Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Magic by the Skein

Yesterday, I picked up Joe and two of his buddies at preschool and returned to find three boxes of long awaited yarn-- fresh from the fiber mill-- on the porch! Dan and had I sent off these fleeces quite some time ago and so, for a moment or two, it was Christmas in January around here.

Such a joy to see the way the flock's subtle colors translate into beautiful, unique yarn and roving! Delving into each new bag, I'd murmur "Oh, it's Maya's, or Copper's or Leela's. Oooh, Wow!" The three four-year-olds just shrugged and wandered off to build a "parking lot" in the snow off the front porch steps. But for me, that moment held more than a little magic. Like our cherished lambs, these skeins embody so much labor and love. We muck and repair and clip and nourish; we eke hay money from our impossible budget, and equipment and supplements and vet bills; we debate and discuss and strategize (well, there's not soooo much strategizing...); we suffer heartbreak, or pasture breaches or ramly insults; we leave the kids to entertain themselves more often than we should; we work long hours far from home, and return to find ourselves hip deep in farmyard dramas of every stripe.... And we wouldn't have it any other way. This beautiful fiber embodies all of that. What's more: It will be the foundation for a whole other sort of labor, a sweater or blanket or some other cherished item with a whole new set of stories to tell. "Pretty cool" doesn't even begin to cover it.

I wonder if I will always feel that little bit of magic, even when I'm an old hand, opening up my fiftieth box of fiber. I hope so!

And, if I do say so myself, our sheep make beautiful fiber! It is soft and warm, and the natural color, unique for each ewe and ram, is really amazing.

We are hoping to get the yarn and roving up on the farm website shortly-- and much jazzier photos too. But, for now, here are a few "kitchen table" pictures just because I am so darn proud!


Leigh said...

What yummy colors! Oh yes, you have every right to be proud.

rooster said...

it looks awesome!

Mimi said...

It's amazing how pretty the yarn is in it's natural state. I wish I knew how to knit. The dark yarn would make a pretty sweater!

Christy said...

What gorgeous yarn. Are you going to be selling it? I'm not the greatest knitter yet but this yarn might inspire me!

Perri said...

We've just put this batch up on our farm website (
I am not much of a knitter (yet) but I can say that this yarn certainly inspires me as well. And the roving, too.It felts beautifully. Now I'll have to tackle dying :)