In the china aisle in a Goodwill store in Clearwater, FL a love story was discovered.
The story belongs to a girl born in September 1897 named Evangeline Withington or Eva as she was called.
Eva was born in Pennsylvania right before the turn of the century. She had two brothers and a sister. Somewhere along the way, she met a handsome soldier with dark hair and blue eyes, named Clesson Ernest Mason. Clesson was from Ohio, a 1917 graduate of Marietta College. Right after he graduated, Clesson was drafted into the American Expeditionary Force, the first American soldiers sent to fight in a foreign war. The couple was married in June of 1918 when he was 25 and she was 20.
Clesson was sent to France, where he was a pursuit pilot and flight instructor reaching the level of Lieutenant. While stationed in France, he had a set of fine china made by Theodore Haviland of Limoges especially for his wife. The elegant formal service for twelve rimmed in gold is monogrammed with Eva’s initials. The mark on the back of each piece states:
Mrs. Eva W. Mason
Lieut. Clesson E. Mason
Air Service, A. E. F.
The china made it home to Eva before Clesson did. He was honorably discharged in February of 1919. Clesson was also one of the founding members of the Daedalians, the society of fighter pilots. When Clesson returned to the states he became a chemist in the oil industry in Tulsa, Ok. While in Tulsa, Clesson began working for a branch of the Foxboro Company. The family headed to Foxboro’s Massachusetts headquarters in 1929. While with the Foxboro Company, Clesson did extensive mechanical engineering work and invented several patented devices in the area of automated controls, which revolutionized manufacturing. In 1973, Clesson was awarded the Oldenburger Medal for his pioneering work in Mechanical Engineering.
In June 1921, the couple had a son, Richard Withington Mason. Richard followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the military as a fighter pilot. Unfortunately, the Mason’s only son was shot down in 1945 and lost in the south China Sea.
Mr. Mason’s career continued and allowed him to travel. Records show the couple traveling through the port of Miami in 1952. The Masons eventually retired to Island Estates in Clearwater, FL.
Thanks to Legacy.com, MyHeritage.com, U.S. Military Service Records, Haviland and the Order of the Daedalians Military Aviator Society, the ASME and the Oldenberger Medal for the information they provided.
The Kenny Chesney song goes,
“All I want for Christmas is a real good tan.
Take me to the islands, put my feet in the sand.
Rockin’ to and fro with the rhythm of the ocean
Singin’ Silent Night with the palm trees a blowing.”
And we went to Key West and the wind was surely blowing. A beautiful weekend doing things a little differently than most Key West trips. We drove down and camped. And the wind was crazy, but we got our little tent set up on the point by the water and got a little fire going. The stars at night above the palm trees and the moonlight on the water were heaven sent. We spent the next few days exploring, away from the crowds and the noise of Duval Street. We snuck down little alleyways, following roosters to breakfast. We made good use of our State Park pass and visited Fort Zachary Taylor and its amazing views and beaches two days in a row. We drank our fill of cafe con leche and surrendered to guava pastries and pineapple pancakes. We ate shrimp and hogfish off the grill in the dark by the light of a plastic star that we bought at the Kmart on the island. (And yes, we found the Yarn Shop!)
After being cooped up for quite some time, it was wonderful to take a long drive and see some things we had not seen before. This trip was less people-y than trips in the past, but can’t say it was any less enjoyable. The colors of Key West definitely put the cap on our holiday colors. We actually dreamt them up before the trip, but really felt them in the architecture and the beaches and the flora. And ya’ll, did you know that iguanas come out and sun themselves right on A1A in the afternoon?! How have I never seen them before? I was obsessed with them!!!
So, non traditional color for our holiday season. Hibiscus red, Palm Tree green and Toasted Coconut white. Flamingo and Island Water, Joyful, Lights on the Beach, Festive and Mkeka. You’ll see them popping up in the shop over the next week. Hope you enjoy our celebration of color.
