Wednesday, September 11, 2013

{Yarn Along} Atchafalaya Houseboat

A couple of weeks ago, Ginny at Small Things wrote about the book Atchafalaya Houseboat: My Years in the Louisiana Swamp. I reserved it from the library that same day.

Here's part of the book's Amazon description:

In the early 1970s, two idealistic young people—Gwen Carpenter Roland and Calvin Voisin—decided to leave civilization and re-create the vanished simple life of their great-grandparents in the heart of Louisiana’s million-acre Atchafalaya River Basin Swamp. Armed with a box of crayons and a book called How to Build Your Home in the Woods, they drew up plans to recycle a slave-built structure into a houseboat. Without power tools or building experience they constructed a floating dwelling complete with a brick fireplace. Towed deep into the sleepy waters of Bloody Bayou, it was their home for eight years. This is the tale of the not-so-simple life they made together—days spent fishing, trading, making wine, growing food, and growing up—told by Gwen with grace, economy, and eloquence.

I think it was the box of crayons that convinced me I needed to read the book. I wasn't disappointed. There are so many neat little details from their lives in the swamp. In addition to the brick fireplace, the library in their houseboat had a brick floor. The pictures are black and white, but it looks like it was gorgeous.

They washed their quilts by dipping them into the water and squeezing them out on the deck. Can you imagine?

My new knitting project is The Lonely Tree Shawl, a free download from Ravelry.  I'm using Knitpicks Telemark in Flame Heather. I'd originally bought this yarn intending to make the Cardigan for Merry sweater for my youngest. Time passed and he grew and I realized that I was intimidated by the cables. (Today, they don't look that bad. Maybe there's still some hope of making Arwen for myself someday.)

When I found the pattern, I didn't think I had any yarn in my stash that would work for it.  The Telemark isn't the weight that the pattern calls for, but it's what I've got on hand. And shawls are very forgiving.

For more pretty knitting projects to drool over, check out On the Needles at Patchwork Times and Work in Progress Wednesdays at Tami's Amis


Jessica Hadden said...

Good yarns in this post, Michelle! I know what to look for on my next trip to the library! And your yarny WIP is GORGEOUS! Definitely have my drool on!

Anonymous said...

Your shawl is gorgeous! I love the color.

Judy S. said...

Pretty shawl and pretty color! That book does sound interesting. Bet they fought lots of mosquitoes!


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