Yarn Along

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~


I started knitting Keats’ requested hat late last night.  It’s just another basic ribbed hat, this one in tosh vintage, fig colorway (no notes on Ravelry yet.)  Keats wants it reaaaaaaally long he says.  I may die of ribbing.

I’m reading The Worst Hard Time, and looking at pictures in a children’s book called The Dust Bowl Through the Lens that I picked up at the library yesterday.  This period in our nation’s history is so tragic, and I don’t remember learning about it in school.  The photo of “The Migrant Mother” taken by Dorothea Lange is considered to be the most recognizable photograph of all time and the symbol of the Dust Bowl (according to my reading.)  I recognized the photo when I opened the book, but never knew anything about it, including the fact that it is related to the Dust Bowl until now.  “There she sat in that lean-to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me.”-Dorothea Lange

Anyway, I’m pretty fascinated by this period.  I’ve not read John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath written about an Oklahoma family that migrates west in the face of the Dust Bowl, so that’s on my reading list now too.  My list keeps getting longer, and my reading time seems to be getting shorter.


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  1. Carriemtn says:

    Your post made me think. Most people tend to think that migrant farm labor is something from the past, but we still have a large migrant population here in the states. I wonder how migrant life has changed from the dust bowl years to now? How do these people who live in the margins survive? How are there children educated? How can we pray for them and help them? You just made me think. That is always a good thing.

  2. Jillian J. says:

    Ken Burns has an excellent series on the dust bowl, it is on netflix. Really makes one appreciate what they have, something more of us need on a regular basis.

  3. I don’t know if this link will come through on your page, but it’s to the library of Congress’s online photographic catalog, specifically the Farm Security Administration archive. The Lange photo is there with others of hers. It’s a fascinating website (I got sucked into the Child Labor Board photos).
    Grapes of Wrath is totally awesome.

  4. You might also want to check out, Hard Times An Oral History of The Great Depression by Studs Terkel. I skimmed it a long time ago, it’s a lot of individual stories.

  5. I first read the Grapes of Wrath when I was nineteen and working on a farm for the summer. It moved and saddened me so deeply–it’s one of those books I can point to in my life and say, “that book changed the way I think.”

  6. Maybe you should do a read along. I want to read Grapes of Wrath too – my 83-year-old grandmother keeps recommending it.

  7. I googled away and read all I could about this beautiful photograph. I had never seen it before. I read the Grapes of Wrath years ago and loved it. Must read it again. This is a great post and the comments were really worth reading for, as I also took note of all the books your and the comments quote, that will provide some reading for the children and me in the weeks to come ! Thanks.

    Once again, I thought after looking up the story of Lange’s photograph that maybe I shouldn’t have. Hearing the truth behind a photograph is not always good. I hated finding out about how the ‘kissing couples’ series by the french photographer Doisneau had not been taken by surprise, but some were posed, and it I read somewhere that in one of them actually the girl was kissed against her will by an unknown man in the street and was very upset …
    Silly romantic me.

  8. Melanie King says:

    We live in the Oklahoma panhandle and my husband’s family was here in the dust bowl. After reading The Worst Hard Times, Grandma’s main comment was that it wasn’t blowing dirt everyday. There were terribly dreary days when they had to hide under a damp sheet to eat their supper without eating dirt, but there were also lovely days with no wind and normal life. She always wanted us to understand that life goes on even when times are hard.

  9. Definitely try to get to The Grapes of Wrath…..

  10. oh, that photo. so wonderful.

  11. I recently saw a clip about that “migrant mother”. This has a short interview with her. Her name is Florence Thompson. The clip is about 6 minutes long: http://www.today.com/id/51067427#.UpZlN6WZwas

  12. I’m fascinated by this period too. I wish I had a link handy but a few years ago there were some photos published online that were completely enthralling; they were all color photos taken during the Dust Bowl era as well as the Depression and seeing it in color was very poignant. It may be easy to Google for. As a former English teacher, I would also recommend that you also read an excellent children’s book called Out of the Dust.