Its time to put some love out into the world, and so we give you our Colors for a Cause:
* Somebunny Loves U, a colorway for Girl Power 2 Cure, an organization striving to empower and support families affected by Rett Syndrome; to educate and enrich the lives of those with Rett Syndrome as well as those who teach and support them, and to help eradicate the disorder through research targeted donor outreach. Rett Syndrome is a neurological disorder affecting mostly girls. Rett Syndrome often strikes toddlers and affects purposeful hand utilization, the ability to breathe, eat, walk, and speak. Researchers are closer to a cure than ever. Somebunny Loves U is a fresh pink, orange and lavender tonal on our Lucky Sock base inspired by the laughter of little girls, like our friend Aubrey, who was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome before her 2nd birthday.
* For Breonna, a colorway for the Breonna Taylor Memorial Scholarship in Nursing at the University of Louisville. Breonna Taylor, an EMT in Louisville, KY, was killed in her apartment by police serving a “no-knock” warrant. We want to remember Breonna by continuing her legacy of helping others. The scholarship will help young women who seek an education in nursing. This colorway on our Lucky Sock base was inspired by the colors of a vibrant young life, magenta, teal and navy on a beautiful base.
* Andrew loves Andrea, a colorway for Fruity Knitting. We love the Fruity Knitting podcast. Hosts Andrew and Andrea have provided so much excellent content celebrating the fiber arts. Their show is delightful and much-loved by knitters, crocheters, weavers, spinners, dyers. When we heard of Andrew’s recent diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumor, we wanted to send them some love. This colorway on our Lucky sock base was inspired all the colors of Fruity Knitting. We love it!
*Finally, for every pink yarn sold from now until October 31st, we’ll make a donation to the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation. This organization promotes education, advocacy and prevention. They make mammograms and other diagnostics possible for under served and uninsured women.
If you don’t find a lovely yarn to enhance your stash, please consider making a donation of just $5. We also have $5 donation items that you can add to your cart.
We hope you can help us spread some love in the world and we thank you for your help.
Summertime! Here in Florida, its hot as hot can be right now. Who wants to knit or crochet? We do!!!
On our needles is a summer tank in a cotton/silk blend –perfect for summer wear. Its bright and light in a fun tangerine color.
Although wool is breathable, it still sounds hot, doesn’t it? It really depends on how its made. For instance, our Woo base, a worsted weight 100% superwash wool, feels almost cottony. We made a Shelley Summer Top by Nancy Ricci from Woo in the colorway, LA Lady, and its the perfect lacy summer shell. Look for lighter weight yarns, like sport or fingering weights. And pick summery fibers like cottons and silks or blends with cotton, linen and other light fibers, but save the mohair for cooler days.
The Fat Bunny Yarn Summer sale is on now and includes our Lil Hop sport base, Cosi our cotton/silk blend and many of our light, airy art silks like Silk Ribbons, Mermaid Hair and even our Starlight beaded silks. Check them out and make something beautiful for summer.
UPDATE: Great news, Fat Bunny Friends! When we started down this path, with our 6 little hanks of yarn, we had no idea how generous you would be! We sold all 6 within the day.
We dyed 6 more and they all sold, too. Plenty of those that bought yarn also donated lots of additional money. And some of you, just plain out donated. So, here we are, ready to send the Breonna Taylor Memorial Scholarship Fund a check for $510!!! In just a week, you made it possible for Breonna to keep helping young women. We will continue to raise funds for Breonna’s Scholarship so she can continue to help people. Thank you for keeping her dreams.
Breonna Taylor has been on my mind for awhile now. Thinking about that beautiful life cut short. Thinking about her mother’s anguish. Thinking about the career in healthcare she had planned. She was an emergency medical technician (EMT) and had plans to go to nursing school.
On March 13th, just past midnight, Breonna, 26, was shot and killed in her home by police officers serving a “no-knock” warrant. This is the stuff of mothers’ nightmares. To have your beautiful, successful, smart, caring baby girl taken so suddenly and so coldly. It chilled my heart.
