Do you ever wonder what the wool would say if it could talk? How would it then describe its characteristics? How would it sell itself in an ad, like a pice of fine chocolate?
Featured image: Staples from a black rya lamb’s fleece and a white Klövsjö ewe’s fleece.
There are many systems of describing wool, most of which have their foundation in quantitative parameters. Length, micron count, wool type and distribution of fiber types. More or less of shine, strength or crimp. While these parameters can describe part of the characteristics, I sometimes feel something is missing; a qualitative aspect. Today I play with the thought of the wool describing itself to me.
Look at me with all my fancy curls, twirling about in concentric waves. See my silvery shine, how it lights up the room when the sun casts its rays upon me. You have never seen grey like this, I can promise you that. I will make the prettiest tailspun yarn you have ever seen. Did I mention my neck curls? Sweeter than raspberry pie with their perfectly spiraled soft locks. Don't they remind you of sipping elderberry lemonade in the shadow of a birch tree?
The raving rya lamb
I am the raving rya lamb. See my long and glimmering fibers, shining their way forward like a gushing river in the morning light. With equal measures of undercoat and outercoat I am soft and strong. In any way you combine me I will give you what you want – the durable warp, the shiny rug, the warm sweater and the soft shawl. The sweet curl of my tip end, the one I was born with, will catch your eye and make you mine.
We are strong! Undercoat, outercoat and kemp. Together we stand by this staple, making it sturdy, yet light, strong, yet gentle. We may look rough, but underneath we are mostly air hiding between the fibers, keeping you light and warm. Our kemp may look quirky and rough, and it is. But wait until you see what happens in the pockets of air we leave behind as the kemp falls out of the yarn. The captured air turns to softness and warmth, protecting you from the elements. When fulled we stand even stronger, keeping you safe on the harshest of winter days.
Little crimp, little crimp, feel my gentle bounce, see my subtle shine, watch it reflect the early spring light like velvet. I will be your softest friend right next to your skin.
Sail away with mother rya
I need no curls, I need no loft. I am long and strong and will keep this boat afloat as the wind fills the sails you weave from my fibers.
I will give you all the staple types. The long and strong with lofty feet like ballerina skirts, make mittens for everyone! The fine and crimpy, sweet like an evening breeze on your cheek. A lacy shawl for you. Steady, strong outercoat only, sturdy socks perhaps? Softy, lofty, thin tails of strength for fulling and filling the gaps in mitts In midwinter wind.
Dalapäls creamy dream
I am your dalapäls creamy dreamy billowing curls. I shine on you Like no other curls. I give you the loftiest of loft and the most gentle touch. Don’t think I won’t provide strength because I will. My wool is what you never thought to even wish for.
I come in grey I come in white I come in all the shapes Of your woolly dreams. I dress you inside and out, I give you warmth, and strength, and carpets to walk on. Lean on me as I comfort your soul.
What do you think your fleece would tell you about itself?
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- Read the book Knit (spin) Sweden! by Sara Wolf. I am a co-author and write in the fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.
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