Friday, February 27, 2015

Shifting colors

A few months ago, I custom ordered hand dyed yarn by Erica Heftmann, who calls her yarn, "Colorshift" - do check out the link to her Etsy shop for a real treat!

Here's my yarn -  Erica uses pure wool.

Erica sells her yarn in various steps of a color or a color bridge. This was my first time working with anything like this (in knitting - obviously I have done this with Vicki Welsh's hand dyed fabrics for my quilts!) so I chose her 6 step gradation, and asked her to make two extra skeins of the lightest color so make the design I had chosen come out the way I wanted it to.  I chose a very simple design so the color would be the star.  Here's my Corrina sweater front- 

... and back -

The two photos were taken seconds apart, but I think the color is more accurate in the second photo. 

You can see that the sleeves are longer than the body.  I wanted the last color change to come come out at the same place across the arm and body, and I wanted to use every bit of the darker colors.  It took a little experimenting with the first couple of colors to make that happen, and I'm very happy with the way it looks and there were literally only inches left of each color except the last.  (I had the equivalent of a full skein of that lovely pastel blue-violet color.  It's hard to find pastel yarns that aren't for babies so I'll have to turn it into something!)

Even though I finished this several weeks ago, I have yet to wear this sweater.  We've been indoors with the home improvement work, and mostly, this is light weight - perfect for our usual winters, but not this one (brr!!)  I'm sure I'll get to wear it as winter finally cedes to spring though!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Augusta - A block for February, 1865

In January, 1865, Grant ordered Sherman to move troops by boat to assist in the taking of Richmond, Virginia, but Sherman countered with a plan to move his force by land through the Carolinas to hit Richmond from the rear. Sherman's plan was accepted and the movement began on the 27th of January. The enemy was kept guessing as to where Sherman and his army were going, as the various Corps made movements toward several important targets.  The 14th Corps was given the job of making a feint on Augusta Georgia and got within 25 miles of the city.  The Augusta block marks these initial movements of the Indiana 82nd from Savanna.  It is a pretty star block that fits with many of those we have made.

I looked for a block to commemorate this part of the war because of this story from the Regimental History, told by Alford Hunter, brother of the Regiment's commander who had been promoted:

General Hunter, being in command of our brigade, ordered Captain Whedon and myself to make search for water , ... it being very scarce, and, if found, report to the commanders of the regiments of his brigade, so as to relieve the men from the labor of hunting it up, the men being tired, having marched all day, and were ordered to tear up rail road after night. ... We divided forces, he taking the right and me the left, to scour the country back to a road some three-quarters of a mile, there to meet and report success. After riding a short time, hearing a noise in the rear, I looked around and saw the Captain with eighteen other horsemen dressed in blue coming in my rear. I took them to be Kilpatrick's men (he being on our flank), but soon discovered they "wasn't that kind of cats." The outside appearance was all right, but the inside was all wrong. ...  I found,to my horror, that Captain Whedon was a prisoner, and, having promised his wife to follow him through thick and thin, and die with him if necessary, I concluded to go along and look after his welfare, and thus became a prisoner with him.

Alford Hunter was taken to the stockade in Augusta, and spent the next two and a half months in the Confederate prison system, even spending over two weeks in the infamous Andersonville camp before being taken by rail to Florida. He was released on the 28th of April.

Eli Hause with the 52nd wrote to his cousin from Eastport Mississippi on January 30th.  (Eastport is on the border with Alabama.) This letter took much longer to arrive in southern Indiana - Calvin received it on the 10th of February.  But there is no stamp on it and Eli's brother William had just been released from service with an injury.  Eli mentions the letter might be making the journey to Indiana with William. 

This photo of Eli's brother comes from the Hause genealogy page about Civil War service

Lieutenant William Hause

Eli's letter  reports his leg "has got almost well but my eyes are so near smoked out that I can scarcely see the lines as plain as they are...." Eli and Calvin's grandmother died on the 11th of January, and about that he writes, "I was very sorry to hear of Grandma's death but she was getting very old & could not live much longer & we will all go that road sooner or later... " (Polly Maynard had turned 71 just a few weeks before she died.)  Eli later muses, "the papers have a good deal to say about peace they think that the rebs are willing to come to time now but I do not dare to believe half that they say for fear that I will get humbugged."

Eli asked about mutual friends in other Indiana Regiments and tells of the three members of the 52nd who are going home including William, then mentions, "We are living better now days than we have been doing, we drew three days rations of hard tack Coffee & sugar last night hard tacks are better than boiled corn when we can get enough of them, I used to think when boiling sugar out in the woods if I had to pack my wood a hundred yards it was hard work, but pshaw that was nothing here we have to pack our wood a half mile & up a larger hill than from the creek up to Grand Pa's house on the northwest side or corner of his yard, that is it is as long again but about as steep as that is, how would you like that fun eh?" But he tells Calvin to stay out of it as long as he can, "and when you have to go (if you do) do your duty like a man & you will get a long very well, at least I always have so far."