Sweet Leah, the ewe who gave me this beautiful fleece! Unwashed, it weighs in just under 5 pounds. The majority of the fleece is grey, but it's speckled with brown, black and tan bits that I've been carding to make a gorgeous heather. I've been working through it slowly and deliberately, savoring the feeling of lanolin on my hands and taking the time to admire every perfect lock. They're still so connected when you pull them out and away from the fleece, all bundled up in a ball in its bag, you can still see the clear lines of where the shearer cut the fleece away from the sheep and how it all was laid out in one huge motion. It's as close as I can get to this farm without actually living there!
When I step back to think about it, working with these fibers sometimes seems crazy. I live in suburban North Carolina, and much of the processing that I do happens not in a farm yard in work boots amidst flocks of animals, but on my 10x10 back porch and in my kitchen sink. My fleece dries in our spare bedroom. Moreso, though, it makes me grateful for where I live, that my husband can pursue his passions at a major medical center 15 minutes away, and I can drive less than an hour out in to the country and bring back treasures like this one. Farmers are closer than you probably think! And to get to experience their way of life and the fruits of their labor is why I'm so passionate about this work. It's a really amazing thing.
I hope this Wednesday, you get to work on projects that bring you joy!