner cabinet vacant. The cabinet is rather nice and the shelves are tall. Poor Ms. Merriweather always had to sit at her academy because she was too tall to be able to stand up in the low-ceiling rooms. My person discovered that Ms. Merriweather and Master Elrond, who teaches at the Victorian school, could actually stand up in the corner cabinet. Ms. Merriweather discovered there actually was enough room for her household to live quite comfortably there. So, her household moved to the corner cabinet. Their accomodations could also use some brightening up with wallpaper or paint, but they are at least large enough to stand up in.
Holly, a wooden Appalachian doll living in the doll cabinet, moved in to help with the managing of the girl's school. I think Ms. Merriweather welcomed the help and the company.
Master Elrond is delighted with his much larger office. He can teach and tend to any sick members of the household quite comfortably now. In fact, one of the little girls at the school, Merilwen, was feeling rather poorly today and was our resident healer's first patient in his new office. Merilwen says she has a bit of an upset stomach and thinks she might have a touch of Fall Fever. We think it could be all the cookies she "rescued" from the cookie jar this morning.
In the music room, Betsy greeted a new student, Sarah Crewe. Sarah, like Holly, had been living in the doll cabinet. She was delighted to be able to join Ms. Merriweather's school. That leaves the household next to Miss Hickory and I vacant. It is larger than our house, and our person offered it to us as a new home if we wanted it. We decided, however, to stay right where we are. Small though it may be, we are quite fond of our home.
Our person thinks she will use the vacant cabinet house to store some of her own things. She had best be quick about that before word gets out there is a vacant doll home around here. Otherwise, we might just have new neighbors.

The only other thing happening today is the Changing of the Clothes. All the dolls are donning their fall clothing. With the cooler weather, it is nice to finally feel like fall.

We thought Eilonwy looked quite fetching in her fall dress. Our person tried to talk her out of the pink boots, but we think they look nice on Eilonwy.

Well, back to Fall Cleaning.

Until Next Time,

Hitty Rowan and Miss Hickory

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pokeberry Yarn

Greetings Dear Friends!

Well, when last I wrote, Miss Hickory and I were "hanging around" our person's spinning wheel waving merrily at her each time she passed by in hopes of having a bit of yarn. We had managed to gather the few remaining pokeberries off our bush growing in the back yard before the birds ate the last of them. We hoped to dye some yarn for lovely fall and winter shawls.

Our person finally took pity on us and provided us with a bit of yarn she had just finished spinning last week. We claimed our prize and set off to dye it. First, we decided to enlist a bit of help with the job. Miss Hickory and I visited our next door neighbors at Ms. Merriweather's Victorian Seminary for Young Ladies to ask for volunteers.

Ms. Merriweather said we could take a helper as long as the lucky girl finished her lunch with us. With it being a fine, brisk fall day, however, we had a bit of difficulty recruiting a helper to stay indoors to dye yarn. At last, Amelia, a little girl who recently arrived at our house...was kind enough to volunteer.
Amelia is a stowaway. When our friend Hitty Prudence attended summer camp in August, Amelia decided to sneak into her luggage and return home with her new found best-friend. The poor dear ended up being stored away with the luggage in our person's craft armoir for several days.

Our person was too busy to help Hitty Prudence unpack when she returned home. So, she simply shoved Hitty Prudence's luggage into the armoire (which is the fate of many things around here....we didn't know there was actually still room in there to stuff anything else...but our person somehow managed). Fortunately, the camp administrator sent out an e-mail informing camp attendees' people that there were a few stowaways who had decided to find new homes. One was still missing. Our person searched Hitty Prudence's luggage...and out tumbled Amelia. We were most glad to have our new girl's help!

So, off the the three of us went to gather up all our supplies.
Our first step was to pre-soak our yarn. The three of us managed to shove it into a bucket of water.
Our next step (literally) was to step on the berries to mash them and release their purple dye. Amelia rather enjoyed that part.
After having a stomping good time, we poured our smashed berries into a pan of water.
As Miss Hickory stirred the berries around, Amelia and I added a bit of white vinegar to help the dye stick to the yarn.
After adding the yarn to the mixture, we had to wait for the water and yarn to boil for 30 minutes. A perfect time to have lunch!
The water had to cool completely before we took out the yarn, which takes awhile. So, after lunch, we returned Amelia back to Miss Merriweather. We promised her a new winter shawl for her assistance. Amelia was delighted!
The yarn finally cooled and our person was kind enough to hang it in the basement to dry. It is more of a rose color than purple, but still perfect for fall! It will take a couple of days to dry completely....and then we will begin to crochet our shawls!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Gathering Pokeberries

Greetings Dear Friends!

Well, this week has been rather eventful. On Friday, Miss Hickory and I and a few other doll friends accompanied our person to "Pioneer Day" at a local school. We modeled handspun shawls and such for the children while our person showed them how yarn is made on a spinning wheel.

It was a rather hot day, especially for our person. Although it is October, the heat index was over 90 degrees. The pioneer events are all outdoors. For once, our person dressed rather like us in a nice, proper, old-fashioned dress. After wearing her nice dress outside in the heat for five hours, however, I think our person decided that although the "olden days" have nostalgic appeal, there is something to be said for modern conveniences such as air conditioning.

A rather fortunate outcome of the exhibit is our person's renewed interest in spinning. There happens to be a rather large pokeberry bush growing in the back yard. Miss Hickory and I managed to climb it and salvage a few pokeberries the birds did not already pick. Pokeberries make a wonderful yarn dye. Miss Hickory and I were rather fancying nice, new purple shawls for winter.

Our next step is to convince our person to spin just a bit of yarn for us. Being small, it will only take a bit. We decided to help our person keep us in mind by spending some time "hanging around" her spinning wheel and waving hello at her each time she passes by. Surely she will remember to sit and spin a spell for her doll friends.

We will update you on the success of our strategy soon!

Until next time,

Hitty Rowan and Miss Hickory