This past weekend, I attended my local weaving guild, The Weavers of Orlando. Sitting on the member garage sale table, I found this beautiful caramel-colored fleece. I’m a very new spinner, having just gotten my first wheel and learned to spin this past April. I know that I want to hand process a fleece sometime just to say that I’ve done it, but that was a someday kind of goal, with no immediate plans. I managed to avoid buying a fleece at the various fiber events I’ve attended this year, despite visiting fleece barns and seeing so many beautiful options. But there was something about this fleece. I asked the seller what type of fleece it was. She didn’t know, but thought it might be alpaca. How much? Five dollars. “I’ll take it,” I replied.
When I started spinning last April, I did something I almost never do: I went into it blind. I love research. I’m the person who reads and reads and learns the nuances of something before I dive in and start doing it. I knew I wanted to learn to spin, so when I went to The Fiber Event in Greencastle, I planned to try out wheels so I could start to get an idea which wheel I liked best. I did not expect to buy a wheel, but that’s exactly what I did. I spun a little bit with almost no instruction, then started looking for resources to learn more. It was then, in mid-May, that I found The Spinner’s Book of Fleece by Beth Smith on Amazon. I preordered it and totally forgot until I got the e-mail telling me that it had shipped! The book is both more and less than I expected, and I truly love it for what it is.