I was thinking of Breonna when I was dyeing yarn last week. I put down the teal, violet and fuchsia speckles thinking of the bright colors of a young woman’s life. I then covered those brights with a deep infusion of olive dye. Olive is dark and drab, the way I was feeling that night. The next morning, after the dye was set, I lifted the lid to the pan and I was amazed. I knew that sometimes that olive dye could be unpredictable, but what I saw was beautiful shades of brown nestled around those brights. I saw Breonna and I wept as I rinsed that yarn. But she was still on my mind. When something won’t go away, it usually means God is pressing you to do something. As a dyer, this is what I can do: I can sell yarn and I can donate money.
UofL Health, where Breonna worked, established The Breonna Taylor Memorial Scholarship Fund in Nursing at the University of Louisville. It is a four-year renewable award for full tuition and fees. Preference will be given to a black woman who is a Kentucky resident when selecting recipients. Breonna lives on fulfilling the dreams of other black women who choose nursing as a career.
So, the Breonna Taylor Scholarship Fundraiser is part of Fat Bunny Yarn now. Just like the Somebunny Loves You colorway for Rett Syndrome, we will donate 100% of the purchase price to the scholarship fund. If these 6 hanks of yarn, sell, we will dye 6 more and we will keep dyeing these and keep donating to the scholarship fund.
Donating to charity should come from a little sacrifice. Fat Bunny Yarn will not make a cent off any of our fundraiser yarn. 100% of the purchase price goes to the charity. Click here to purchase this colorway.Lucky sock base – Breonna Taylor Scholarship Fundraiser
Other ways to donate:
If you aren’t interested in the yarn, you can still make a donation. How about $5? The price of that fancy coffee we used to enjoy when we were out and about could help someone else. There’s a $5 donation item in the shop. Those monies will be added to the yarn money and sent to the scholarship fund in Breonna’s honor.
If you would prefer to give directly, you can visit give.louisville.edu/breonna-taylor
Another beautiful shawl is coming from Casapinka: The Hug Shot Shawl! For a limited time, June 5-7, the pattern is FREE with purchase of two hanks of yarn from hand dyers and local yarn shops. So exciting!
The Hug Shot is a companion shawl to Casapinka’s Breathe and Hope shawl. Its a little simpler, easier, but still with that classic Casapinka style. Easy enough for beginners, but interesting enough for experienced knitters.
It is knit with 2 hanks of fingering weight yarn: Casapinka’s sample used a solid and a speckle (the PINK one). My beautiful friend Maresi is making our sample with Fat Bunny Yarn Poppy in Lime Slice and Fat Bunny Yarn Lucky sock in Dolphin Day (the GREEN one). They both look great!
To get the FREE pattern, simply buy 2 hanks of yarn and the code for the FREE pattern will be emailed to you to download. What a fun shawl that you can create with ease. Lots of colors to choose from, although Casapinka recommends the PINK!
Poppy comes in 16 poppin’ shades and plays so nicely with other yarns like our Lucky Sock base or Leap Sport base. I imagine it might be beeeeeeyoootiful with our Petal Silks, too. If you need a little help picking 2 colors, please reach out or look at our Fat Bunny Page on Instagram where we’ve been posting color combinations. We can’t wait to see the Hug Shot knit in Fat Bunny Yarn out in the wild.
Here’s the deal: Purchase any 2 hanks of Fat Bunny Yarn Poppy, Leap, Lucky or Petal Silks between now and June 7th and get the coupon code to redeem between June 5-7 for the Casapinka Hug Shot Shawl for FREE.
They can provide just the right elegant, sparkly accent to a fancy stitch or spice up a plain one.
And thanks to some very smart friends, I’ve learned a lot about making them easy to add to your work.
Check out how perfectly this “oil stain” bead makes this little stitch “pop”:
A few tools make the process of beading super easy: A tiny crochet hook ( I used a size 1.0 mm) and a bead holder.
It came with 10 hooks ranging in size from 0.5mm to 2.75mm
with a super cute zippered bag.
There are several types available, but I’m just thrilled with the set I got.
