Productivity after all…

Things finally cooled off a bit yesterday, assuming that it’s really reasonable to consider “about 90F” to be “cool,” which I suppose it is, in context. Clearly, all you Australians would find that quite pleasant in summer, hrmmm? That’s around 33C. Personally, I find 27-28C to be about the perfect temperature.

Well, anyway, I did manage to get a few batts churned out, and those are now listed for First Dibs (right sidebar, you guys remember the drill, right?) And I’ve been working on specific blending goals with a local theme, lately. Here’s one I’m rather pleased with, in fact.

2006 was our first summer here. Sometime in July, we started seeing signs go up at all the produce places reading “INDIANA MELON.” Now, you have to realize — I spent the formative years of my adulthood living in Chicago. This meant Indiana could be described in the following ways:

  • Source of cigarettes without Cook County tax stamp
  • Where people sneakily register their cars to avoid having to get a city sticker
  • Home of the ubiquitous-advertising Tom Raper RVs
  • Gary
  • Sells fireworks.
  • “There’s more than cooooorn…. in Indiaaana…” (the song from an ad for Indiana Beach)

And, despite the first few years that I lived in Chicago being spent on the road with a blues band, driving to gigs all over the place, I don’t think we once did a gig in Indiana. No, so far as we could tell, Indiana was a strange space in between Illinois and Ohio (maybe neither state wanted it?) where even time didn’t obey the same rules as everywhere else (they didn’t observe daylight savings time). We’d cross Indiana to get to Ohio or Kentucky; and in the summer, the drive would seem endless, like almost as long as the drive lengthwise across Nebraska, only with corn instead of cattle. After about the first 15 years of the drive, invariably, someone would start cackling in a slightly mad way, and then sing, “There’s more than coooorn… in Indiaaana…” only to be rewarded with heaping insults as the advertising jingle got stuck in everyone’s head. Another 15 years would then go by, and someone else would do the same thing. Really.

Only 100 more miles to Tom Raper RVs!

Well, anyway. So I looked at these Indiana Melons that seemed to be a big deal, and thought to myself, “Looks like a giant canteloupe. Okay.”

Then my in-laws fed us some.

Now, I’m not about to head for my old southside stomping grounds, walk into a dive bar, and pick a fight on Indiana’s behalf. I am, you see, far too old and washed-up for that sort of behaviour. But Indiana Melon, available for a short time every year and only if you’re close to Indiana, is possibly a good enough reason to do so.

If you’re in range of produce stands with signs that say INDIANA MELON, and you have not eaten one of them, then stop reading this, right now, and go buy yourself an Indiana Melon, before it’s too late and you can’t do it again till next year. Throw something on the grill, boil up some sweet corn, chop up an Indiana Melon, and feast.

Anyway, so that’s what I was going for with these batts.

And now that I’ve evangelized at least one thing about one of my fine neighbour states, it’s time to briefly touch on something that comes from another. We’ve had a drought this summer, you may recall, and a big heat wave. And you know what’s done well in our yard?

The Kentucky Bluegrass.

The batts are merino/tussah silk/camel down and a hint of tencel to make the dewy sheen a little different. And just like the actual grass, it’s not exactly blue, but if you see it from the right angle, and enough of it, it sure leaps out from the other grasses near it.

Well, other than the local inspiration, I did decide I was going to try to make a blend that would look good with some seed pearl beads that I got. Mother-of-pearl, I figured. And I came close. My first try… well, it yielded… mist.

So then I tried again, and got… Princess.

Third time’s the charm, right? We’ll see; those batts are ready for their final pass now.

Oh! And there’s a tweed. A merino/silk/cashmere tweed. Mmmmm.

These are all up for first dibs.

In other productivity, I have chosen 14 colourways for wools, and 9 colourways for silk, to be my new production lines — and they’re available for you to preorder now. Just check the Shop Abby’s Yarns link at the top of the page, or go here. Now you can get those matched dye lot larger batches, and get discounts on them too!

Whew. Now I think I’ll go have a weekend (which for the self-employed, tends to mean “do all those chores I blew off this week.”)

14 thoughts on “Productivity after all…

  1. Beautiful batts, just stunning. I don’t know about Indiana melons but those batts look like melons to me. As for chores, they never go away, whether self employed or not, weekends mean chores. As for the heat in Australia, 27 -28*C is the perfect temperature, no one likes the excessive heat. I am in Brisbane and even though it is Winter here we had 28*C today. Frightens me what Summer may bring. Have a good weekend hope you get some Abby time.

  2. Oh good God, woman, you just unearthed an ancient memory. Growing up (and still living in) south suburban Chicagoland, I was subjected to that damn commercial endlessly. It was a crow, right?

    The melons must be an eastern Indiana thing, haven’t heard of ’em until now.

    Mist is good – looked just like an opal to me, I personally love it!

    And lastly, your inner gearhead will enjoy the fact that some of your fiber went with me (along with my new favorite drop spindle) to the Grundy County Speedway last night, watching the middle boy race.

  3. Sad to say, living in KY most of my life and at least 40 of it right on the Ohio River directly across from IN I have never had an Indiana Melon. Now I live too far into KY to make a jaunt out for some. Our KY Bluegrass is lookin mighty sick as most other state’s grass and crops around us. Oh my, those batts are gorgeous.

  4. Au contraire! It is only the proud Perry County (from whence I hail) that refuses to recognize daylight savings time, not the entire state of Indiana! Which can be very confusing and a common question is “are we on the same time?”

  5. You brought back all the memories of Indiana melons–and the catelope is even better. But yes, it is sort of a black hole to Buckeyes. I’ve only been across the border once and that was on work business. Flat. boring.

  6. I can identify with the “cool” temperatures. I was walking to pick up my car the other day, thinking how cool it was. It was 91. It had been 102 just 2 days before.

  7. I’ve never heard them called Indiana Mellons, actually I’ve rarely heard them called anything, just sitting along the road with the price.

    The crow has been replaced, but we still have the Corn commercials. I’ve only seen a few Raper’s RV commercials, they’re north of me.

    And it isn’t flat south of Indianapolis, quite exciting down here.

    Sarah from Bloomington, IN

  8. I must protest! I’m a lifelong hoosier, and have had to drive across Ohio on a trip ti New Jersey for a dance national comepition for my dauther, and both ways I thought the state of Ohio would never end. Then follow that up with the entire length of Pennsylvania, the only thing that kept me awake was the fancy rest stops in Pennsylvania(and a longing to detour to Hershey for a chocolate factory tour).

    And we have more than corn. In true redneck fashion we have not only the Indy 500, but our own Nascar race. I live in Martinsville, which is probably really southern Indiana. Between Bloomington and Indy. Down here we have rolling hills, beautiful forests, Lake Monroe, and we have John Mellencamp.

    As for the corn….nothing tastes better with those melons than sweet corn fresh from the field.

    Oh, don’t forget Santa Clause, Indiana with holiday world and we do observe daylight savings time now, be we all hate it. We’re rebels here, don’t ya know!

    P.S. for a long time we had to go to Kentucky for the good fireworks. We’ve moved up in the world (rofl)

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