Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Getting My Goat-- In a Good Way

(photo copyright Ori Sofer 2010)

Several years ago I was at a holiday bazaar when I met a woman named Lisa Shell, who was selling mohair she spun from the curly locks of her own angora goats. I got her card but let's just say it took me longer than I intended to follow through and visit her. Well about a year ago, I finally made it out to Lisa's place-- Kai Ranch-- and I was beside myself with joy. I've always had a thing for goats, even before I learned to knit-- perhaps my affinity stems from the fact that I am a Capricorn, sign of the goat.

Lisa Shell (photo copyright Ori Sofer 2010)

After that first trip, I wrote a profile of Lisa over at the blog for Hill Country Weavers, my local knit shop. But I wasn't done with Lisa yet. So impressed was I with how she lives her life, raises her goats, spins her yarn, and just all around kicks butt that I began to dream. Actually, I had two dreams. One dream was to invite Lisa to invite me to follow her around every day for a year to learn as much as I could so that I, too, could become a goat woman. Let's call that the uber-fantasy dream, something for the distant future. The other, more realistic dream, was to buy enough of her handspun to make a sweater, as a birthday gift to myself. This idea was inspired in part by last year's Monhegan Island Retreat-- on the way back to Portland we stopped to meet Kelly Corbett at Romney Ridge Ranch who raises her own sheep, and then again when we stopped to meet Nan Kennedy of Seacolors Yarn who also grows and dyes her own. I got this idea that from now on, whenever I'm able, I want to know the animals my yarn comes from-- as in meet and greet them personally.

To dye for! (photo copyright Ori Sofer 2010)

Okay, so my birthday came and went and I got a little behind in making the dream come true. But last week Lisa was holding a dyeing class out at her ranch and she invited me to join in. (Ori-- my resident photographer-- came along and documented the day.) I'd never dyed yarn before and it was a total blast. Actually, I still haven't dyed yarn-- I chose to work with loose curly locks-- maybe I'll make one of my dogs a little wig with it.

Future handspun or doggie toupee? Decisions, Decisions (photo copyright Ori Sofer 2010)

We also headed out to the pasture to check out all the little baby goats that arrived in the past few weeks. Now I want goats even more than I did before. Honestly, one of these days I'm moving out to the country. Y'all can come visit me, I promise.

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