In honor of the occasion I will post the first of a three part Yarn of Yarnnation. As always, a commenter will be chosen at random to receive a gift from the abundant natural resources of our lovely little land. The bonus this time, I will choose one commenter for each part of the series. So, three of you will actually get a happy little package in the mail! YEAH!
No without further adieu. . .
You would think that young wool would be protected from the wider world while we are still “in the pasture,” but really, we hear about life after shearing. You know, the sweaters that the shepherdess wears, the horse blankets, the children’s hats and mittens, they tell us stories.
We understand from a very young age that not all wool will be put to work as something glamorous, or even desirable. It depends on the breed of the sheep you grow on as well as how well you take care of yourself, and even the skill and dedication of your shepherdess.
Well, my batch knew we had what it takes to become something special. We were merino, after all. The sweaters warned us to take care to keep hay out of our locks, the gray Aran often told us of the merino dress sweater she shared a closet with. At night I dreamed of that merino sweater's escapades, and each day I rededicated myself to tightening my crimp. We all dreamt of the sweaters, wraps and scarves that we hoped to become.
Shearing day finally came, and we were all terribly excited. We shook all the vegetation we could from our lanolin slicked locks and whispered excitedly as we were loaded onto a truck.
We arrived at a mill and the uncomfortable transition from fleece to fiber began. The scouring and the combing were far from enjoyable. While I found being lanolin free rather enjoyable, being soaked in water without my grease was alarming to say the least. Having my locks split apart was a bit frightening, but after the initial shock it was fun getting to know other fleeces' locks.
We all speculated about what color we would be dyed and what weight we would be spun. At long last I was picked as part of a batch that was dyed a lichen green and spun to a four ply fingering weight. While we never knew exactly what we would be knit into, as that happened in a different factory, we knew that a light weight meant that we were destined to be something delicate, something to be treasured!
I was near the end of my section and was able to watch much of batch be gleefully transformed into perfect even singles and then plied into a shiny, drapey yarn. My anticipation grew the more I watched. I was going to be something so beautiful! Suddenly I was being lifted toward the machines, my dreams were on the verge of realization, I felt as though I were floating on a cloud. That heavenly anticipation was jolted from me when suddenly the machinery stopped, and so did my heart.
I was pulled roughly from mid air where I was hanging and stuffed into a plastic bag. My locks which had been so carefully combed, slipped and slid across one another and were soon just short of a tangled mess. However, the state of my locks was nothing in comparison to my psyche as my carefully planned and hard earned dreams were unceremoniously ripped from me.
What was happening? Why was I not being spun into yarn at this exact moment? My mind was whirling. I was frantic. I peered through the clear plastic bag and my senses were suddenly heightened with emotions the farm had never prepared me for. Anger, fear, confusion, and disbelief each crashed over me one after another.