Wool, Completing the Circle

 Last Summer’s Wool

It’s a spring and fall ritual.   Picking up last autumn’s wool from the Mill in the spring, shearing the sheep, then dropping off the new wool at the Mill.  Then the same thing in the fall.  Having the sheep and selling the wool has created a new calendar at the farm.  It breaks the year up into two halves. One that starts in the spring and ends in the fall and another that begins in the fall and ends in the spring.

When Jon and I first decided to get sheep, it was a practical decision.  They’d be good for Red, and Jon loves to herd and I could sell the wool.  But, it’s become more than that.  The sheep change the rhythm of the farm.   Red herds the sheep, the donkeys protect the sheep, Jon and I take care of the sheep and they give us wool, the joy of herding, photos and stories and soon, lambs.  Without them, each of us lose a job, a purpose.  Sure we could live without them, but they complete a creative circle, connecting us all in a unique way.

Then their wool goes out into the world, scattered across the country, so that someone in California, or South Carolina is knitting or weaving a piece of Bedlam Farm.  And the circle grows.  This time I’m going to keep a skein from myself.  One of Tess’.  I don’t know how I’ll use it yet, but I feel like I want to take the whole process a step further, not just selling the wool, but being part of its transformation.  And connecting me even further to everyone else out there who’s doing the same.

8 thoughts on “Wool, Completing the Circle

  1. Good for you, Maria! So glad you’re thinking about using some of Tess’ wool/yarn. It is wonderful to knit with (and crochet), but I’m sure you will think of other ways to incorporate it into your work. I love the earthy texture and color of Tess’ fleece. It makes me think of peat bogs. You could even use Tess’ yarn to stitch a design on a ready-made thrift store sweater. Duplicate stitch is really easy and a plain sweater makes a great canvas for the kind of design work and drawing that you do. Roger sometimes uses bits of yarn left over from projects I complete in his multi-media collages. Perhaps you’ll consider using some of the yarn to make an added border for your hankie scarves or as braided tassels for quilted hangings and pillows. I have a wonderful, small book that offers lots of ideas for tassels, braids and trims that incorporate yarn. If you’d like to borrow it for ideas, I’d be happy to send it to you.

    1. Susan, the first thing that came to mind was a braided tassel. I love to knot and wrap too. I’m sure I’ll be able to use it someway. Thanks for the offer of the book, but I think I’ll just see what comes.

  2. I’m glad you are keeping a skein from Tess. You’ll find a way to use it and keep her memory close and warm.

  3. What a wonderful idea to keep some of Tess’s wool. I think you should make something special just for yourself. You will be able to look at it all of the time, and that way you keep a little something special of her just for you. That is a loving thought and a wonderful way to keep her close to you.

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