Catherine Friend
Catherine Friend

A Farm Moment: The Story Behind Barn Yarn

Creativity has a way of snowballing. Our story starts with my wife, Melissa, when she was about six years old, and became fascinated with keys—all keys. Her relatives began giving her their old keys, which Melisa kept in a little box.

A month ago we found her key collection while blasting through the attic in a frenzy of cleaning. I thought the keys deserved to be displayed, so I picked out the skeleton keys, scrounged up a scrape of barn board, and made this for our entry way:



I like it—kind of funky.

Creativity begets creativity. Our friends Jan and Marie came down one Sunday to help me dye yarn, and saw the key/barn board thing. The next weekend they came down again to dye, but this time suggested we try duplicating the barn wood.

We picked Oxblood red, Twilight Grey, and Pecan Brown, and I let Jan and Marie loose with six skeins of white yarn. Here’s the gorgeous yarn Jan and Marie made:


The Oxblood red pinked out a bit, but otherwise the yarn is a fun, weathered barn. (Some faded barns do end up looking pink.)

So that’s the story: from a kid’s key collection to wall art to barn yarn!…..


2 Responses

  1. Just love how we sometimes can bring a bit of our childhood into adulthood…especially in creative and delightful ways.

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The Big Pivot

About Me

After twenty-five years on the farm, I’m adjusting to the adventures of city life. Part of that adjustment is figuring out what I want to write about now, since sheep are no longer part of my daily life. I’m challenging myself creatively by painting with pastels and playing the ukelele as I seek my new writing path.


Occasional Newsletter

Catherine Friend is a fiscal year 2021 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.