Tag Archives: alpaca fiber

The Land Breakers

Currently I am reading a book, The Land Breakers, by John Ehle. It was one of the book orders I placed with my family for Christmas and luckily they complied. 🙂  The book was published in 1964 and is a novel about the first white settlers in Appalachia set in 1779.

I was reading it the other day as I rode the bike at the gym.  I came upon 2 lines on page 107 that caused me to stop breathing for a few seconds because they put into words something deep inside me that I have always known and could never find the words to explain.

I imagine most would read them here or in the book and leave scratching their heads about why this would be interesting. These words don’t describe a choice of feelings.They do describe an undeniable and good force that won’t leave some of us alone. We don’t even want it to.

“The family and the clearing and the crops and the stock and the tools were part of the same thing. The family and the place were the same thing and could not be separated one from the other.”

They describe something inside some of us since birth I think. A feeling of deep connection, working cooperatively with living things around us, that although we are part of the picture on our property,  humans are not IMG_0920 the whole picture. It is a wonderful feeling.

permaculture beginnings

Me with Boone

Not my lamb but I enjoy them when I get the chance!

cat spinning

My little sweetheart helping me spin

I still can’t explain it. It does help to explain why one of my favorite things is to be home working on things, why I only want to travel if it means spending the bulk of time with family and friends, why even on those trips I have in the back of my mind the number of days until I can get back to New England and these things.

Cape Sunset

A Cape Cod winter sunset

It just is.

wool dyed with marigolds

Dyed with my marigolds

sourdough breads

My sourdough concoctions

Hurray for Sheep Festivals!

The Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Festival was this past weekend. I wasn’t driving so I decided to engage in risky wool activity. Using combs with many sharp points in a moving car.

combing in car

combing fiber in the car

Steve expressed concern that if I liked combing in the car I might try to buy a picker at the festival and use it in the car on the way home. 🙂 But I didn’t.

picker with fiber

wool picker

Cotswold family

Cotswold mother and babies

The cutest thing I saw was a mother Cotswold sheep with her two babies.  Cotswolds are rare sheep and their fleece is long and curly. For some reason I loved the mother even more than the babies. I think it was her calm but observant demeanor and lovely curls.

I learned a lot about processing flax plants to be spun into linen at a very informative display in the fiber tent. It is quite a process to get it ready to spin but it is  durable. She had linens from the 1800s still in perfect condition. Funny how we still call sheets linens even though mine at least are cotton.

Hetchels to process flax

Hetchel to prepare flax for spinning

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needless to say I found it exciting to see more sharp pointy tools.

Our friend Dorothy had her booth full of beautifully naturally dyed yarn and fleece from her Icelandic sheep.

dorothy's booth

Dorothy’s naturally dyed Icelandic skeins and fibers

Dorothy's fleeces

Dorothy’s Icelandic fleeces

She can be found at https://www.facebook.com/dorothy.benedict

We had a covert fiber meet up at the trunk of the car and later this lovely box of alpaca fibers Alpaca fiber boxto spin resulted. Even though half of them are mine I still want to buy it.

 

All in all  pretty good day. Spent time with friends, saw lots of sheep and learned new fiber information. What more could I ask?

I returned home with car combed fiber  without impaling my head or piercing my arm. They will look so pretty in batts. and I felt so efficient.  Should I keep a set of combs in the car that I can use at traffic lights? 🙂 Or use to fight off car jackers?

combed Gulf Coast

Fiber combed in car

The blue fiber is from a Leicester longwool sheep and the coral colored is from a Gulf Coast sheep named Fernando. They are both rare and both live on Iris Creek Farm in Scotland CT.

Lots of good memories made on that day.