This afternoon I cracked open my new American Craft magazine. (It came a few days ago, but I wanted to finish the latest Science News first.) I had to pause for a moment when I saw the cover. “Hey, I know that guy,” I first thought. Then I was like, “No, he’s on TV. Help me, memory. Media worlds are blurry…. Um, am I awake? Ron Swanson!” In that order.
And I love this article about Nick Offerman. I love that he actually makes beautiful things with wood, that he is a craftsperson, that he thinks we should “take back our self-sufficiency,” that he urges people to read Wendell Berry. All of it.
I was surprised and inspired. I smiled and felt silly and gleeful.
Many thanks to Sally and Bob Fitz of Small Ones Farm for inviting me to table at their fruit CSA pick up days on Saturday October 1st and Wednesday October 19th. It was very inspiring to meet their members, and I had many stimulating conversations about CSAs, locally sourced materials, natural dyes, local wool, flax, and vegan cloth.
At my table I displayed a basket of naturally dyed wool yarns that were mostly handspun by me, over the years, using natural dyes. For the madder, I displayed the results of a dye bath using roots from Earth Guild. (I have also bought madder root from Tierra Wools and Aurora Silk.) For all the rest, I used plants I gathered or grew myself in Amherst or the surrounding area. When I first began spinning, the most economical way to acquire a lot of wool was to buy raw fleeces. I bought and have enjoyed working with Corriedale from the former Mad Women’s Farm in Amherst, Dorset/Border Leicester cross from Natural Roots in Conway, Coopworth from Shirkshire Farm in Conway, the mixed breed flock at Hampshire College, and Romney and mohair from a few farmers I met at the Webs fleece markets. After I got tired of washing and carding my own wool, I’ve enjoyed roving from Balkey farm in Northfield and others. I also had a smaller basket of naturally dyed linen (commercial 40/2 from Webs). The yarns (and my bundle of home grown flax) were for show and tell.
And for sale, I had handbound books with handwoven cloth covers.