spinning


Back before the Llama, I promised yarn.  This is what I did with one of those crazy coloured batts:

multi

I spun it (obviously) and then I’d been going to ply it with something dark, á la that purple and blue stuff Emily gave me ages ago, but then I remembered I had quite a lot of blackface dyed with some red wine that had gone off.  It came out a strange sort of not-quite-pink, not-quite-gray neutral, and was oddly soothing to me.  So I plyed it with that instead, and I quite like it!  I also love the texture difference between the rambouillet and blackface singles.  Blackface is a fuzzier, bouncier wool, and in contrast with the smooth-but dull R, it looks so earthy!

I’m going to wind up with around 500 m DK weight when the other batt is finished, and I’m leaning towards playing around some more with shadow knitting.

I’ve also been carding and dying.  In addition to a llama, I have also picked up more wool.  I now have an embarrassment of  Lincoln longwool.  Shiny!  (Yes, that is a Firefly reference because I am a big nerd, but also it is accurate – the wool is shiny.)

lincoln1

This particular lump of wool (she says, determinedly doing a really crappy sell-job) is up in my…. da da da! Etsy store.  (link on upper right)  Yep, finally set it up.  Not that there is much in it at the moment, but there it is.

Aargh!  Ok.  In relation to the Etsy store, I just typed in a big intro to the fact that I am starting a fibre co-op, as I have wanted to do since the sheep first moved in.  And then my finger did something weird and it all went away.

I’m going to have more (clearly needed) coffee now, and then I will come back later and do a post all about the co-op (or CSA if you prefer), which should probably have it’s own post anyway, for reference.  Yes.  That is better.  I meant to do that.

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I am currently binge-knitting.  Socks, glove-y things, a shrug, that sweater, and some mittens.

The glove-y things, these ones:

garterglove

are the garter stitch mitts by Ysolda Teague.  (Ravelry PDF here, if I did that right.)

I quite like this pattern.  The shaping is  original and really works, it results in a close-fitting glove that’s actually shaped like a hand, and no funny gaps at the thumb opening.  There is no actual thumb, but I suppose you could put one on after if you wanted.  Or even during, if you didn’t mind a little stitching, but I digress.  Point is it’s a neat pattern, and knitting mittens sideways is fun.

Mine are made in some yarn from the IYS, no idea what except that it is a wool-and-something-plastic blend, in a worsted-weight single.  It is soft.  It is smooth.  Very smooth; it slid on my steel needles like warm butter.  But not too slippy, just smooth enough that the knitting was quick and easy.  It does fuzz and pill somewhat, which I think is kind of par-for-the-singles-course, but I’ve seen worse.  There is nothing not to like about this yarn.

And I hate it.  Loath it.  Am damn near ready to chuck it in the furnace and heat the house with it. The sight of it, sitting there in my knitting basket waiting for me is starting to really annoy me.  I am getting angry at yarn, how’s that for wasted energy?

Now, I have given this yarn every chance.  It’s not like I’m basing my opinion on a single pair of mitts!  I knit a little capelet out of it, years ago.  I have never worn it, not once – because I hate the yarn.

I used it as one of a couple of knit-with-two-strands yarn in a big sweater I made, also a few years back now.  Didn’t much like it then either, although that sweater did get worn, too bloody often in fact because it was really way to big for me – I swear the skinny model they had it on must’ve had shoulders like a halfback, because the thing sure wouldn’t stay on mine!  I frogged it recently, and the other yarn in it is what I used for that hoodie two posts ago.  Which means I have a pile of this chubby single again.

I have braided this yarn into my hair, which it should be good for because it has that bit of slip, and so doesn’t get tangled easily.  But I don’t like it.

And then I knit these mitts.  And so I think I can say with a fair amount of experience now, that I hate this blinkin’ yarn.  Further, I think that with all it’s good qualities, I must hate it because it is a single.  I think that I just like plies.  Now, I’m not getting on a soapbox about singles, except maybe a little tiny rant about the fact that I went to our LYS in Windsor the other day – quite a large store with a huge selection – and there were a LOT of fat singles there.  (This is starting to sound like a bad dating club.  Sorry.)  But honestly, I do not feel that plied yarn – just plain YARN, like people have been making for millenia – was adequately represented.  Which I do think is kind of pathetic, yes.

