Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wool is .... well, wool!

I just love wool. I found the perfect quote from Elizabeth Zimmerman: For people allergic to wool, one's heart can only bleed. It is truly marvelous how many different kinds of wool there are, and how breeder's are constantly changing the quality and quantity of the wool. I just got an email from Knitter's Review. The story is about a sheep farmer in New Zealand who imported some sheep, bred them over a period of ten years, and now has his own breed of sheep that carries the farms name- Stansborough Grey. Evidently they are born black, and as they age they turn grey. They separate the colors at shearing to light, medium, and dark. Not only do they sell the fiber, but the yarn and yardage from their own weaving mill. Well, I am impressed! You have seen the yardage if you have seen The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Their yardage made the elven cloaks, and I think one of the hobbits had on some cloak, too. I have three bags of fleece sitting in my kitchen waiting to be washed. If it ever stops raining again. I just love touching the stuff. My husband could never understand how I could stand the smell. Farm smells are a bit overwhelming for the faint of heart. I love to smell Buddy the horse. It is such a distinct "horse smell". I love to lay my head on his side and just pat him. I use aged horse manure for fertilizer for the gardens. A friend of mine has Arabian horses, and he is good each Spring and Fall for a truck load of aged horse manure. He always piles it near the road, so whoever comes by can easily load it in. But the aged manure has a distinct smell from fresh. It is the "good" smell of compost.

Well, needless to say, I am being very poetic this morning about smells. But I love all the senses. The feel of handspun after it is washed and blocked. It is so springy, spongy, or something. It blooms to something unimaginable. I remember my first experience of buffalo. I was not in love with this. It was dry, dusty, short fibers, hard to spin, yucky! But I persevered. When washed, and blocked, it still didn't look like anything. As soon as I released the tension from the blocker- SPRONG! It was magic! Literally! It bloomed into this light, airy, bit of fluffy stuff. Yet yarn! It was gorgeous!

I love to lay in my bed and suddenly hear Buddy running in the pasture. He is old, and does not have many spontaneous, kick-up-your heels, buck-around, feel-good, runs. But when he does, he reminds me of Snoopy doing the Spring dance! I will run to the window and just watch him.

So it is good to have all five senses working when you are knitting, spinning, or working with fiber. I mentioned the other day about the feel of this Fortissima yarn I am knitting into a sock. I have begun the foot now, and I just stop and smush the sock together. It feels really good. I think the person that wears this will like this sock.

Well, speaking of smells, I need to get ready and go into town for my weekly grocery run. Shower and put on fresh clothes. What a novel idea! I think I will eat lunch out today. That would be a treat!

Have a happy feely, smelly, heary, seey, and tasty day!

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