A Few Minutes Here, a Few Minutes There
Some friends of ours have some of the small Ouessant sheep. They don’t shear them; bits of wool drop off by themselves as the animals brush up against plants, shrubs, trees, fences. One of the sheep managed to shed his entire fleece so my friend gave it to me along with other bits she gathered. These bits have quite an amount of grass, moss, and—what is that? Could it be a bug? !!! DJ, wake up to reality, this is an animal’s hair, it has been out in the field, rolling around.
I borrowed the tools for carding from another friend. My plan is to make felt and then a hat. I got advice from friends and googled making felt and carding wool. Vive youtube!
What you see in the bag is the untouched wool as it was gathered, the bit lying on the carder has been picked over to get rid of anything that doesn’t look like wool, and in the box is the nice fluffy carded fiber. Little puffs of dust rise as I card; I am doing this outside so I will only work on it when the weather permits.
Several feelings motivate me for this project. One is probably the feeling of getting something for nothing although it will actually take a lot of time and patience on my part. Another is the pleasure of making something by hand and giving it to someone else (the hat will be for my husband). Another is a desire to keep alive techniques painstakingly discovered through the ages. I remember our guide at the chateau de Versailles lamenting that they couldn’t find anyone to repair some of the furniture there as the techniques used have been lost. Also it seems like a gift from the Creator to be able to make something with stuff picked up off the ground.
“Have I ever set a price for My Salvation? Have I not given it to all men in return for efforts of penitence which is joy to pious men, which is not heavier than the usurer’s worries, which is lighter than the wealthy one’s and the mighty one’s yoke?
Along My Paths toward My Heights bees work hard for all men.
Why senselessly manufacture honey and wax in workshops?
At their foot My Almond trees spread their fruit; the partridge does not require payment for its meat, neither does the goat for its milk.
I make oil gush for (making) fire, I spread the earth’s surface with lead and copper for all men in return for efforts to collect and dress them.
Do I not give the tile from clay in return for efforts to bake it?”