I don’t hate singles because they bias – I’ve never had that happen, and as long as the spinner knows what they are doing, I am assured that it shouldn’t.  (Personally, if I made them, they would, because I’m still fighting overtwist, but I don’t.)  I don’t hate them because they pill.  Some yarns pill, that’s life with wool, and it really doesn’t bother me.

I don’t hate singles because they are lazy.  I think they are lazy, but I don’t particularly give a darn.  (I know, you can do some nifty pretty things with singles and they wouldn’t look the same at all in plies.  I agree.  But they aren’t as strong, that’s why plying exists, and the over-representation in that yarn store mentioned previously leads me to the conclusion that singles are the cheap and fast-to-produce consumer-grade yarn – it’ll wear out faster but who cares because these knitting people will have bought tons more before they even notice.  Plus that Wal-mart wool is singles. /aside)

Anyway, none of those apparently common complaints are why I don’t like them.  I don’t like them because there is no texture there.  No bounce, no twist, no subtle bumpity-bumpity as the yarn slips through my fingers.  I only recently discovered this about myself, having spent a lot of time wondering why I was glowering at this inoffensive yarn.  I think it is the bumpity-bumpity I miss the most.

It’s ok.  I’ve got socks, another mitten and that shrug on the go, all different textures and weights of yarn, so there will be plenty to keep my picky hands amused.

Yes, brace yourselves – after months of gabble about geese and sheep and chickens, I am making a foray into the “craft” side of this blog with a display of (gasp!) Finished Objects!

Finished Object the first, and a long time coming it has been too, is my brother’s aran:

kilsweater

No criticism on the quality of the picture, please – I haven’t got a better because it was finished and delivered on time, on Christmas Eve. And he was probably afraid to model it because I told him if it didn’t fit I never wanted to know and he had to keep it as an heirloom forever. It should be in his will. But there, I finished it. Something like a million miles of handspun worsted, from Freyja, started and re-started at least four times, took me about a year and a half all told. Gasp.

What else we got? A pair of fingerless gloves for my MIL – suspiciously like ‘fetching’ except I haven’t actually consulted that pattern since it was published and I did something weird around the thumb to give it some more ease. But for the sake of argument, let’s say it’s “Fetching”.

fayes

And yes, I wove in the ends on everything before I gave it away. That is worth mentioning, because stuff I make for me often has ends dangling all over the place which I really mean to get to someday, honest.

Then I made a collage for my sister in law, which probably only confirmed her opinion that I’m ‘not quite right’, but it was fun. Next year I’d maybe better give her the sweater, though.

sherrysthing

AND I finished two masks and a… fabric thing. With the material and the fire and the fun-fun-fun.

blumask

sunmask

candyskull

I also made clogs for Raven’s sister, who wore out the ones I made last year, and a hat for a gift exchange.  I can’t seem to find a picture of the hat, even though I know perfectly well that I took one.  It was just a hat, you know, but still.  It was evidence!   Oh well.  I baked a pie:

kattpie

It is “Katt pie” from a Traditional Welsh Cookbook that CK gave me for Christmas.  It’s OK if you think that’s funny.  I think this pie is indescribably  weird – no wait, I can describe it:  Lamb, brown sugar and raisins.  (Should be currants, I didn’t have those.  I don’t think that would make it any less odd.)  Raven thinks it’s great, and has eaten two big pieces.  I think it’s great that he likes it, because I have to be in town tomorrow and that means he can eat the rest.  It was quite easy to prepare, I wonder how long I can get away with feeding it to him when I’m gone before he figures out I don’t want any?

Yeah, I’ve been holding out on you. I got something. No, not like an infection, I mean I went out and bought something, just like real people. You know, where money is exchanged for goods and/or services? Yup. And I was right.

carder

Turning a little crank is way more fun.

This is (amusingly enough) another kitten – it is the Kitten drum carder made by Anderson Originals. I have been shopping around for a while, and was looking at and reading reviews of the brands we all know and love, but with all that, this one read pretty much like my narrowed choices, the price was right, and having now received it – well, I’m not in a position to give an informed review of a tool I’ve never used one of before! But, the little handle goes round, it makes wool be pretty in substantial quantities, and the stuff left on the licker-upper is all short and/or dirty, so I’m going to call it a success. I have carded big piles of wool, mostly either too boring for words or very interesting but done when the camera was unavailable (see, I really have been holding out on you!). But basically I’m still playing around and experimenting, and the quantities of wool that have been piling up waiting for me to make them more effectively spinnable are large enough to support that!

