Everything was arrayed on a table in the elementary school cafeteria, ready as could be. I stood, tuft of orange fiber in one hand, doing something I've been doing most of my life, as children started filing in. They seated themselves at the cafeteria tables, murmuring to each other: “What is she doing?” A light dawned in one girl's eyes. “She's making YARN! From stuff that isn't yarn! With that stick thingy! She is! She's making yarn!” I grinned.
Taking Good Care
There is a day in August that I yearn for: when crickets begin to chorus, when the light shifts and the nights go cool. There it is, the turn of summer, and with it the urge to make ready once again for the next season. As surely as Monarch butterflies are once more migrating to Mexico and my neighbor repeats his annual stacking of a third cord of firewood, I lift the lid of my cedar chest and breathe in the scent of wool.
The cedar chest is a memory cave. In a moment akin to meeting dear friends after a long separation, I peer in and fondly survey a collection of scarves, sweaters, and mittens dutifully folded away at the first heat of summer. At least eight weeks have passed without wearing wool! My impatience with late July’s heat and humidity fade. In that heap of color and texture is the promise that sweater weather is imminent. Here begins my autumnal ritual of renewing my acquaintance with my three-season companions. I’m caught up in the joy of reunion and, on closer observation, practicality. What? Missing buttons? Spaghetti sauce on the elbow of my best pullover? Holes in my cashmere scarf?
Shearing and Sharing: Community Supported Fiberculture Catches On
Supported Agriculture has been popularized in the last decade by
families looking for alternatives to the super in their market. The
weekly ritual of driving out to the farm to pick up the share box full
of organic vegetables with leaves and dirt intact, to shake the hand of
that farmer supports small scale farming, open space, sustainability,
and recovers part of the connection to nature that is completely erased
from the stacks of plastic hydroponic lettuce cartons at the grocery
Many knitters and spinners feel the same way about their wool. The Internet has expanded the horizon for information, availability, and options for yarn, and lately, those options have come to include a fiber culture version of the traditional CSA.