Thursday, July 24, 2014

Back Home again in Indiana

I just got back from a wonderful vacation in Northern Indiana, about 100 miles east of Chicago, which is where I grew up.  I left Indiana almost 30 years ago, right after college, because I found Indiana boring, ugly and very cold in the winter.  Although I've returned for visits many times over the years, during this trip I gained a new appreciation for my home town.  One thing I realized is that tatting is much more prevalent in Northern Indiana than it is in Texas, where I now live.  Not only did I find vintage tatted handkerchiefs at an antique store in Mishawaka...

I found tatting thread in a store that did not say "Hobby Lobby" on the outside.

The balls on the left are Finca Pearl Cotton size 12, the larger balls to the right of center are Valdani Pearl Cotton size 12, and the smallest balls on the far right are DMC size 80.  This is the first time (outside of Hobby Lobby) where I have actually gotten to see and feel the thread in order to make my selections. Almost my entire stash of thread was purchased online using a picture on the computer to decide if I liked the color.  I purchased these threads in an Amish town in Northeast Indiana called Shipshawana. Shipshawana has a large Amish population and they sell a lot of their handmade items (especially quilts and woodworking), attracting a lot of tourists like me and my family to come and shop.  There are also a lot of shops that cater to the domestic arts: Knitting, sewing, quilting, crochet, tatting, cooking, canning, etc.

While in Shipshawana, we visited the grocery store where the local Amish shop.  There were a lot of items sold in bulk, like 10-20 pounds of flour and sugar, or 5 pounds of baking powder.  I don't think I could use 5 pounds of baking powder in 10 years.  All the decor in the store was farming related.  This picture shows a beautiful, colorful display of metal seats from farm equipment.
And this is a typical Amish buggy.  You see these everywhere when driving in this town.
Our last stop was to the local second hand store.  I wanted to see if there were any tatting treasures to be found.  There were not, but we found another treasure:  Used Amish dresses.  My sister, my daughter and I all bought an Amish dress and went home to play dress up.  How do we look?
This is me and my daughter in the picture above.  Below are my sister and my daughter.

And here are all three of us.
I haven't had this much fun playing dress up since I was a child.

More on my trip to Indiana and some actual tatting in the next post.

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