I charged the batteries for the camera. I put them in the camera. Then I left them there and they lost their charge again. So in desperation I took this horrible picture with my phone:

wheelmod2

Isn’t that charming? As you can’t really see, all I’ve done is change the back, which used to be a single plank, so that it matches the front structurally. Looks and is more balanced, although what I had to do it with is 2x4s, so it is not exactly “delicate”. It is well balanced however, and spins just fine. I even secured the pedals, which I had been meaning to do since I built the thing in the first place, but never actually bothered.

The big exciting news right now is that it is, as of this moment, more than 16ºC in my kitchen. (That is around 61ºF, for those who don’t speak metric.) I cannot probably convey how wonderful that is, but I’m going to try.

We’ve been here for five years. When we moved in, as I think I have mentioned before, there were electric rads in all the rooms, but because the house had been abandoned and left open to the ravages of weather and bunnies, the rads were shall we say, less than reliable. To wit, we turned one on and there was a horrible crashing buzzing sound and a flash of blue flame. So we removed them. This was not a big debate with us, because even if they worked perfectly, we cannot afford to pay for electric heat. Not in an “oh, that money could be spent on so many other things” kind of way, but in a brutally simple “that money simply isn’t there and can’t be spent at all” kind of way.

We might have been able to swing gas heat, back then, although gas prices have gone up so much that would probably have been out of the question by now as well. But it really never came up, as there isn’t any gas connection out here anyway. So we chanted “Be Like The Ed” (which had already become something of a mantra for us) and decided we would just use the wood stove which was already conveniently parked in our back room.

Except the wood stove which was conveniently parked in our back room was, forgive my language, a piece of crap. It had two options – “not hot”, and “chimney fire” — and ironically the chimney fire option did not necessarily mean the house was warm, since the chimney is on the outside of the house, and does not transfer any heat into the building.

So we got a ‘new’ stove. It is a Franklin stove, about the same vintage as the building (1893). It is shallow, kind of looks like a fireplace insert actually, but it works very well. If you put wood into it every half hour, it will get the room that it is in pretty comfortable, and the little spot right at the top of the stairs gets very warm indeed. The only two catches are, you have to put wood in every half hour, which kind of precludes having a life or doing anything else effectively, and the other rooms of the house still had no heat at all. And every morning we were back to below freezing, because I don’t mind jumping up once or twice a night to feed a stove or check on babies or something, but forgoing sleep entirely and burning extra wood just to make one room somewhat comfortable just never seemed practicable. The other catch, which we discovered surprisingly late in the game, was that no amount of fan-blowing or screening or window-plasticking was ever going to make the other rooms warm, because the house was built (cleverly) with electric heat in mind, and the interior walls are all insulated. And while the exterior walls had insulation which due to leaks and rot had gone completely to pot, the interior insulation was fine and fluffy and totally preventing any heat transfer at all between any two rooms.

So every year the pipes froze, and every morning I got up and broke the ice on the animals’ water and lit the fire, and melted snow for coffee, and counted it a bonus that six months out of the year I didn’t actually need to run the refrigerator. Then I would keep the fire going until Raven got up, at which point I would go try and get some work done, and he would completely forget to feed the fire and it would go out, and I would try really hard not to be a total bitch about the whole thing, and we would wind up spending most of the winter on the front porch, which being glassed in and southerly, is actually pretty darned warm as long as the sun is shining. The net result of all this is that the average daytime temperature in my house during the winter is about 7 ºC (45º F). Which is cold, no matter what form you write it in. And the kitchen, dark and easterly, is always colder. No matter what season it is, you can pretty much count on it being five degrees colder in the kitchen. In summer, that is nice. In winter, we had long ago dubbed it The Room You Don’t Go In.

So here’s the neat thing about poverty:  it takes forever to get anything done, and it is usually very hard work, but holy crow is is nice when a job is finished or when something you do works!

A couple of weeks ago our neighbor came over with his backhoe and dug a trench for us from the furnace we got last year to the house.

backhoe2

backhoe

hole

Then we took insulation and wrapped it around two lines of PEX pipe, and stuffed the whole thing through a big PVC pipe.  One end is hooked to the furnace, and one end is hooked to a pump which circulates water through a great deal more PEX tubing that is buried in my floor.  Which is why I have been paving my kitchen all summer.  Concrete floor, full of pipe.  Light the fire in the furnace outside, which is like a giant woodstove sitting inside a tank of water.  Water gets hot, pump pushes water through floor, floor gets warm.  Kitchen, ‘The Room You Don’t Go In’, is 16º!  And rising!

