When I first mentioned to folks that we were getting sheep or had sheep for the purpose of fiber, the natural question that followed was "Are you a spinner?" "Not yet" was my reply. And that's what I meant, truly. Though I had (have) no idea what I'm doing, I had no doubt that I would be a spinner, since the day I started knitting. Well before we had a farm, I just knew that sometime, somewhere, somehow spinning would be a part of my life - it was just one of those things you know, you know? And here we are, with the pieces falling into place, one step at a time, filling in the gap from sheep to knitting. Which is all to say that last Friday night I found myself with five sleeping children (a miracle in and of itself), with a bathtub full of my very first fleece from my very own sheep. With glass of wine, and knitting at my side, I washed it (and washed it and rinsed it and washed it and rinsed it, oh my!). Through the weekend, it dried on an old, retired (it doesn't fit any doorways here) mesh baby gate.
On Sunday, quite by chance and quite by good luck, a pair of Ashford hand carders landed in my lap from a neighboring farmer (and spinner). And with those in my hands, the carding began. Before I even realized what was happening, I was sitting on the front porch drop spindling my very own wool. And it all felt quite wonderful, and amazing, and just as it should be. A bliss just like I had imagined.
What I hadn't quite imagined, but should have, is that we'd all be doing it. While my mind was being blown from the reality of what I was doing on that rocker on the front porch, there were simultaneous minds being blown at my side. Harper sat at my side with a skein of bright pink yarn shouting, "out the gate, through the window, off jumps jack! I got it!" (he was close, anyway).
And a step down from him was my Adelaide, my co-shephardess who hasn't quite found her way with knitting or spinning yet, but so desperately wants to play with the fiber from the sheep she loves. There she was, with her own mind being blown as she discovered needle felting. "Mom, it's ART and MY SHEEP, together!" She hasn't put that foam pad and basket of roving down since.
With these two happily at my side on their own fiber art, I'm slowly but steadily filling up a basket of rolags. Because I've got a date on the calendar with a spinner and a wheel. Oh yes...filling the gap between sheep and knitting. (All of us.)