The Clip: May 19, 2015

Another year of sheep shearing school has come and gone. The week that follows is inevitably glum. Re-entry becomes more difficult with each passing year and ranch job. I felt on the verge of a panic attack in the crowded BART station this morning, which is apparently my body’s not-so-subtle way of telling me it prefers the wide open spaces of vast barns and even vaster ranches.

Tree, brown fields and rain

Glorious rain in Hopland, CA on May 19, 2015. Photo by Francoise LeClerc.

When I began sheep shearing, I thought it would provide balance, that the physical exhaustion and bodily soreness would make me want to plant myself in a chair and zone out over a screen more, not less. But my best laid plans have backfired, as they so often do, and office work becomes less and less tolerable. Where will this possibly-just-a-midlife-crisis lead? To a life of poverty? To more health and happiness? I sure don’t know but chances are I’ll tell you, right here.

In the meantime, I have some good news. Really, really good news.

On Wednesday, May 13 at 7:13 PM, the City of Ukiah Planning Commission unanimously approved all of the plans for the wool mill, from the conditional use permit to the parking lot layout, from the ability to have a food truck in the parking lot to the on-site storage containers for the wool. Follow Mendocino Wool & Fiber updates on Facebook or Indiegogo.

And more great wool press!
The Ukiah Daily Journal has a really lovely piece on shearing school, the wool mill and the challenges facing the local wool economy.

That’s the local round up. Now for the rest of the Web!

Did women work in agriculture?
Drs. Jane Whittle and Mark Hailwood are sharing some of their very intriguing research on the nature of early women’s work. Short version: the idea that women were confined to the domestic sphere may not be a sound one.


Woman shearing sheep, c. 1520. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and the referenced blog.

The Principal Operations of Weaving: 1748
How much and how little things change. Take a gander at these copperplate engravings that illustrate The Principal Operations of Weaving, reproduced from a book of 1748.

I’m sexy and I shear it!
Finally, someone appreciates how attractive we really are when we’re stinky and laying on those lanolin and manure covered floors!

On the Needles
I’m knitting three Olivia Kerchiefs for three sweet little girls who recently became big sisters, again. These are a perfect big sister gift!

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