Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I have been spinning a fair amount this spring, all of it from stash. That's not hard, because my spinning stash is pretty large. When I counted boxes back in January, I had 10 boxes of spinning fiber; I've spun up a box or so by now and am working on another. But then there are the fleeces and fleeces and fleeces out in the garage ... and so I ask myself, where did it all come from?

When I first started spinning, around 1994, I bought whatever I could find. That was quite a lot, since Davidson's Old Mill Yarn was close enough to get to on a (long) lunch hour. I wanted to experiment with all sorts of fibers, but I wanted to have enough to really do something with the resulting yarn. So I tended to buy pound or two of whatever caught my eye.

Shortly after that I discovered the joys of raw fleece. A new friend raised Shetland sheep, so I bought oh, one or two fleeces in every color. She got to the point of asking, "Are you sure you want another one?" Sarah, you were right, I wasn't keeping up with them!

And then there was the almost-local guild with the fabulous twice-yearly sales. Oh, my closets were bursting.

But you know, we all calm down after the initial rush. And I'm sure I would have started exerting a little more self-control except ... I got engaged. To a wonderful guy, but, you know, things were going to be different. For one thing, we were going to be living in the same house. We hadn't even been living in the same time zone up to that point, so my stash was going to be a tiny bit more visible than it had been up to that point. For another, I was going to give up my job without having another one lined up.

So I did the obvious thing: I stocked up. Hey -- who knew what being married would really be like? Maybe I'd have to ask before I bought wool. I mean, it's not like I was going to have an income or anything. And besides, my lines of supply would be interrupted. I knew there were probably sheep in Minnesota, but I'd be in a big city. And married. (Perhaps I was a little freaked out.) So I bought myself a sort of dowry.

Then of course it turned out that the wonderful guy I married was still wonderful after I married him. And of course Minnesota has sheep. And spinners. And while I was looking around for a job I tried my hand at importing wool from England -- not so successful, but hey, if you want a short, coarse Welsh Black Mountain fleece, I'm your gal, I've got three or four in the garage, along with some Masham and I can't remember what all else.

Since I had kids and moved to Oklahoma (pretty nearly simultaneously) I've been pretty well under control. But I do seem to be reverting ... last year I bought a beautiful Finnsheep fleece, and two lovely alpaca fleeces. And I might just have ordered a black Shetland (because remember the millions of Shetland fleeces I bought in 97-98? I'm almost out of black.)

Do you think I'm nervous about something?

P.S. So I started wondering just how much there was in the garage, and I ran out to count. 20 rubbermaid tubs (ranging from the little ones that are about 25 gallons to the huge 60 gallon ones), three smallish boxes, one huge box that doesn't count because it's the background for the catfish locker hooked rug, four fleeces in sacks because the tubs are all full, and three huge sacks like feed sacks on steroids, full of the British fleeces. Plenty. But this is SO EXCITING because I spotted a tub that was not in with the regular stacks, and wondered what was in it, and there are all kinds of fiber odds and ends including the spindle I've been searching for since last summer! Yeah! What do you suppose I should count so that I can find the yarn & chart I need to finish up the Blue's Clues sweater?

P.P.S. Of course lots of the tubs aren't really full because I don't split up fleeces so, you know, it's not like I have an entire wall of the garage full of wool. Just of containers of wool, which is not the same thing at all.

P.P.P.S. Oh! and the tin of buttons I've been looking for since 2002! This was clearly where I scooped all the fiber mishmash when we moved to this house -- how could I have overlooked it for five years? I have way too much stuff. Rest assured I am sorting through this with a recycling bag on one side and a trash can on the other.

1 comment:

Shan said...

I love that you felt you had to "stock up" on fleeces before marriage.

An aside - what tree skirt are you Xstitching? I have been procrastinating starting a Charles Wysocki one I've had the stuff for, for about 7 years, and I am also sorely tempted by about three other patterns. I don't work on it much because knitting is so much faster.