Monday, September 29, 2008

And at last. . .

The second winner is Megan! Another non-knitter (I believe?) Megan and Bop, send me your head circumference and color of preference!

Now, PAY ATTENTION, the last give away will only be chosen from THIS POST, so be sure to comment on THIS POST. The last give away will be the yarn from this story. If you are not a knitter, I will knit you a hat (or possibly something else) from this yarn for you.

And now, the final part of Yarn of Yarnnation #4.

My day did come, nearly a week after we first arrived. I was packaged together with a pound of tropical orange merino and a pound of shady green merino. We were given our new plastic bags and compacted into a box. In the dark, unable to observe our journey we began our dreaded travel.

Several times a day we were moved, dropped, or slid across some surface, but mostly we just bumped along in trucks and vans. We noticed gradual changes in the air. It warmed a bit as we traveled; it rained for a day or so. It warmed again, and at last we were deposited outside somewhere I knew because I could hear birds chattering and the breeze flowing through the trees.

There we sat, waiting, wondering, reminding one another to breath. It was certainly less than an hour, but it was an seemingly interminable hour. Footsteps approached and a female voice called out in clear excitement, “It’s here!”

She scooped us up and in a few short moments our box was opened. Accustomed to the lightless box, we had been pulled from our bags and laid across a warm smooth surface before we realized that we were once again in a human home. As I took in my latest surroundings I wondered how my nerves could possibly withstand yet another move. What could we possibly be doing here? I realized that I no longer feared what was to come, I just couldn't bear the unknown any longer.

After this new woman had released us from our box and our bags she repackaged us in our plastic bags, but not so tight and carried us up a flight of stairs and into a tiny room. She placed us on a shelf and left us there. Still, we had no answers and my despair began to overpower me. I didn't know how I could continue.

Then I heard it, other wool, lots of wool, calling out to me and to my friends. "Hey there, what's wrong?" "Oh dear, they don't know why their here!" "Oh, lovelies, just calm down, there, there, you are in a great place." A beautiful bundle of Alpaca fluffed up next to me and when she was sure she had my attention she asked where we'd come from.
I told her our story, how we had been so happy on the farm, that we were so excited to be be spun and knit, and how we had been torn away at the last moment. . . Then I was shaking, I couldn't go on. Orange finished the story of our journey and our fear. There was silence and then Gray-green spoke in a quiet, almost lifeless voice. "Where are we now? Do you know what will become of us?"

For a brief tense moment there was not a sound, and then everyone was talking excitedly all at once. I couldn't tell what they were saying, it was all a jumble, but it was a happy jumble, it was a joyful noise mixed with lovely laughter. That babel of happiness lifted me. Even before the large bundle of Corriedale raised his voice to calm the crowd, I knew that I was home, that I was in a good place. The Corridedale said that our story wasn't usual among the wool in the closet. Most of them had been raised from lambhood to become hand spinning wool. Some of them had been hand dyed, some had not. Some had been combed, some had been carded. Some of the wool had come there right off the sheep, and hadn't even been washed, some had been combined with other wools and even with silk or bamboo, which I learned didn't grow on sheep at all, but came from worms and plants!

All of the wool that we had joined was there waiting to be spun, by hand. . . spun by hand. I didn't know what to say, I didn't know that wool was ever spun by hand anymore. I had heard that it had been long ago, that it was a very special and personal experience, but technology had streamlined the process. I couldn't hardly believe where I had landed. It felt like a dream.

For the next several days I would wake up in fright, thinking I was still in a dark, moving box, awaiting my doom. There was always someone there to sooth me, comfort me, and remind me that I didn't need to be afraid anymore. During the days I talked with so many different kinds of wool, Jacob, Wensleydale, Llama, Cormo, and many more. There was also a great deal of commercially spun yarn there, some of it had been spun for the purpose of being hand knit (can you imagine? being hand knit!) Some had even been mill ends like me. They had been spun into yarn, but then left over after the garments they had been slated to become were finished. They were very happy to be in the closet as well. We always felt we had a special bond, those of us who didn't grow up knowing that this would be our destiny, not even knowing that such a place existed.

One day I even learned that there was hand-spun yarn living in the closet, and what is more, there was even some hand-spun yarn in the closet that had been knit into something very special. I learned from the other wool that there were more than just this one closet, that there were other closets, and drawers and baskets where fiber in various forms spent time. The Duchess (as our spinner was called) often pulled fiber and yarn out of the closet, moved it around, put it back. There was a lot of travel within the house, and even out of the house, but thankfully, the fiber always returned with The Duchess, or sometimes, went to live with another knitter or spinner, in their closets. It was a long time before I could even think about what it would be like when my time came to be spun. I couldn't really imagine it, and I was so happy in the closet, that I didn't worry about when it would be.

Eventually, the Duchess did pulled me from the closet and I squealed a little in anticipation. I sat in another basket near a lot of hand-spun yarn for several weeks. We talked about what it was like, they told me where they had come from. Orange was even there. She had been spun into a sock weight and knew that the Duchess was planning on knitting socks with her! It was a lovely retreat.

I would by lying if I said that I wasn't a little bit impatient. . . but now that I was down in the living area I could see that with that cute little human crawling around, the Duchess didn't get much time to spin anymore. I knew she would get to me eventually.


Then one evening she pulled me from my bag. She began to sort my long since tangled fibers, and I remembered with horror the anxiety that had brought me to tie my fibers in knots and bunch them up in masses. She carefully removed all of these areas, and it felt wonderful to be rid of them, like I had been in pain and didn't even know it until it was gone. Then she began pre-drafting me. Stretching my fibers, letting the air in, loosening my strands. It was the most delightful sensation. Somewhat like what my tips felt when my sheep used to run, only it was everywhere.



Next she held me close to the wheel and I held my breath. It seemed so long ago that I had been in front of that big spinning machine, and now, here I was again in front of a spinning machine, only this one was small and lovely. She even had a name, the Duchess called her Tara.

I was laid close to an old spun piece of wool who cheerfully introduced herself as the lead, and told me that she would lead me through the flyer and onto the bobbin. As the wheel began to spin so did she. She warmly encouraged me to relax and enjoy every moment. My fibers naturally grabbed onto her and then we were off, flying, spinning, dancing through space. With each turn of the wheel the Duchess would slide her hands over a few more of my fibers, pulling them further apart, until I was nearly weightless, almost floating in mid-air. There were a few times I even though my fibers wouldn't stay locked together we were so open, but they always did!
I was being spun! I was being spun, by hand! Oh, the feeling in indescribable, to be so open and then in short dizzy moment, twisted together again in a strong straight line. It was so empowering.



At long last, I was once again that young fleece on the sheep, knowing that I was going to be something special!



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