The Clip: April 15, 2015

May as well write a new edition of The Clip rather than brood over the astounding amount of money we sent to the IRS and state of California today!

Nor Cal Folks, Mark Your Calendars
Two important Northern California wool events are about a month away. Save the dates!

May 15, 2015 | 6-9 PM
Ukiah Civic Center, 300 Seminary Avenue, Ukiah, CA 95482
The Mendocino Wool & Fiber Mill will finally have its hearing with the Ukiah Planning Commission. The meeting will include a public comment period during which supporters can speak for one to two minutes. If you’re in the area and able to attend, we’d appreciate your support.

Join us for a fun day in a gorgeous place!

Join us for a fun day in a gorgeous place!

May 23, 2015 |  10 AM-2 PM
UC Hopland, Rod Shippey Hall, 4070 University Road, Hopland, CA 95449

Join me and my fellow Wool People for the inaugural Barn to Yarn event! See how wool goes from sheep to sweater and… barn to yarn. Matt Gilbert will be shearing, I’ll be teaching wool classing and sorting, and there will be story telling, spinning, knitting, weaving and more in one of my absolutely favorite places.

Seamwork Magazine
How did I not know about this magazine? I really enjoyed this post about the art of the infinite list. Most days, I feel like I’d have to quit my job to do even a tiny fraction of what I want to do. But I can’t help but wonder that, if I did, would I appreciate these same things as much?

The Primordial Alliance: Sheep, Dog, Human
Perhaps it’s not accidental that, when I’m with sheep and sheepdogs, my brain feels… different. It feels the way it does when I do other, more ancient things: build a fire, hear a bear on a trail, spin and knit, or build something from wood with hand tools. This article hints at why that might be.

Herdwick: A Portrait of Lakeland
My dear mum, who lives in the northwest of England, gave me Herdwick: A Portrait of Lakeland for my birthday. It is already one of my most prized possessions. The story of the breed and the book’s photography is magical, but this photo in particular caught my eye:

Luxury shearing is when all involved parties are either sitting or laying down.

Luxury shearing is when all involved parties are either sitting or laying down.

That is a luxury shearing set up if ever I’ve seen one! Shearing while seated?! The Herdwick breed is truly other worldly if it lays still on a little bench while being sheared! What do I have to do to book the shearing job for that sheep?!

Work to Other People
What seems like work to other people that doesn’t seem like work to you? It may be something you’re well suited for, even if you’re not (like me) one of those lucky people who knew what they wanted to do from a young age. No one will believe me when I say “sewing, building furniture, cleaning pens, trimming hooves and shoveling manure,” but it’s true. What about you?

The Vocation of Woodworking
A 2012 graduate of the College of the Redwoods Fine Furniture program has a thought provoking post on something I struggle with as well: making things in a world that just doesn’t need more stuff. “There is a problem that plagues me, on some days almost to the point of depression. How can it be a worthwhile vocation to add more stuff to a world piled so high in stuff it’s about to topple over?”

On the Needles, In the Shop and Off the Shelves
My Pop Spots Shawl is almost done, with a few more inches of lace edging to knit before cast off. I haven’t knit a single stitch of Husband Sweater 2.0, probably because I’m thinking of ripping it all out and starting over with more ease in it.

I have started to design Best Husband’s no-longer-secret Brewer’s Gansey. When we spend as much time together as we do, it is pointless to try to fit to and knit for him a gansey on size 2 needles by Christmas. Why do that to myself? So I won’t.

I’m almost done sewing a Laurel tunic with Khadi cotton from Verb. Only the invisible zip remains.

In the shop, I’ve cleaned up and am now flattening an old hand plane that I picked up at Alemany Flea Market for $23. It only has to plane rough stock so it doesn’t need to be as flat as a smoothing plane might, but it’s the worst kind of not flat: convex. (A little concave is okay.) I’m second guessing my decision to purchase it given the time spent on rust removal and the several hours it will take me to flatten it, but I’m learning something… to buy brand new tools from now on! Ha!

I’m also exploring an idea for a woodworking related business and purchased some western red cedar this weekend to make one of probably several test patterns. I hope I can tell you more about it sometime later this year. I’m excited!

And, off the shelves, I’ve started Matthew Crawford’s second (and already mighty excellent) book, The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in the Age of Distraction. Next up are The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape and The Yorkshire Shepherdess, which my kind stepdad passed on to me after finishing it.

Well that’s far more than you ever needed to know about me, isn’t it? I hope this edition of The Clip points you to some reading you’ll enjoy and that you can make some space for creativity in these fresh-start months of Spring.

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