March 1, 2016

Mary's Lamb: Hitty and I Love the Lambs So!

So Happy to Have Inspired Tasha Tudor to Spin Again!
At the Freeman Farm at Old Sturbridge Village the sheep is very curious about Hitty Rachel.
Hitty Rachel asks "Can I get closer?"

"I hope the sheep doesn't nibble my hand, I'm made of wood."
The sheep loves Hitty and Hitty loves the sheep!

Hitty remembers the lamb that looked up right at her in the spring meadow at the Freeman Farm at Old Sturbridge Village.

Andy and Hitty Diane stand in front of "Mary's Lamb", a page from McGuffey's Reader.
The old illustration shows Mary hugging her lamb.

Diane hugging a sweet little lamb!

How I have always loved little lambs!
I have loved old fashioned things since I was a little girl, even before I discovered Tasha Tudor!
The first Tasha Tudor illustrations I saw was when I was a child after the above photograph was taken and the illustrations were in "Childcraft Poems of Early Childhood". In the poem "Mary's Lamb" Tasha illustrated an old fashioned schoolhouse with the children working on their slates at their desks when Mary's little lamb appears and tries to enter the schoolhouse. Tasha's illustration also shows the old schoolhouse with the lovely rolling hills in the background. I have always and forever loved rolling hills! The last illustration shows Mary tenderly giving her lamb a hug!
The photograph of me hugging the lamb reminds us of Tasha Tudor's Mary hugging her lamb and of other Tasha Tudor illustrations, as well!

What Tasha has drawn in her illustrations are the same old ways that I grew up with. I find them familiar, comforting, and I am drawn to them.

Some of the photographs and some of the writings on this post are from previous Corgyncombe Courant posts that can be found here on the Corgyncombe Courant and from our previous writings elsewhere on the internet.

The "Childcraft Poems of Early Childhood" book with Tasha Tudor's illustration of Mary's Lamb.

My great wheel in the garret. The great wheel is also called the walking wheel or the wool wheel.

Spinning off the point of the spindle of my old wool wheel. The fibers are drawn out just right to create an even yarn.

My spinning wheel outside at daffodil time.

Tasha Tudor wrote to me after I gave her some of my spun Corgi hair:

"Seeing the spun Corgi hair inspired me to get my wheel out, I've not used it for almost twelve years, so I'm grateful for your inspiration."
I was so pleased to have inspired Tasha Tudor to bring out her wheel after not having used it for twelve years.

My handspun yarn, spun and plied very fine for making doll sweaters and shawls.

I truly like the smell of the unwashed fleece. I love spinning wool in the grease. Spinning in the grease is not for everyone but I do not mind the smell of the fleece, in fact I find the smell comforting as it reminds me of when I was a little girl going into the old barn with the beautiful stone foundation and seeing all the lambs with their mamas.

My yarn wound on the niddy noddy to measure the yardage.

"Red Stone School" from Sterling, Massachusetts was moved to Sudbury, Massachusetts nearby Howe Tavern also known as Longfellow's Wayside Inn. The Howe Tavern belonged to my 7th great grandparents David and Hepzibah Howe.

Mary Sawyer was the little girl whose lamb followed her to school and this is the school house that she attended.
Mary Sawyer was related to us through our early New England Sawyer family.

Inside the Red Stone School... the Mary's Little Lamb School.
One can imagine Mary's lamb sleeping under a school bench near Mary's feet!

Hitty Rachel standing with her lamb on the windowsill at the little red school house.

To celebrate 20 years of Air Mail service, envelopes were sometimes stamped with special designs commemorating something special about their town. Sterling, Massachusetts chose Mary and her lamb.

Hitty herding the sheep at the Freeman Farm at Old Sturbridge Village.

Hitty Rachel stops at the carding mill at Old Sturbridge Village with a basket of wool.

I've seen old mittens like these listed as liners for mittens or mittens. Alongside the mittens are skeins of my handspun white and black yarn. The yarn was spun in the grease and when washed the tan yarn will be white.

The sheep at the Freeman Farm at Old Sturbridge Village.

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copyright © 2016 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson