Saturday, October 27, 2007

Three Bags Full

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.

Make that more like fifty-three bags full!

I'm cleaning out my fiber stash today. For those of you who don't know, a fiber stash is the collection of wool and other fibers---often accumulated over the course of years---that a hand spinner collects with the intention of spinning them into yarn "someday." Such stashes are notorious for expanding to fill any available space, and are rarely depleted by any one human's spinning efforts.

Over the years, as I was teaching myself to spin, I collected every different kind of fiber I could find, so I could feel the different textures and practice the different techniques needed to create a smooth, even yarn with them. Since I'm entirely self-taught, my results have been mixed. I'm no expert, but I can spin an adequate yarn, in most cases. My fiber-acquiring skills were somewhat more successful!

Now that I have a farm and a sheep flock of my own, I never have time to spin anymore, so I've decided to inventory my fiber stash, and sell it off. So far today, I've dragged all the boxes and bags out of the closet and out from under the bed and set them in a pile in the middle of my office where I can marvel at the magnitude of "Fiber Mountain."

There are several colors of Icelandic wool, purchased before I ever had a sheep of my own. There's Merino, Blue-faced Leicester, Wensleydale, and who knows what other types of sheep wool. Then there's cashmere, alpaca, angora, mohair, silk, cotton, flax... even dog and cat fluff! All in all, there's enough fiber here to fill the back of a small pickup truck. And that's not even counting the mountain of fleeces I have stored downstairs in the library, which came from my own sheep.

Since shearing time is fast approaching, when I'll suddenly have another 25 fresh fleeces to store and sell, I figured that now is the time to clear out as much of my current fiber as possible.

So, if any of you readers are spinners---or want to buy holiday gifts for people who are spinners---let me know. I'll be selling this stuff at bargain prices. And then you can start a fiber stash of your own!

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