A precious art teacher who I've had the privilege of working with at the Greenville County Museum of Art asked me a while ago if I could knit a slouchy hat for her to cover her dreadlocks when she does winter car duty at her school. Since it was just about time for a group of students that she had delivered to begin class, I gave her the keys to my car & told her to root around through the bin of handspun that I had not unloaded from market & throw the skein she liked on the front seat for me to deal with after class. She'd chosen an awesome green/orange/brown Merino skein.
Later that night I began searching for "slouchy hat" patterns on line. She was apparently doing the same & we both ended up at the same blog (http://atyarnsend.blogspot.com/2010/01/pattern.html ) so it was meant to be. I only had about 150 yards of the yarn she had chosen so the next time I saw her I brought along a black & white skein of Jacob that I'd spun that week as well as a handful of a pretty off-white Shetland fleece that my sweet husband had shorn just a few days prior. She chose the Shetland & I got to work. I gently washed the wool but left some lanolin in & spun a very textured yarn. I was actually splitting my time between knitting with the Merino yarn & spinning the Shetland. I wanted her to have pretty color around her face & then be able to work the neutral Shetland into the top of the hat to stretch the colored yarn.
I delivered it to her in her classroom this morning. We actually made a little bit of a show for her students out of the fact that she had asked me to create a project, I had done it to suit her & she was now paying me for my time, materials & skill. I also took along a sample of the original wool & gave her a picture of some of our Shetland sheep. In return she paid me & also gifted me with a lovely little tote bag that she had sewn. The money that I walked out of her school with goes right into the hay fund here & so will go back to the sheep. All in all, it was a very fulfilling endeavor.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Now I am filling a few orders and tackling the enormous stash of fleeces from our own spring shearing as well as from the other farmers that Al shears for who don't want their wool. If I look at the stacked bags of fleeces all at once it is overwhelming. If I pull a bag out, sort it well and put it out to soak and dry the task seems like something I can accomplish. I spun through the best of a lovely little Shetland fleece just last night. I needed the yarn to finish knitting a hat so just pressed on. It looks as though the winter will be spent taking tiny bites out of the elephant-sized stockpile of dirty wool. And, hopefully, getting back into a more regular blogging routine.