A flick carder and the two-hundred mile walk

Do you ever reach a point where you just feel brittle? I can't think of a better word to describe my current state. I'm a little tired after the summer's teaching trips, but that passes eventually. No, the feeling is more of edginess. Like I'm living a little too close to the top of things--skimming along instead of feeling grounded.

Teaching is something I love dearly. Those of you in my online classes can attest to this. Most of the time I relish the opportunity to explain something a different way or to make a new video to review or provide more information about a concept. I will not give up the teaching. There is something immensely gratifying about interacting with students and I love the online format where I get to do this every day.

But I do need a break. The brittleness has made me cranky and it is time for a little walk in the woods. My yearly plans for long hikes have gone haywire every year for the last several years and this year, I'm carving out about ten days to hike through Colorado before the snow hits in earnest. I fully expect to get snowed on in the high country on this walk, but I'm bringing gear to manage it (so don't worry!).

One of the things I'm most exited about on this trip is a little project I have concocted involving a beautiful fleece, a flick carder, a turkish spindle, and a Hokett loom. All these little tools fit nicely in a backpack and the scenery of Colorado should provide generous inspiration for some small sketch tapestries.

I had an exciting trip to Sheep Feathers Farm on Monday to pick out a fleece. Robin Phillips is a master of sheep breeding. I posted about her shearing in 2015 HERE. Her fleeces are all gorgeous. This was my first time to pick out a fleece all on my own but I don't think I could have picked a bad one. This particular fleece is a Cotswald, Lincoln, Wenslydale, CVM mix. But the important thing is that the fiber seems perfect for tapestry weaving. The fleece is a beautiful mix of brown and white. I will dye part of it and use part of it in its natural state. Periwinkle was the sheep's name and she won a blue ribbon at Estes for this fleece.

Also, you know you're going backpacking for long distances when you find yourself haunting the kitchen aisles at Target looking for the right container. It doesn't matter what was in the container (in this instance it was peanut butter which is fortunate. I like peanut butter.) so much as that the container is the right size, is lightweight, and won't leak. Everything I eat on the trail will come out of that plastic jar. Rehydrated cold beans and rice most likely. I'm going stoveless this time (NOT topless--some of you read it that way, didn't you.)

I'll send you some updates. Maybe even from the trail. We'll see what a little spindle and a tiny loom can do in the backcountry. But mostly I hope some long miles will help me find the ground again.

I'll be a bit out of pocket from August 10 to 20. But you might even get an update from the trail if those little tapestries work out.