This is the part where the blog gets really boring and fiber-nerdy. Not so much adventure these days, back to my hermit-crab home-body ways. BUT.
Last weekend I went to the fibershed symposium on ecologically sustainable production of wool. It was nerdy, and inspiring, and also squelched any lingering fantasies about shepherdessing as a potential career move. (For example: dogs. I don’t think sheepcats would work so well.) The morning talks focused on carbon sequestration in rangelands. In the afternoon, some shepherds talked about their work with contract grazing (hiring out sheep as lawn mowers, basically). The last speaker explored the potential for a vertically integrated production chain for locally produced, ecologically beneficial garments. Woah. Even just the people-watching was great–there were climate scientists with button-up shirts tucked into their khakis, and dudes with beard-dreds, and knitters with funky shawls, and no-nonsense boots-and-flannel ranchers.
Since we were already at Pt. Reyes, my friend and I drove a bit further to a beach where we collected seawater for mordanting fiber (the first step in working with natural dyes). We happened to get there right as the sun was setting over the waves, and the full moon was rising over the hills behind us. Let us give thanks for small magics.