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This year Maryland Sheep and Wool festival celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. This important milestone has me reflecting on how much the festival has impacted me as a spinner (and person) across the years.
When I dig through my stash, I am transported to vacations, friends’ homes, or even life events. I still have some of the (clean) fleece I scored on my honeymoon twenty-five years ago at The Big Sheep Farm and Theme Park in Devon, England. I have Portland yarn from the first rare breed fleece my husband bought me when we were dating. Fibery souvenirs help us relive special times long after the trips are over.
A clap of thunder brought me back to the moment. Sitting in front of my wheel, I looked hard at the wool in my hands. It had been cold, gray, and rainy for the past week. A few hours earlier, I’d pulled out my drum carder and decided to make a few batts from some of the beautiful Jacob fleece I had washed and separated into piles of grays, whites, blacks, and even a pile with tan overtones.
It was September 2022. Here in the Pacific Northwest we were just beginning to come back together. The small groups with masks had begun to yield to larger groups outdoors without masks. It was still precarious, but my husband, Greg and I, had decided to hold our first Guanaco Spinning Retreat.
At the time of writing this, it is already June, the season of Pride. I wonder, readers, what comes to mind for you when you think of Pride month? How has that changed over the years? Historically, I have viewed Pride as a joyful celebration of authenticity and vulnerability. While I think joyful celebration swaddled in authenticity and vulnerability is a wonderful thing, and still rings true, there is more to it. Pride is so much bigger than “Love Is Love.” Especially this year.