Thursday, February 21, 2013

No Longer Anonymous

It has been years now that the meat I eat has mostly been the flesh of animals that I have known.  It is something that people often ironically think is barbaric as they go on eating the flesh of animals who have actually been raised in truly barbaric conditions with no respect for their animal souls.  But that's another story. 

Since I got my first sheep in 2008, I have been hoarding their wool in paper bags in my basement with many dreams of what I would do with all that luscious fibre.  Slowly I have been having some of it spun up.  And then it sat in balls.  I felt so much pressure about what to make with it.  I had to be good.  It had to be significant.  It had to be meaningful...

And so it sat until this last Christmas.  I tried to knit Kaetlyn something out of Renauld's lamb's wool.  I thought it would be cool to send some of his Icelandic wool back to Iceland...but it was too bulky and heavy for what I wanted to do and I gave it over for some black angora.  Then when musing with some of my dance mom's who sit and knit during dance class, one of them suggested this: for Renauld's full bodied wool.

I dove in and made the short one with Renauld's black wool.  It really is as quick as they say.  Even though I had to frog it several times until I got the lace pattern right and I, in fact, knit it entirely up only to realize that my characteristically tight tension had made a shawl for a thin 11 year old... before I sent it to my niece, Natalie, I frogged the entire thing again and relaxed while I knit.  Even all that I did in the matter of 2 maybe 2 1/2 hours.  Perhaps this yarns isn't quite as thick as the rasta recommended but I still think it turned out.

It was a curious thing when I came to put it on (and I've worn it a couple of times)...  This was not anonymous yarn.  This was 100% the wool of my beloved ram, Renauld.  It was his wool I was wearing on my back.  And a whole idea opened up to me... like how all that wool I have been knitting with, all those balls that are taking over my (house) knitting room (?!) come from animals who have lives.  This was not anonymous yarn from an animal I did not know.  It is a significant connection to my sheep, to this land that grew the grass that fed the sheep that grew the wool.  A glorious, grateful connection. 

How much we have lost in this industrial age that has separated us from where 'things' come from - from the cows our milk comes from, the chickens our eggs come from, the animals our meat comes from, the sheep our wool comes from....  We have lost more than we are even aware of.

So I dedicate this post to Renauld to whom I am grateful for the gorgeous gift of his soft lamb's wool. And perhaps more importantly for the gift of awareness of my connection to all that is. 
Renauld 'mighty one'

Freshly shorn wool

Fresh off the needles


On my shoulders...


The Painted Lady said...

it's beautiful! love it. I really respect your lifestyle.

amyleigh said...

That is so neat Andrea! I love this post. It's like things coming full circle, and you enjoying the fruits of your labours! And I totally agree with the anonymous meat-buying thing - it's so funny how people look at you like you're cruel and barbarian when you bring up something like raising your own rabbits for meat. Anyway, respect!

Sarah-Lynn said...

It looks great!! I have so much to learn from you big sister!!