Girl From the North Country

April 21, 2011 | My Jottings

No, I’m not the girl from the north country. Bob Dylan had someone else in mind when he wrote that song a long time ago.

“Girl From the North Country” is the name of a yarn colorway that my daughter Sharon designed. I saw all the denim-y blues and the subtle shades of turquoise and gray, and the hints of green and even lilac, and I snatched up the yarn in about four seconds. I’m still a beginner knitter but I’m really enjoying it. I don’t know when I’ll ever graduate from making scarves to trying something more complicated and attempting to read a pattern — probably when I’ve knit a scarf for every person I know, which might take some time.

I can do the stockinette stitch, the garter stitch, and am making this current scarf in a ribbed pattern for someone I love very much. I held the yarn up to her eyes and it matches perfectly. If ever the Minnesota driver’s licenses allowed enough room for her to put under eye color: “grayish-greenish-aqua-blue,” then Carolyn could claim that description for her eyes and it would be perfectly true.

Here’s a photo of the scarf almost finished:

Yarn photography isn’t easy and this shot doesn’t do the “Girl From the North Country” yarn colorway justice, but it’s the best I could do with an old digital camera that temperamentally turns off and on of its own accord as I’m trying to take flashless pictures.

This scarf has a few mistakes design elements in it that will surely give it some character. I hope Carolyn will wear it this coming winter (yes, it’s currently April in Minnesota, but snow and below-zero temperatures are on their way; they’re always on their way in this part of the country) and feel wrapped in warmth and her mama’s love.

And now, back to Bob Dylan. I’ll bet most of you didn’t know that Bob and my husband Michael are cousins. I should try to figure out someday what degree of cousinhood they share — is it second cousins once removed? First cousins thrice removed? Third cousins nothing removed? We don’t know. Robert Allen Zimmerman was born in our city and grew up about an hour northwest of where we live. We have never met him and I’m sure Bob doesn’t have any idea that we have his huge family Bible in our possession. It’s full of various and sundry Zimmermans he would be well-acquainted with. Michael’s paternal grandmother was a Zimmerman, and somewhere in that weird and creative gene pool we are linked to the enigmatic man who wrote “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Mr. Tambourine Man,”  “Gotta Serve Somebody,” and countless other songs.

This lovely colorway that Sharon dyed is one of her one-of-a-kind creations and isn’t available on her website. But I told her I thought she should reconsider and try offering “Girl From the North Country” as a regular yarn. I don’t know if it would be a big seller or not, but I would guess that girls from the north country might like it a lot, and maybe even Bobby Zimmerman might hear about it and buy a skein or two.

Why not?


  1. Sharon says:

    I love how that’s knitting up! Good work!

  2. Just Julie says:

    Thank you! 🙂

  3. Carey says:

    I love how the scarf is coming along and the colors are gorgeous! Please tell Sharon that I would love enough of this yarn to make a scarf for myself. (Would she be willing to make a bit more?) And once I finish knitting it, I’ll use it as a prop while photographing my sea glass jewelry. It’ll be a perfect match! 🙂

  4. Just Julie says:

    I didn’t even think of that but you’re right, Carey – the colors of this yarn look like sea glass! I’m hoping Sharon will make more – I’ll let you know. 😉

  5. Shawna says:

    Hey, cool to know about Bob and your family! We are the proud owners of an antique couch that belonged to Bob’s brother. He apparently slept on it for which there is not a shred of dander left for us to prove, but we indulge the idea nonetheless 🙂 Our alley neighbor grew up with and bought the couch from the aforementioned brother and then we(being the dedicated fans that we are) snatched it for a song from our neighbor. Small world we live in!

  6. Just Julie says:

    Hi Shawna! I would love to see a photo of the antique couch someday. I have a friend in California who (very long story) actually has in her downstairs bathroom a toilet that used to belong to O.J. Simpson. Somehow I think Bob Dylan’s brother’s couch is a much more respectable possession than O.J.’s toilet. 🙁 I hope you have a blessed Easter and spring, Shawna….

  7. Ganeida says:

    Bob is cool. Having his family bible is even cooler. 😀

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.