We had a really, really nice summer here in our little corner of the US. Most days I was able to enjoy utilizing my outside Fiber Studio.
This is my outside Fiber Studio:
I, sitting in my backyard in my trusty little beach chair, with Stella snoozing nearby, have been spending the summer weaving, crocheting, spinning, felting, knitting, flicking, and washing and sorting fleece while watching the alpacas serenely graze. Sometimes they stop to curiously watch the passing wildlife or roll in the sand pile. They are very peaceful days filled with warm sunshine on my shoulders and soft grass under my feet.
The rains and snow and sunshine feed the soil which grows the grasses that in turn feed the alpacas who in turn grow the fleece that eventually can clothe people. What a sensation to watch this transformation happening over a year’s time. As the alpacas go about their daily job of, well, being alpacas, I stand back and just imagine what their fleeces turned into yarn will look like and what I can make with that yarn. My alpacas' different colors along with their individual personalities inspire me. Periodically I also stand in the barn and thank the alpacas for growing their lovely fleeces for me. They stare at me blankly then sniff at me for a treat.
There is something magical, meditative perhaps, most definitely purposeful, to caring for animals daily and then creating something to wear from their fleece, with your own hands. I spend a whole year watching the fleece grow as I care for the alpacas, by hand. In the spring the alpacas are shorn, by hand, and the fleece is carefully separated and then sorted by grade, by hand. Then the fleece is washed, by hand, dried in the sun, and by hand still, processed into a roving of sorts to be made into felt, by hand, or spun into yarn, by hand, and then crafted into a wearable, useable item, by hand.
Then you put this scarf or cowl or hat or shawl or sock or mitten or whatnot you've made yourself onto you and you just feel good. It’s a warming and peaceful sensation like summer sunshine on your skin after a long and snowy winter. I close my eyes and smile with gratitude for the alpaca that gave me this gift of soft, warm, comforting fleece to wear, who is living in my barn.
There are no words to describe it. Pure joy perhaps? It’s similar to the feeling of anticipation you get when you plant your garden and watch it grow, then pick the veggies from your own garden, and finally sit down to eat and oooh, it tastes so good.
Knowing where your food ~ and what’s really in it ~ comes from is very important. And joyful. And knowing where your clothing ~ and the fiber in it ~ comes from is equally important. And equally joyful. And it’s from own backyard, made with my own hands and soul.