  13. Read “Out of the Dust” by Karen Hesse…it’s a children’s book, upper elementary….it is written in free verse and is an incredible book..I think your kids might enjoy it…it won the 1998 Newbery…I have a copy that has booktalk questions at the end….

  14. It looks an interesting book, the picture is very moving. It does seem that schools hide the hardships that go on. If children knew what previous generations had to enjure they might have a bigger respect for the life they have now.

  15. The book about the dust bowl looks fascinating. I love the Grapes of Wrath- the film is good too. When we went down route 66 last year it just reminded me of the Grapes of Wrath.I am a huge John Steinbeck fan!

  16. The Grapes of Wrath was an awesome book that taught me alot about the time period, BUT be prepared for a very sad, depressing story.

  17. “I may die of ribbing”… Working on the same hat- and keep getting requests for more hats like this. I may also die of ribbing. Was thinking the very same thought yesterday. New baby is beautiful. Congrats and blessings as ya’ll adjust to the new normal!

  18. I am fascinated by this time period too and have been on a reading binge about all things Great Depression and Dust Bowl ever since I found a book called Hard Times by Studs Turkel (a compilation of interviews from people during the GD) which led to photo histories, etc. I think I am on my eighth book on the subject by now and Grapes of Wrath is next for me too! Pretty neat.

    I don’t know how you find the time to knit with a baby. It must come so naturally to you that it is just a piece of your life. For me, yarn crafts take such concentration that it is difficult to squeeze it in around children and by the time the children are in bed, I want to be too! 🙂

  19. I’m sorry this comment has nothing to do with knitting or reading, but I do love both!
    I just love all your posts of your beautiful family and all your knitting they wear…
    just love to see new baby, Job…how precious is he!! I really just wanted to wish you and your
    family a very blessed Thanksgiving Day!
    Thank you for your blog it is always sooooooo inspiring and encouraging!
    God bless, Corinne

  20. Ken Burns did a really intense documentary of the Dust Bowl last year for PBS, and you might be able to watch it online (in all your spare time, haha.) Prepare to cry through the whole thing, though.

  21. Grapes of Wrath is a must read. We just read and enjoyed The Bread Winner by Arvella Whitmore about the depression. It was a great read for 7-10 year old girls. Happy Thanksgiving!

  22. grapes of wrath is probably the best book i have ever read… so amazingly well written.

  23. Oh, the Dust Bowl. Equally fascinating and tragic to me, as well. Ken Burns’ documentary is available for instant watch on Netflix, and after watching it, I sat at my grandmother’s knee (who is 87) and asked her what it was like for reals, since she was there. It was amazing to hear her stories. Thank you for sharing- I’m going to look for both of those books at my library!

  24. Hubby and I recently read and listened to The Grapes of Wrath. The audio version is wonderful. The reader sounds just like Henry Fonda, who played Tom Jode in the movie. The book is great and it’s no wonder it won a Pulitzer. I’m eager to learn what you think of it. We watched the series The Dust Bowl on PBS upon finishing the book. It’s really good, too.

  25. Oh, I know what you mean about the reading list getting longer and reading time getting shorter! Years ago, I found that 1000 books you should read before you die list and thought—Yes! I’m doing this. It wasn’t long before I realized how ambitious that was. I’ve come back down to earth and am enjoying choosing a book here and there. Grapes of Wrath is one that is still on my To-Read-Someday List. I hope both you and I get the time to do so soon!

  26. I’m a big fan of history books, especially, ones about the midwest as that is where I live. Currently rereading a Sidney Sheldon book….Mater of The Game. Happy Thanksgiving to you and all your followers.


  27. I remember reading about the Dust Bowl during history last year. What a tragedy. Ken Burns has a great documentary about the Dust Bowl as well. My teen, who wasn’t studying this with us at the time, found it interesting.

  28. I read The Worst Hard Time several years ago. What a powerful book! I knew very little about the Dust Bowl before reading it. I remember that it had such an impact on me that I was having dreams about it at night. (And BTW, Job is beautiful! Congrats and hugs to you and your family!

  29. we watched the original movie of Grapes of Wrath and it was quite depressing. It amazes me that I wasn’t taught any of this in my schooling years. Have a happy thanksgiving!!!


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