You can buy a bead holder, but I made this one from an old cd case and a piece of clear packing tape.
It holds the beads securely until I’m ready for them. It closes nicely and holds my tiny crochet hook. And it fits inside my project bag.
So here’s how the magic works:
First, using removable stitch markers,
mark the places you want to add beads, before you start to knit the row.
Knit your pattern and when you come to a marked stitch pull it off your left needle.
Don’t panic. The stitch marker will prevent the stitch from dropping.
Place the stitch back on the left needle,
With a little preparation and the right tools, you can add sparkle to any project with ease. So get beading!!
This weekend is going to be one of the yarniest weekends ever!
Yarn Lounge (yarnloungeco.com) comes to Lakeland, FL on Saturday, March 7th from 2-6 at Yard on Main.
Four Purls Yarn Shop has their 10 year anniversary party all weekend long. Check their website (fourpurls.com) for the details on all 3 days of fun!
Fat Bunny Yarn will be at Four Purls on Sunday March 8 for a meet & greet from 12-2. Come check out our new base Poppy only available at Four Purls during the Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl!
The Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl begins Friday March 6th with lots of great yarn shops throughout central Florida. Continuing through March 14, fun and prizes and 6 participating yarn shops!
This bunny is so excited about all the fiber friends and shopping and knitting and crocheting and spinning and weaving and all other sorts of yarntastic things. Our shop will be closed over the weekend and we will be doing yarnventory through Wednesday, March 11th.
Please look for the Fat Bunny Yarn logo on a tote bag at all these events. I’ll be carrying it and will be wearing a bright orange and pink shawl. My name is Maria and I hope to meet you!!
A few years ago, I met a young woman named Joy at a craft event. We shared pictures of our girls over mandalas and sugar skull sketches. Mine was a senior in high school and hers just a baby. The next day I got a Facebook friend request from her. I accepted and have had a backseat to a journey that no one should ever have to take.
Joy tells the story of how she and her husband sensed something was wrong with their beautiful little girl Aubrey. How they searched for a diagnosis, while watching her lose her speech, her motor skills, all the firsts they’d seen her achieve as she passed all those baby milestones we all see our babies have.
Just as most parents are struggling through the terrible twos with their kiddos, Joy and Bob learned that Aubrey had Rett Syndrome. ( https://www.girlpower2cure.org/our-cause/what-is-rett-syndrome/ )Who had even heard about Rett Syndrome?? It affects mainly little girls and strikes about 1 in 10,000 children. It presents challenges to purposeful hand utilization, and the ability to speak, breathe, eat and walk.
I’m sure there have been moments of the deepest despair, but I’ve never seen Joy with a negative attitude. The positive energy that she pours into Aubrey and her care, and their family and her business is contagious. I admire her like no other young mom I’ve ever known, like no other people I know. I pray for them every day…that God will give them strength and healing…that God will help a cure be found…that God will renew this mom’s energy so she can love and care and fight for her girl.
October is Rett Syndrome Awareness month. Girl Power 2 Cure (www.girlpower2cure.org) is an organization that provides education, support for Rett families and helps to support research. Fat Bunny Yarn will donate half the purchase price of their colorway Somebunny<3U to Girl Power 2 Cure. Not just during the month of October, but every time someone buys it. So, if you are browsing around our site, if you buy 1 hank of yarn from us, buy Somebunny<3U. It’s a great colorway and every hank sold helps a little girl and her family fight this battle against Rett Syndrome.
The yarn is where it started. I got some great yarn and I only bought 1 hank. It was gorgeous…all pink and orange and soft. What was I thinking? Discontinued…what??? How would I find this colorway?
So, I started dyeing. My first colors were using natural dyes…onion skins and avocado peels, flower petals, and black beans. Soft, delicate colors. But that pink and orange was still on my mind. I began venturing into other dyes and found my colors! My orange/pink variegated colorway was amazing–bold and sexy…like Jessica Rabbit! The colorway is called Oh, Jessica. (Yeah, its all about rabbits here)
Please make yourself cozy and take a hop around.