When you walk in my front door from the porch now, it is warmer in the house!!! There is still a lot of work to be done – eventually all the downstairs floor will be piped, the kitchen was just first because it was so very cold.  But because it is radiant heat it is already having an effect on the front room (which is next in line, being second-most-cold): the walls themselves will pick up heat from the floor, as will anything actually sitting on the floor.  So essentially everything in the house will become just a little bit warm.

This winter, barring the usual opportunities for horrible disaster, our house will be a home, not just a shelter.  Which is the best thing ever, because we love our house.

phil

morning

One of the things I have been griping about wanting is a plying wheel. You know, nice big orefice for bulky yarns, embarrassingly ginormous bobbin to overcompensate for the fact that the bobbin I’ve been using only holds 2oz of fibre…

I was going to make one this summer, that was supposed to be my big stupid summer project. Except the only ‘project’ that got accomplished this summer was paving the kitchen floor, and in the meantime my stupid brain decided that although I do very much want a large orefice and overcompensatingly huge bobbin, it would be really cool to build a wheel-in-a-box like the gorgeous Journey Wheels. Not that I expect it would turn out that gorgeous, but I’m pretty sure I can do it, and it would be awful neat to try. So the wheel that I already have cut is probably going to that project, and I’ve been staring at my wheel instead, trying to figure out what I can do to modify it.

Then Sunday, my in-laws came out and my FIL helped me put our broken roof back together. And as an extra-super-bonus favor, he used his much-bigger-than-mine stepladder to patch the hole in the wall of my studio! This was so exciting that in a burst of confidence and accomplishment (and also probably some leftover adrenaline from climbing on my scary slippery roof) I started attacking the wheel.

As usual, the equipment used was mostly in the “some stuff I found” category. Total cost was about four dollars, because I bought wooden discs at Michaels, and I got a bunch of them. (They’re like 35 cents each.) If you had to purchase any of the other stuff I used, the cost would probably go up to about ten bucks.

First I added a big ugly front support to my wheel, so that I could extend the flyer and spindle:

Granted, that’s not too pretty, but some sanding and painting will clean it up and make it look more like an actual unit, as opposed to some Frankenstein’s wheel. Strange as it may seem, I’m more concerned with function than with form on this one!

Then I had to build a flyer. This was startlingly easy – mostly. Some chunks of wood, a whackload (18) of little brass hooks (we have a big jar of these, I’m finally starting to run low) – and bent nails would work too, if you haven’t got an inexplicably big jar of shiny brass hooks, and a length of dowel:

The orefice is a 1/2 inch PVC pipe join that I got (also 35 cents) a while ago, because I always look at things in hardware stores with an eye to what they might be able to become, and it looked like a big ol’ orefice to me.

I just put a big long screw straight through the pipe, the crossbar of the flyer and into the dowel to hold everything centered and together. I sanded a light groove for the pipe to sit in, angled slightly so the yarn will be guided up and out over the crossbar to the hooks. The edges of the crosspiece are sanded too, so as not to snag the yarn.

The flyer wheel is three discs (one small sandwiched between two large) glued together. Then I drilled out the centre, did a little dance of celebration because I totally expected it to shatter when I did that, and it didn’t; and then pounded a nut into the centre of the piece.

That little nut is actually really important to the only bit that was really hard in this project. See, I wanted to use dowel for the spindle, because a) I had some and b) the some I had was conveniently the right size for the bobbin I made:

Which bobbin in turn is the size it is because when I made those naked costumes a while ago, the fat lady’s boobs were stuffed with two plunger heads that I got at the dollar store, and the plastic handles of the plungers were just the right size to make four bobbins of a length and circumference to go on the dowel that I happened to have. So you see it all came together brilliantly. And using wooden dowel meant that I could screw on that orefice as mentioned above and have only the one big solid join.

Problem is – the other end. The flyer wheel needs to be fixed when spinning, but removable to get the bobbin off. (At least with this design, which is based on the one I’ve already got and is working well for me.) I considered squaring the dowel, drilling a square hole in the flyer wheel and then trying to shape the very end as a smaller round, which would look like this if I could draw:

but the opportunities for my messing that up were just SO VERY big, that I figured there had to be a better way. I tried sinking a bolt into the dowel, (hence the nut on the wheel) but I couldn’t get it in very far and so it kept popping out and causing disaster. So this morning as I was tearing apart the Hardware Stuff Shelf looking for a solution, I found this:

It is supposed to attach your toilet to the floor. We don’t have a toilet, so I figured nobody would miss it. Voila!

