It may be Sunday or Monday morning spinning this week

August 31, 2013

Good morning, and Happy Labor Day Weekend, the unofficial end of summer! It’s also the end of a two simultaneous dog sitting gigs that I’ve been doing, and as much as I love the dogs that I’ve been caring for, I’m really looking forward to getting things back to normal in this house. What’s normal here is still more dogs than most people have, but it’s quieter when the extra dogs leave, and there’s room for me to sit on my own couch, which I enjoy doing.
The two furry guests in my house arrived last Friday early in the evening and all was going well. The dogs had gotten all of their sniffing and tail wagging out of the way and we were settling in to watch TV for the rest of the evening. I was knitting a worsted weight sock in a black/white/gray Cascade 220 that I’m still not sure I care for. Continue reading “It may be Sunday or Monday morning spinning this week”

Saturday Morning Spinning, then off to the Altamont Fair!

August 17, 2013


Good morning, and happy Saturday! It is nice to see more summer like temperatures returning, especially the forecast for later in the week. I have learned to never trust a weather forecast in this area until the day before, but I am hoping it is accurate. It seems like forever since we have had temps above 80, so let’s enjoy it while we have it. I have been noticing how much darker it is in the early morning hours lately, and how much earlier the sun has been setting in the evening too. Summer is still hanging on, but it won’t be for much longer.

Continue reading “Saturday Morning Spinning, then off to the Altamont Fair!”

Hendrick Bosch: Loyalist and weaver 1747-1779 

July 30, 2013

The following is from a 2008 Loyalist Trails newsletter posted on the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada website.

Dutch Uncles — and Loyalists, by Stephen Davidson

There is an old expression about speaking to someone “like a Dutch uncle”. It meant that you were talking in a firm or severe manner. However, on a chilly Tuesday in February of 1778, two Dutch uncles who were anything but strict and hostile stood before the loyalist compensation board. Martin and John Middagh had travelled to Montreal from near Williamsburg (Ontario) to plea for their two nieces and two nephews. Henry, Charles, Rachel and Mary Bush had lost their loyalist parents during the American Revolution.

The records of the loyalist commissioners’ proceedings contain the claims that refugees of the American Revolution made to the British government for their losses sustained during the war. So much was not put down on paper during the proceedings –beyond short stories and lists– that we are left trying to imagine all that families, widows, and orphans had to endure during the War of Independence. One story of Dutch-descended loyalists from New York has managed to survive, giving us a poignant look into the past.

The four Bush children had once called Marbletown, New York their home. Like so many other towns in the Thirteen Colonies, Marbletown was deeply divided by the American Revolution. It was originally a Dutch settlement; its early Huguenot families included Middaghs, Bosches, Koks, and Van Meterens. Patriotic fervor was so strong that for a month’s time Marbletown became the rebel capital of New York. The Committee of Safety met there in October and November of 1777.

Marbletown was obviously not a good place to be a loyalist. Born in 1747, Hendrick Bosch (or Henry Bush) grew up in Marbletown where he eventually inherited a 50 acre farm from his father and became a weaver. He married Neeltjen Middagh who lived in nearby Kingston. She was the sister of John and Martin Middagh. All four of Henry and Neeltjen’s children were born before the outbreak of war; in 1776 Henry Jr. was six years old, and Mary, the youngest, was just two.

Henry Bush was remembered as one who was “from the first a steady Loyalist … who always declared in favor of the British Government”. Rebel persecution forced the Bushes to flee to the safety of the British lines along the Delaware River. There the Bushes began to clear four or five acres. However, the family’s land, horses, loom, tackling, and furniture had to be abandoned when Henry joined Brant’s Volunteers, a unit of loyalist fighters under the leadership of the Mohawk warrior, Joseph Brant.

This First Nations ally of the British was so highly regarded that men of all races were eager to join him in his fight against patriots along the frontiers of Pennsylvania and New York. Henry Bush served in several of Brant’s scouting parties and was almost killed when rebels fired on him in one engagement.

In 1779 Henry and Neeltjen Bush “came into Canada with the other loyalists who were driven from their homes”, settling in a place called “Masishe”. There Neeltjen was reunited with her brothers John and Martin Middagh. Within a year Henry Bush was dead; Neeltjen died at almost the same time. Martin Middagh did not give the cause of his sister’s death, but given the smallpox epidemic, it may be that both Bushes died of the virus that had killed so many on both sides of the revolution.

Martin Middagh opened his home to his sister’s four children, looking after them for eight years. When he appeared before the compensation board in Montreal in 1788, Henry Jr. was 18, Rachel was 17, Charles 15, and Mary 14. In the language of the times, the four were considered “all infants”.

Rachel Bush was living in the Williamsburg home of Captain Richard Duncan that February. The loyalist officer had married his second wife, Mary Wright, in Montreal in 1784, and it may be that Rachel Bush served the Duncans to help with their growing family.

If John and Martin Middagh were not successful in receiving compensation for their sister’s children, then Henry, Charles, and Mary might have to hire themselves out as Rachel did. Once again, the records of the loyalist commissioners are all too silent, and the fate of the four Bush children remains a mystery to this day. They were more fortunate than other loyalist soldier’s orphans, however, because they had two loving uncles who were willing to brave traveling through a Canadian winter to seek justice on their behalf. And who knows? Their descendants may be among us today.

