My Year in Wool

The long, dark days of this time of year are an excellent time for reflection, so I’ve cast a backwards glance to my year in wool. All in all, it was a great year personally for fleece and fiber.

I’d love to hear what you accomplished or consider highlights of your wool year in the comments, and if you’ve got any fiber related goals or hopes for 2015.

Education: I became a certified Level 1 Wool Classer and was re-certified as a Beginner Sheep Shearer. I took a drop spindle spinning class, which I did not care for. I kept zoning out in boredom and forgetting to spin my spindle, which then caused the yarn to unravel. Technique wise, I became a fan of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s i-cord cast on which, like most EZ things, sounds harder than it is.

In 2015 I want to learn to weave and attain Intermediate sheep shearing certification.

Nine Completed Projects: Unlike 2013, 2014 can finally qualify as The Year of the Sweater, since I completed three of them. I finished the Chimera Cardigan (which I started in 2013), a Classic “Brooks” Sweater, and a Waffle Stitch Raglan. I also knit Welsh Country Stockings, a Color Affection, Thrummed Booties, a Bobbi Bear, a Chevron Baby Blanket, and a Romney Kerchief. Ravelry dates reminded me that I knit five of my nine projects between January and late March/early April, which makes sense considering I broke my ankle in January and had ample laid up time to fill.

I’ve got nothing particular on my knitting list for 2015, but that’s what keeps it fun and my only goal is to keep knitting enjoyable and fun. Despite serious de-stashing I still have several sweater quantities of wool to use up!

Fiber Community and Fun: I donated almost 25% of my take-home pay and many hours to get a local wool related business up and running, completed several shearing jobs (but failed to count the number of sheep I sheared) and accepted my first payment for the same, competed in my first sheep shearing competition at the Sonoma County Fair, and volunteered to organize and run the shearing contest at Dixon Lambtown.

A woman bends over a sheep that is laying on its side in order to shear it

You can tell my husband took this, because he captured my best moment!

My friend, Kate, and I traveled to Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene via the Coast Starlight for the first (but not last) time.

On the way to Black Sheep Gathering 2014 on the Coast Starlight

On the way to Black Sheep Gathering 2014 on the Coast Starlight

I shared some of my Wool Classing education by giving a demonstration at the third annual Fibershed Wool Symposium. I de-stashed and donated two huge garbage bags worth of yarn to SCRAP SF, and was delighted to see people buying it right off of the “sort” table before I’d even left the building.

I hope to do at least as much in 2015, and more: my biggest, toughest goal is to finish writing my wool book AND find a publisher. Time will tell!

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