Knitting as Storytelling

The Convertible Mittens Glyndalyn’s working on now.    Made from either Socks’ or Pumpkin’s wool.

Glyndalyn’s been buying my wool for a couple of years now.  She said she likes working with it and sent me some photos of what she’s made with it.  I don’t knit, so in a way, I live out the life of my sheep’s wool vicariously through the people who buy it and make it into something useful and beautiful as Glyndalyn has.

I’ve always felt that when people can get to know my sheep through Jon’s and my photo’s and writing it  can make the wool have more meaning.  But when Susan wrote me today she talked about it in a way I never considered.  I think it would take someone actually doing the knitting to have the meaning it does for someone like Susan.  She wrote:

“I must say that actually having met the sheep that produce the yarn/roving and knowing a couple of generations of those sheep makes this wool priceless to me.  There is true beauty/poignancy in using the wool of one generation, say Ma for instance, and knitting it with her lamb’s wool, Deb, and adding some of Ted’s.  It physically memorializes so much and like cloth itself, that concept of continuity is just so deep in many different aspects.  When I use the yarn from your flock, I think all the time of the stories of your different sheep; knitting becomes a form of storytelling.” 

I can certainly understand this in the same way I find meaning in the fabric that comes from so many different people and their stories.  Susan  is also a quilter and makes quilts using  the clothes from her family but she said that using the wool  from the many generations of sheep is actually more visceral because she’s using an actual piece of the sheep to create something.

I spent a lot of time when I was getting my MFA unraveling doilies that my grandmother made and making them into something new.  And I always saw the kink of the cotton thread as the history of the doiley.  To me it seemed a secret language.   Now I see how true it is.  With each knitted stitch a story is being told. The story of the sheep, the person doing the knitting and whatever they choose to create.

Glyndalyn’s Scarf  made from my sheep’s wool, Suzy’s I think.


Glyndalyn’s Convertible Mittens that she made from my sheep’s wool  a couple of years ago.

I still have some wool from my sheep for sale.  You can see what I have available here.



3 thoughts on “Knitting as Storytelling

  1. Susan said it so well! Is she your friend who knit the fingerless mittens that you sold at your October open house? I love those mittens – have been wearing them almost every day.

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