I love to spin....love the feel of the wool, and the smell, and the colors....it's so relaxing. And like clay I am creating something functional from such a basic material! I am only a novice knitter. But I keep on spinning. Soon I will weave with all that handspun, but that is a story for another post.
Over the last year, as a new resident of Charlottesville the knitting site Ravelry has been an amazing resource of patterns, inspiration and friendship and professional networking (I've sold ALOT of pots because of this group. They are my most faithful fans!) But for me there are two specific groups that helped me through the lonely days (and nights) in a new house and new community, Juniper Moon Farm (of which you have heard me speak many times) and Gilead Fiber Farm in Vermont.
As is appropriate, it was THROUGH Juniper Moon that I "met" Kristen and Gilead Farm. JMF was having a (it's first...there is another if you are interested!!!) flock give away and Kristen won the contest of a life time! So of course I trotted on over to her website and found her forum on Ravelry.
It's been a year and there have been alot of changes. I've become a regular visitor to the ACTUAL farm at Juniper Moon. I've been making their own small line (mugs and yarn bowls) of pottery AND enjoying the sights and smells and sounds that is The Farm. I've met so many wonderful people both AT the farm and again, through Ravelry.
One of these new found friends is Kristen. Though we have never met, and only this week have even spoken on the telephone (!) I've loved following her ups and downs as a new shepherd. Reading about her joy at finding her first new baby goat in the barn, her painful flock losses from parasites or mineral deficiencies (the things you can learn on Rav!), her battle with winter and ice and summer and Hurricane Irene..., her crazy dog with the voracious appetite and her dream of a complex of tiny houses for all of us to finally come and hang out in the field with her and her flock. All while working a full time job at the local John Deere dealership. There are many of us who read her forum feeling as though we are shepherding vicariously through her while at the same time being amazed at her tenaciousness and love for what she is doing.
So Kristen has been contemplating some changes in her farm "model". She and I have been "talking" about pottery. How I am always trying to come up with ways to combine my love of fiber with my love for clay....and we came up with these:
I am so excited to be selling these tumblers! My interpretation of the pictures I've seen and the descriptions I've read of Kristen's Gilead Fiber Farm. She raises both sheep and and angora goats (Skippyjon, the trouble maker is the black sheep portrayed on many of these cups) Anna is a black faced sheep that I think of as I decorate..and then we have the angora goats...imagine them nibbling on the trees and cavorting amongst themselves. (And yes, cavort is the perfect term to describe the antics of an angora goat!)
I've posted these tumblers on my etsy site. A portion of the sales will go directly to Kristen. My way of being a shepherd!