Skip to main content
Farm Fresh Forensics
rss feedour twitterour facebook page
site map
Latest Posts

Farm Fresh Blog

Monday, March 21 2016

My world changed when I stuck my fingers in the bag.

Addiction is a funny thing. Some addictions I can understand - horses, chocolate, coffee, and cupcakes. Some confuse me - gambling (too expensive), alcohol (I fall asleep), drugs (I'm not doing prison time for anything short of a chocolate horse drinking coffee while eating a cupcake.) But given the above lists, I still try not to judge someone else's addictions because I'm as helpless in front of a cupcake as any crackfiend behind a convenience store. I know I have certain weaknesses, so it doesn't surprise me if I cave when faced by cupcakes or another dog, but sometimes I'm genuinely tripped up when I realize I've been captured like a moth in a spider web by a new addiction.  I struggle in the snare, wondering how it happened.

Sometimes it's slow, like coffee, so gradual that you don't even realize it's happening, but other times it's like the sweet spread of a smile across a child's face when she gets her first taste of chocolate. That's what happened this week when I stuck my fingers in the bag.

So let's examine the anatomy of addiction:

Start with weedeater goats, move to producing meat goats. Move to raising dairy goats and making goat milk soap. Goats are so versatile that you decide the world would be a better place if every home had a couple of goats and a handful of chickens. Somewhere along with the idea of a Victory Garden, the government dropped the ball by not encouraging everyone to get goats and chickens.

Goats lead to sheep. Start with meat sheep, but decide that the sheep equivalent of the American Bison is the Navajo Churro sheep because it gives meat, milk, and fiber, so in addition to your dairy goats, you want to add Navajo Churro Sheep. Fall into a flock of Navajo Churros by accident. Fall in love. At first you are just happy having them but then you decide to play with the idea of spinning their wool into yarn and weaving saddle pads and cinches. You have no interest whatsoever in knitting, or crochet.

Your interest really is in the animal and getting the fiber into yarn. You like the natural colors of the sheep. Then you discover natural plant dyes. So you decide you'd like to dye some of your own wool. The slide to addiction begins.

You start to look longingly at spinning wheels. Since you don't know anyone who spins, you can't scratch that itch, but then the Fiber Fairy sends you a teacher, who brings her wheel over and gives you a lesson. She also gives you a lesson in knitting. You have no interest in knitting until the lesson. At the end of the lesson you are a child making Jacob's Ladder with a piece of twine, you cannot put it down. Not only can you not forget the knitting, you cannot forget the joy of spinning.

You now decide you must have a spinning wheel. You then drive two hours to the Yarn Store to play with spinning wheels and order one of Your Very Own. You walk into the shop and are immediately hit by more colors and textures than an outdoor flower market. You become drunk on the colors. The shopkeeper is keen and takes advantage of your dizzy state.

"Here, put your hand in here," she says as she offers a clear plastic bag filled with gray fluff.

You have no real expectations since you have house dogs and it looks like the stuff you sweep out from under the couch, but to be polite, you stick your fingers in the bag.

And that's when the addiction takes hold.

The fuzzy bundle is pygora, a breed of goat that is a cross between an Angora and a Pygmy. It is the softest, most magical fiber. You want to stuff the whole bag under your shirt and run with it. You are Gollum with The Ring. This fiber is The Missing Link, it completes the circuit for your addiction. No, you don't want to breed Pygora goats. You just want to touch fiber. You want to spin the fiber. You want to, God help you, knit the fiber.

At this point I'm sure my mother who raised a child with little or no Home Economics interests or skills is falling out of her chair with laughter, but she hides it well and does what she always does, she encourages my interest. My new spinning wheel will arrive next week, and I'm trying to resist the urge to buy a Pygora wether to add to my herd of goats. I trying to resist the thoughts that urge me to blend Angora fiber with Navajo churro fiber on my spinning wheel just to see. . .

And so that is the Anatomy of Addiction, the route of meat goat rancher to fiber farmer. Can I make money at it? Or course not. If it had been about money I would never have stuck my fingers in the bag.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 04:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  13 Comments  |  Email
Some of the most beautiful hand spun yarn I have ever seen was wool and golden retriever. Very subtle/sensuous..... You must get shed from Briar.....????
Posted by Diane I. on 03/21/2016 - 05:08 PM
I still have my mum [93] who spin, weaves, dyes, makes her own clothes from created material BUT alas I never took advantage of the skills, but I did provide he with chocolate brown Alpaca wool. Her skills live on with the many she taught as a domestic science teacher. I took up bookbinding and restoration instead which led to an addiction for book collecting.
Posted by Liz (Vict. Aust.) on 03/21/2016 - 05:28 PM
Funny you should say that! I'm now brushing and saving Briar fur! I plan to spin that puppy up!
Posted by Forensicfarmgirl on 03/21/2016 - 05:29 PM
{Hahaha} So I'm wondering . . . when will you find the time to do all that?
Posted by Terri's Pal on 03/21/2016 - 05:52 PM
Au contraire my friend. You CAN make money spinning (and dying) fiber. Next time you are on FB, check out Spun Ware over the Rainbow, a site owned by a friend of mine. (sing that in a Judy Garland voice and you'll get it).
Posted by Beth Hilborn on 03/21/2016 - 06:01 PM
Don't forget about Border collie fur, you must have access to some of that?
Posted by Peg H. in Wisconsin on 03/21/2016 - 06:47 PM
Have handled a pyr Beanie [hat] Beautiful was mixed with something else. Did not smell dog at all. Was very warm.
Posted by Liz (Vic Aust.) on 03/21/2016 - 07:23 PM
The whole time I'm reading this all I can think is "You GO Girl!" and "I can't wait to see your creations." :)
Posted by Sue on 03/21/2016 - 08:30 PM
Not to worry, it isn't your fault! Some people have a genetic disposition towards addictive behavior. Compaired to some vices wool seems minor. Wish I had known a couple of weeks ago. I have spent the past two weekends amazing neighbors and blowing my dog's undercoat out. (I do it in the front yard since my neighbors behind me have a pool). I could have sent you soft cream colored Terv undercoat.
Posted by Rebecca on 03/21/2016 - 09:19 PM
Oh Beth, this is a slippery slope. I keep thinking about that pygora fiber..... What a wonderful addition to my fiber flock that would make...
Posted by Forensicfarmgirl on 03/22/2016 - 11:49 AM
You know you want one...... they don't eat only need one......nyah ha ha ha.....
Posted by paulainnevada on 03/23/2016 - 08:25 PM
Ohhhhhhhh!!!!! You are evil! Lol!
Posted by Forensicfarmgirl on 03/23/2016 - 09:17 PM
About spinning your dog's fur... I was speaking with a spinner at a show. She said that spinning yarn out of only dog fur/undercoat made too dense a yarn. It didn't breathe. She said that if she did it again, she would mix wool in with it to give it more loft. I have a wheel. Need to get it out and start playing again!
Posted by Cappy on 03/28/2016 - 12:07 PM

Post comment
Email Address

(max 750 characters)
* Required Fields
Note: All comments are subject to approval. Your comment will not appear until it has been approved.

Red Feather Ranch, Failte Gate Farm

© 2009-2019, Farm Fresh Forenics, Forensicfarmgirl, Failte Gate Farm, Red Feather Ranch All Rights Reserved.

rss feedour twitterour facebook page