I can be a sap, so this little story may not be surprising to some, those who know me. Those who know me know that roadkill can make me cry. Pretty much the drop of a hat, especially if it concerns ANIMAL RESCUE, will make my eyes well with tears, my nose turn red, and instigate an overwhelming moment where I know I am being silly but really can’t help myself. But this story concerns none of those triggers…no roadkill, no dog in need of rescue, no family with a child with special needs overcoming great challenges, no I thought I was in the safe zone because this story, concerns a knitting podcast.
I know, I know! But here’s the thing…and it’s going to sound sappy…but touché right? I love knitting. I love yarn. I love talking about yarn, researching yarn and generally collecting yarn, same goes for fiber for spinning. You get the picture, I love the fiber arts, we’re flying the geek flag high here folks! Needless to say, I was an unsuspecting victim in this incident. I just wanted to get my ski done and listen to a podcast while doing it. And did I happen to tell you it’s cold, like 5 degrees cold on this day with pretty gnarly windchills? This is not a day to be crying outside. You see where this is going.
I dialed up the Yarniacs Podcast episode 55, an interview with Jeanne Carver of Imperial Stock Ranch. Now if you have read my post, Soulful Stash, you’ll remember that I have strong attachments to yarn and place. In fact, it is the major impotence for Fiber Trek. In this interview with Jeanne she expounds upon cultivating both her sheep and their products as well as the landscape of the ranch. She draws beautiful connections between the fiber and the land and in a way describes the sheep as a conduit through which we can harvest sunlight. Now, that is serious stuff. So serious that even as the wind blew the skin off my face, I started to cry.
As this interview unfolded, as I skied along the ridge overlooking the lake and the mountain, my landscape, I attempted to wipe away frozen tears with my mittens. I thought about those mittens, my home-reared, homespun, handknit mittens and just nodded my head in amazement and continued to cry like a right nana.
I didn’t see anyone out there that day which is just as well. There is something about frozen “verklempt” that is frantically scary. Suffice it to say, I was not crying about yarn, of course, in this story but you already knew that. You knew I was inspired. I was inspired by Jeanne’s commitment to landscape, her place knowledge, her allegiance to something greater like sunlight and salmon (you have to listen to get this reference). Her description throughout this interview of the process on the ranch progressed my craft beyond it’s existing boundaries and further strengthened my commitment to place-based yarns. I absolutely love the idea of harvesting sunlight. I like it so much that from now on instead of stashing yarn & fiber, I will be gathering sunlight instead. This is concept no one can argue with and really can there be too much sunlight? Should you be living in Maine right now, you’d think not. So get gathering, bring it on home, every last ray and beam. Stockpile it away for a rainy day, because they will come and you know what? You’ll be able to dash upstairs, into closets, bins and baskets and pull forth- sun.
I am sure this conversation will be continued but for now, I am knitting with a little Maine sun in the form of lovely Romney from Log Cabin Lamb & Wool. It will soon be transformed in to Such A Winter’s Day by Heidi Kirrmaier. I plan to be very warm and happy in a sweater of sunlight.