The screw half is really long, so it’s in the dowel good. The nut in the wheel can only go down so far on the bolt half, and then it stops on the unthreaded middle bit.  I ground off the threads from the bottom part of the bolt, so the spindle will turn freely in its mounting hole.  (Be careful with that part, you don’t want to mess up the threads on the upper half!)

And look!  Yarn!

I’m feeling very smug about this.  Fortunately I hear a chainsaw, which means it’s time for me to go stack some wood – a nice, practical, humble exercise!

I don’t know why we (by which I mean “people in general”) seem so driven to make a big fight out of everything. It seems like there is always a cause or two, and forgive me if I point out the faddish nature of these causes, for which people are prepared to make all manner of illogical blanket statements condemning or belittling anyone who doesn’t sit in the same sometimes rather leaky rowboat. Did I mix a metaphor there, or just toss one in halfway through? Sorry. The fact is that this post is being rather difficult to write.  (EDIT  I was going to delete this opening because it sounds kind of abusive and inflammatory to me, but this post IS being difficult to write and I don’t quite know what to replace it with.  So let me just throw in that I know there is no one way of life that is perfect for everybody, and I support individual choices, I just get upset when those choices are either badly uninformed, as sometimes happens, and/or when people attempt to impose choices that are really very good for them onto people that they really aren’t good for at all.)

The current faddish cause is, of course, environmentalism. Now before you jump all over that statement, let me rush to say that although I hate the ‘buzzwords’ that have evolved out of this concern for our planet (‘green’, ‘organic’ to name two) I completely and utterly believe that it is good and right to live in harmony, as it were, with the planet we live on. I will go further. I think it is a long standing tendency for humans to treat their environments as enemies, to try to subdue and control the land and the creatures on the land, and even other human beings if given the chance, and I think that tendency is sad, reflects badly on us as a species, and may very well be immoral. I used to be more definite on the immoral thing, but at the moment I can’t decide whether the fact that the concept of immorality originates with us makes it irrelevant or whether it just makes our behavior worse, given that we violate standards we created in the first place. So whether it is a fad or not, I can’t help but support those who are making genuine efforts to reduce their negative impact on their environment, and to realize that just because we moved into it, doesn’t mean it isn’t an ecosystem, and it is better to find ourselves a place in that ecosystem than to stomp all over it, kill off half the indiginous species and then start a crusade to save the cute ones.

I also believe in responsible decision making. Not so much in terms of “should I cast on another sweater when I already have three sweaters and two pair of socks on the needles” – my idea of “responsible” there ends at “would I have to buy another set of needles to do so?” in which case I won’t, otherwise I’m all for irresponsible crafting abundance. But I have my limitations there too, in terms of the materials I’m willing to use, and like it seems half the world, I have some very strong opinions about those materials and the way they are manufactured and marketed.

I was kind of excited when I first learned about corn and soy yarn. They are advertised as using the “waste” products of these crops, and while I was a little confused about the bean plants, it seemed to me like corn is a big fibrous stalk and if they were spinning yarn from those fibres it would be really cool, and also maybe I could try it at home, being as there are corn and soy fields all around me, and once the crops are collected the actual plants are just ground back into the soil as mulch, and maybe the farmers would let the crazy chick up the road score a few plants before they brought in the plows. So because I am me, and research is what I do, I looked up how these yarns are made.

Yeah. So what they do (greatly simplified) is they take the fruit – yes, the same stuff that would otherwise be fed to animals – and they put it in a huge tank and squish it all up and ferment it, and extract or transform (my chemistry is not so strong) it into a plastic soup. And then when it is reduced to a tank of smooth goo they super-cool it by pouring it onto a spinning top full of frozen chemicals, making a mono-filament, which is then plied into yarn.

This is a process involving a huge pile of chemicals, machinery, heating and uber-refrigeration. It can not be done in my kitchen. It should not, in my opinion, be done at all.

