Saturday, February 27, 2016

Wee Care Smock Along

Have you joined the latest SAGA Smock Along?

It is a Wee Care gown designed by Tess Ellenwood and is a great easy smock project. Tess has already shared the materials list and pattern on the Smock Along page on Facebook. You will find the list of materials needed and the pattern under 'files' on the Facebook page

You can join the Smock Along at any time, but why not be ready to start when Tess posts the first lesson on February 29th? After all, that is a bonus day, it being a Leap Year!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Frogs on Spools

If you get to visit Windham, Connecticut, you might see a bridge that spans the Willimantic River (the town of Willimantic has been consolidated with Windham). The bridge has sculptures of frogs sitting on thread spools. A strange combination!
The 11 foot tall bronze sculptures are by Leo Jensen and were added when the arched bridge from 1857 was replaced in 2000. The original bridge is now in a park setting at the Windham Mills State Heritage Park.
So why frogs sitting on thread spools? Well the story is a strange one.
On a night in June 1754, the residents of the town had gone to bed as usual. Their minds were on the frontier war with the French and Indians and being fearful people, they were also afraid of things out in the wilderness after dark. They heard terrible noises coming from the distance and echoing around the hills. Local historians and writers recorded that people thought Judgement Day had arrived and they could hear their names being called; others thought the noises and screams were of the local tribal people trying to frighten the residents. Brave groups of men went out in the direction of the noises and fired off their muskets in the general direction to deter whatever was making the noises. As night turned to day, it was clearer that the origin of the noise was coming from the bottom of a hill at the east of the town.
Daylight revealed the truth of the night’s noises. A long-standing drought meant there was very little water in the area and one remaining pond had attracted every frog for miles around. The frogs were in desperate search of water and the battling of the masses of creatures to gain access to the one pond still wet had been the source of the horrific noises. The aftermath of the nights fighting to get to the water meant hundreds of frog corpses littered the landscape. The area had been the scene of a massive frog fight that gave the residents fright!
Over the years the night of the Frog Fight has been commemorated in song, stories and decorative ways, which includes the green frogs on thread spools on the bridge, known officially as the Thread City Crossing. The thread spools are there to represent Willimantic’s long history with textile and thread manufacturing. The frogs, of course, represent the legend of a night in June long ago.