Their descendants are among us. The elder Hendrick Bosch (I’ve also seen the name written as Henricus) is my great-great-great-great-great grandfather.

More than a decade ago my father had done some pretty extensive work assembling the names and dates of our family tree. From his work we learned that the original family name was Van den Bosch which, over the course of a few generations, was shortened to Bosch and eventually morphed into Bush. Following the trail of birth, marriage, and death records from the time period, we learned that our ancestors moved to Canada at the time of the Revolution and it was assumed that it was because they were British Loyalists.

More recently, my oldest brother has been collecting photographs and bits of our family’s history to add faces and stories to the names and dates. I’ve enjoyed seeing old photographs of direct and distant relatives, their houses, and even their headstones. He’s even come up with some pictures of our mother as a little girl and even a high school yearbook photo of her. There have also been some fascinating bits of family history like the piece above, which pretty much confirms the British Loyalist story.

What I found particularly interesting is that my great-great-great-great-great grandfather was a weaver. I’m admittedly still not much of a weaver myself, but it is something I keep working towards. But knowing that I’m a descendant of a weaver is kind of inspiring.

Saturday Morning Spinning – two bags full

July 27, 2013

Good morning everyone! It’s hard to believe it’s Saturday already. Seems like the week flew right by. I’ve sure enjoyed the cooler temperatures, and resurrected my evening walking routine, but I’m still waiting until the sun goes down before I start. It’s cooler in the evening and there’s less traffic which is always helpful. Also, my route starts out heading west and it’s nice to not have the sun right in my eyes.

This past week I go to catch up with a couple of dear friends that I don’t get to see often enough. I got almost no spinning done, but I have been hammering away at a knitting project most of the week, and starting to plan another, both of which are in anticipation of the fall and winter class schedules at Trumpet Hill. I’ll talk about those once I get some more details.

This morning I’m going to spend a little bit of time working on the last of the red and black Rambouillet. I put the rest of it on hold a while back to work on a super secret project with a deadline and I’ve been slowly making my way through the rest of it since. I’m at the point now where I just want it all done. What I really want to work on this morning is a bag of this.

Continue reading “Saturday Morning Spinning – two bags full”

Saturday Morning Spinning – failed attempts, but valuable lessons

July 13, 2013

Good morning everyone, I hope you’re all enjoying this little reprieve from the heat. It looks like it won’t last long. That’s okay with me. It just means I get more use of my pool. Not much knitting gets done, at least not large projects. Socks are good for the hot weather.

Last Saturday’s experiment with art yarn was brief, but a valuable learning experience. The only thing I was able to create that did end up in the pile of art yarn shame was about a yard or so of a coiled yarn. It may look nice enough in the picture, but it looks are deceiving. I had trouble managing the “anchors” before and after the coils, so they slide around, and I had difficulty holding the proper tension on the lace weight singles and the thick/thin singles during the plying. So even though it isn’t exactly usable as yarn, it serves as a valuable learning tool going forward.

Once you’ve developed that muscle memory for spinning and plying more traditional yarns, learning to do new things with your hands to create many art yarns is really quite difficult and requires a great deal of practice. Since I’m kind of between spinning projects right now, I’ve got the time to practice so I’ll keep at it.
I hear there may be spinning again at The Crossings this morning. The weather is certainly agreeable for it. I’ll be at The Crossings later this morning, but not for spinning. We’ll be participating in the Second Annual Donna Miraglia Memorial Walk. Our local chapter of Italian Greyhound Rescue will be at the Pet Supplies Plus booth, so stop by and visit us. It will be a special day for us, as we will be officially adopting Monticello (Monty) the dog we’ve been fostering since the beginning of May.

That’s all I have for now. I’m off to continue my art yarn experiments. Have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday Morning Spinning – and a short book review

July 6, 2013

Good morning everyone, is it hot enough for you? I’m doing my best to not complain too much about this heat. It would have been nice to have had some much warmer weather than we did back in late May and early June when my pool was open and practically unused. We’re trying to make up for that now though.

Before I get started doing any spinning this morning, and before the day gets too hot, I’m heading out for a walk. I have not been getting anywhere near as much exercise as I would like and I’m starting to feel it. Since it’s already over 70 degrees at 6AM, I may not do the entire 4 miles that I usually do, and I certainly won’t do it at the pace I normally like to do, but I need some movement this morning before I sit down to spin. Continue reading “Saturday Morning Spinning – and a short book review”

Saturday morning spinning

June 29, 2013

Good morning, and happy Saturday! Have you had enough rain yet? I know I have. By this point in the summer I’m usually adding water to my pool and worrying about my lawn turning brown and crunchy. Instead, I have been draining water from the pool and adding extra chlorine, and mowing quite regularly. The extra outside work has been keeping me busy, and keeping me from getting much knitting and spinning done.

I started spinning the Rideau Arcott on my Bliss, but I didn’t get very far at all. This is just the first color in the roving. The roving is very well carded and quite springy. Once the colored roving is done, I will spin four ounces of the same fiber in black to ply it with. It should make for an investing effect and texture when it finally gets knitted up. Continue reading “Saturday morning spinning”