I don’t know what they mean by ‘waste product’, but I have two suspicions. One (the most likely) is that the carbohydrate soup they use is actually a waste product of the ethanol industry. The only things I know about ethanol production are a) the price of corn has skyrocketed, which has a direct effect on my life and the life of my animals, all of whom eat corn, and b) corn which cannot be fed to animals because of fungus or mold or some other icky thing also cannot be used in ethanol production. Found that out a couple of years ago when there was a “pig vomit” bactillus on a lot of the corn and nobody could sell their crop anywhere. Which is my other suspicion: maybe the pig vomit corn got made into yarn.

If the latter thing is true, I would feel a bit better about it – but only a bit, because they won’t only be buying moldy fruit now that the market for these fibres is so huge. So summing it all up, I find myself unable to think of anything that is mass-produced in a factory (or factory-farm) environment as “ecological”.

I tossed that little “factory farm” thing in there, because my choice, for a number of reasons, remains wool. I would be happy if the people who are campaigning for ‘organic’ cotton crops would win, because cotton is another good fibre that just is what it is and while it requires a vast amount of effort to turn into workable fibre it doesn’t have to be turned into some weird petroleum simulacrum first. But North American cotton crops do have an awful lot of baggage attached to them, and I’m not sure if we can handle cotton responsibly. (Insert your personal definition of ‘responsible’ here.)

I don’t have an opinion on whether or not other people use wool. I don’t much care. There are pluses and minuses for each individual and each project. Some people are allergic to wool, and having allergies myself I sympathize with their discomfort and suggest they shy as far away as possible. I would not, myself, purchase expensive wool even if I could afford to do so, because I don’t trust that it didn’t come from some factory sheep farm where the poor sheep are jacketed and confined (jacketing is a whole other problem I’ve got) and mutilated for human convenience, and I think it’s mean. Environmentalism completely aside, I can’t grok being mean to animals, no matter what you’re raising them for. Stewardship is a responsibility, and someone with a better grasp of language evolution (Emily?) might have a learned opinion on the origins of the word “husbandry”.

But for the love of knitting, can we please get it straight that shearing sheep is NOT MEAN?! It does not hurt, they do not mind. Sheep have been domesticated and bred for their wool – which was originally a warm undercoat like your dog and cat shed every summer – for thousands of years. Wooly sheep have not been around as long as housecats – quite – but almost. They were bred and bred to amplify the amount of undercoat and reduce the amount of hair for the sake of human usage. They will not shed their wool in any useful (i.e. temperature affecting) quantity. They will, if the wool gets long enough, rub or bite it off. This is because they want it gone. It is itchy and hot, it traps the ever-unpopular ‘vegetable matter’, it catches on things and it hurts – a lot – when it is pulled. Grab a handful of your own hair and yank.

You are welcome to have a negative opinion on the breeding of sheep for the sake of human convenience. I will share it. I will help you make a banner, out of organic cotton, decrying the arrogance and lack of foresight of the many many many generations of shepherds in all nations whose selfish breeding habits led to the fact that we now have hundreds of breeds of sheep who must be sheared or suffer. (And even that is leaving out the whole flystrike problem!) I will not, however, advocate that the sheep who are alive now, and who had nothing to do with any of this and just want to eat weeds in peace and maybe a bucket of grain now and then please, should be made extinct or forced to scrape themselves raw against trees because humans now resent and disapprove of the activities of humans long dead.

This stuff has been on my mind for a while, and of course the issue is much larger than just fibre, animal vegetable or plastic, but I’m running awful long here, so maybe we can expand through discussion?   I was going to post before, but then farm-witch said something at shearing time, and said it so well that I didn’t bother. If you hadn’t read that post of hers before, it’s a really good one. So for a while I just went “Yeah! What she said!” But I don’t think something as important as how we live and how we treat other living things – any of them – is an issue that can be settled with finality. We tried that before, and the final decision was that man is evidently superior to everyone/thing else, and should therefore do whatever he wants. And look what happened! I think we need to share our opinions, and our information, and our experiences. What choices have you made about how you live and interact with life? How has it affected your craft? What are your ideals, and are they obtainable? I’d really like to hear people’s comments on this stuff – and you’re welcome to disagree with me and with each other, as long as you don’t get abusive and make people cry.

If you’re interested, I will elaborate on my own wool sources plus my own means of getting the fibre off the sheep in the least intrusive manner possible.  Because I assure you, my sheep are the boss of me.  But like I said, this is really long and I would really like to hear what other people have to say.  So please:  discuss!

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