I can hardly begin to describe what a pleasure it is to be spinning the sheep that I know. Truly. Sometimes, spinning their wool (and then knitting with it) is just as ordinary as can be - meditative and calming, soothing and rewarding in the finished product. But every once in a while, it dawns on me that I know the very animal from which this wool in my hands came from. This is Anne, I think. Anne who was born here two years ago to Emily. Anne who is the only ewe not to have lambs of her own. Anne who is a little more skittish than the rest, who takes a little more time to get close to, who kind of does her own thing. That Anne. She's the one whose fleece I'm spinning right now.
I know that with this next batch of fleeces it will be far more economical to combine by color rather than keeping it separate by sheep. And that will be wonderful too. But oh, it's a pleasure doing it this way now. Sheep by sheep. One at a time. Each one ball of roving, each skein of yarn, each finished object connected to an animal, a certain personality and spirit, that lives in our backyard. It is a joyful and fulfilling feeling, to be sure.
Anne is now all spun up (is that the proper terminology? It sounds good), and at least I can say that I'm consistent in the results. Similar to Cinnamon, Anne's fleece started out weighing 1 pound, 7 ounces and finished as just a little over 400 yards of what is knitting up to be an aran weight yarn (because I'm still a one trick pony...maybe someday I'll get to a worsted or even - gasp - sportweight!).
I did start knitting with Cinnamon. I'm making a Shalom, this my third, but first of course with my own yarn. I'm excited about that. Opening up all of my currently in-progress projects bags, however, made me laugh a bit. All is well and good for now, but I best get knitting on all four of these before the depths of winter hit. Because come February, March and April, the rule is all color all the time. Maybe that's when it will be time to start playing with some dye. For now, though...with the riot of color outside on the trees and on the ground, and the flurry of the season, all these neutral, soothing colors are just right. And, well, just so happen to remind me of those sheep of ours out in the pasture.