2.09.2009

a list

In spinning I have become a connoisseur of fiber, their names a litany of possibilities.

Merino,
Finn,
Blue-faced Leichester,
Coopworth,
Icelandic,
Gulf Coast Native
: just a few of the sheep.

Then exotics:
camel,
angora,
cashmere,
qiviut,
yak,
alpaca,
llama.

Then bombyx and tussah,
one a silk taken before emergence of the moth,
the other taken after.


Bamboo,
tencel,
seacell,
and milk,
the fibers born through a chemical broth, broken and remade;
the fibers squeak between the press of my fingers.

Plants;
[bast and fruit]
cotton,
hemp,
ramie,
and
linen.


It's an ever expanding list.

An induction to the fiber world is not unlike being taken under the wing of any other epicure. There are steps to take. Look first. Does it gather light in softness or shine like silk. One tastes fiber with a squeeze and a small roll between the thumb and forefinger. Is it soft like merino? Slick? Sproingy? Does it squeak? Is it stiff or lighter than air? Raise it to the soft underbelly of your chin and decide if belongs there for long. Is there a whiff of the warm breath of a grazing animal or the bite of vinegar in a dyebath?



side note: My local yarn store, Hanks has been fostering such activity.

7 comments:

Liz said...

sigh... i want to play!

mansuetude said...

write a book, ... for me.

Marjojo said...

It's like learning a new language, isn't it. I esp. love bombyx and tussah, have a thing for moths (but not in my wools/clothes please). Have been writing a poem that includes the names of knitting stitches that reach so far, conjure wide worlds: rib, flame, sea foam, seed and moss, little shell.

Erin said...

liz, come over!

mansuetude,
An fiber epicure book would need samples wouldn't it?
I'd like making it.

Marjojo,
It is a new language, and moths yes, have more intrigue somehow. The Lunas and Virgin tiger moths are my favorite. The lunas are changling creature with big eyes and small, plus they spin silk too. My neighbor once found a bird's nest lined with green luna wings, wonder if she(the bird) hunted them for their coats, or just found them.
Looking for to reading the your knitting poem. I've been learning that language too and it lends itself to poetry and your voice quite well.

A rambling rose said...

what a delicious and informative posting - it jolted my senses!! Wonderful stuff!

Marchi Wierson said...

perfect! I am new to fibers but completely taken in!

gusseting said...

oh - if you haven't heard of it, i think you might like "the knitters book of wool" by clara parkes - she goes through the sheep breeds and their peculiarities. at the moment, clara is hosting a kbow along on ravelry where there's a new fibre each month to play with - those in the group tell where they found their fiber, what they're going to do with it etc. 'cause there's so many people from around the world - it gets interesting!

-kylie

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