March 4, 2012

It was a lovely weekend at Wetland Wool.  No rain, several hours of sun, “warm” temperatures [relatively].  We spent time in the garden. John was digging beds [nice loose soil, not sticky–so exciting], we trimmed fruit trees and raspberries, and Marilyn started some seeds indoors.

On Saturday evening we had dinner with Gin and John de Camp of Forest Grove.  Gin is a felt-maker and John loves his model railroad.  Good food and good company!  Gin is known for her amazing felt hats, but if you let your eyes wander around her studio, you discover that she uses felt to create everything from winged dragons to beads.  Beautiful and inspiring.

spinning Roberta's gray wool

This evening we are in the studio with a warm fire going in the wood stove, beautiful music playing, and wool in our hands. I am spinning Roberta’s light gray wool, which is part of the fleece I washed in the bathtub.  Washing wool remains a mystery to me.  Sometimes it clumps together, clinging to the other fibers as if it wants to felt.  But Roberta’s has no neps, no noils, no tangles.  It is smooth and slips through my fingers easily.  The whirr of the spinning wheel made me think of my grandmother, my dad’s mother–we called her Nanny.  Her name was Florence. She was always busy with her hands.  She found furniture in abandoned houses and covered it with gym floor finish because “I like shiny things.”  She designed the quilted bedspread that covers our bed to this day.  At 82, she told me it was to be her last quilt.  “People say red and purple don’t go together, but I like it,” she said.  I told her I did too and would she please put my name on it for later?  Next time I saw her, she gave it to me.  “Use it!” she insisted.  “Don’t fold it up somewhere.  Throw it in the washer when it gets dirty.”  I did, many times, and it is wearing through in places.  Which is partly why I am weaving:  to replace that bedspread. — Mar