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.
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. (Julie is a distributor of LENDRUM WHEELS – they fold and pack flat for transporting). I sat spinning, outside in the sunshine, with two women who just bought wheels. My second encounter was much more coordinated than my first. Still, though, I choose to buy yarn already in scheins – Already dyed – Already calibrated into yardage.
Since then I have ventured to Fines Creek (don’t even need the navigator to get there now), photographed the annual alpaca shearing (by a professional who Julie hires), and contributed 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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