Echo View Fiber Mill in Weaverville was the place I took a spinning class with Julie Wilson. It was TORTURE. For Me. Hand, eye, foot coordination… drafting (pulling) the fleece as the bobbin was spinning, controlled by my two feet on two pedals; having it break and rejoining it, controlling the thickness of the yarn… all overwhelming. The learning curve was uncomfortable, as I sat next to a young woman who was a whiz spinning on the wheel. Just TOO intimidating. BUT… if it is a ‘calling’, those ‘spinners’ get zenned-out spinning their fleece into yarn; they become an appendage of the spinning wheel.
I told Julie,” any wool I get you can spin for me”. I’ll pay you. End of story? Not quite. She invited me to come to her fiber farm Jehovah Raah (42 acres with sheep, goats, alpaca, llamas, rabbits, turkeys, cattle, horses – she has to feed them all every day!!) for a visit, maybe for a ‘spin’. I said OK but I’ll shoot pictures. Bottom line, the very next week I was at the farm and shot pictures. Then she set up a LENDRUM spinning wheel (and is also a distributor). I sat spinning, outside in the sunshine, with two women who just bought wheels from Julie. My second encounter was much more coordinated than my first. However, I still choose to buy yarn already in skeins – Already dyed – Already calibrated into yardage.
Since then I have ventured to Fines Creek, photographed the annual alpaca shearing, and assisted stuffing bags with raw fleece. The animals don’t get hurt and look skinny without their fur. One of my favorite animal pictures is the face of a brown alpaca. I call it “Hello! My Name Is AL PACA!”
Link to Jehovah Raah Farm site (always under construction!
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