Thursday, September 23, 2010

the first hat

I finished my first ever backyard-raised piece of clothing tonight: a knit hat. This chunky, imperfect, hat was grown on my sheep sal's back. It was sheared by Jim McRae here at Jackson while puppy Gibson and I watched. It was washed, soaked, dried, carded, and hand spun into simple white yarn and then knit into a simple hat. Tomorrow morning I will wear it to feed my sheep. As the winter comes in it will keep me warm. Next year's hats will be keeping the sheep warm. It's a good system.

There is nothing more basic on a sheep farm than this. I am wearing the hat right now as I write you in my little office. I am smiling, and not because I made a hat out of livestock: but because the hat reminds me so much of myself: Chunky, imperfect, messy, and created by a farm. I accept them both as a wild sort of beautiful.


Blogger twistie said...

" I accept them as a wild sort of beautiful." I LOVE it Jenna! I love that you know exactly who you are and are so comfortable with it! I wish more women had that attitude! FYI, the hat is wonderful, I'm working on a project similarly.

September 23, 2010 at 10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's beautiful! How satisfying.

September 23, 2010 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger Emmett said...

That's awesome. It always feels so good to use something you've made entirely yourself, down to all the components. On our farm we're working on growing more variety of grains and other ingredients so that we can eat more meals entirely grown on the farm... quinoa, potatoes, goat cheese, eggs, and all variety of veggies (oh, and the occasional naughty rooster.)

As for our wool, well we've only had sheep for about a year and the dirty wool is still sitting in old feed sacks, waiting to one day be made into something cozy for our heads. Congrats to you on your first hat!


September 23, 2010 at 11:45 PM  
Blogger 6512 and growing said...

Lovely all around. Full circle. May that hat warm you in many ways.

September 23, 2010 at 11:59 PM  
Blogger Irma said...

OK, I can't match the whole "sheep = wool = sheering = carding = spinning = knitting = hat" thing, but.... A few weeks ago I took a hand spinning lesson with purchased roving and I am so excited about the lumpy purple CRAP on my spindle that I may never knit it....I think I may just hug it and love it and call it George.

I can't even imagine how much MORE you must be feeling. Good for you!

September 24, 2010 at 12:00 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

SORT of beautiful?

Nah- it IS beautiful. That looks like a hat that you could sell for a surprisingly large sum.

Really gorgeous.

September 24, 2010 at 12:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing could be more satisfying and special. No amount of money could buy a hat with that feeling to it. Way to go!!

September 24, 2010 at 12:31 AM  
Blogger Moose Nugget said...

Yup. I agree with Paula.
I want one.
Or some of that fancy Sal yarn to knit my own.
Of course, Maude's wool would probably fit me better. She and I are a lot alike, that gal!

September 24, 2010 at 12:32 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Any chance you'll take us on a photo journey of the whole process from Sal to hat?

September 24, 2010 at 12:52 AM  
Blogger Reason's Whore said...

My wool is like Emmett's, sitting in sacks. You are miles ahead of most of us.

Really looked at my lambs today as some of their wool is getting very long. It is so soft, lustrous, crimpy and beautiful. A happy marriage of genes. Now if I just had your drive...

September 24, 2010 at 2:11 AM  
Blogger daisy said...

How wonderful, Jenna! You are becoming more self-sufficient by the day! Congrats! daisy

September 24, 2010 at 5:44 AM  
Blogger svelteSTUFF said...

...and I was so proud/content with my pickles & salsa that I raised and harvested from seed to jar - I can understand your COMPLETE LOVE of HAT!! -and it is Gorgeous, even from an unbiased view!!

September 24, 2010 at 6:55 AM  
Blogger *jean* said...

you remind me of tom and barbara sitcom from the 70's called good've come full circle on this and it makes me smile too!! congrats on a milestone!

September 24, 2010 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Emma said...


September 24, 2010 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

Great job!!

September 24, 2010 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

wow - that hat is gorgeous! I can't wait until you have enough to start selling - I'll be first in line!

September 24, 2010 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

I also knit and love it. I find your hat just beautiful! The warmth you and your sheep have provided you has got to give you great satisfaction. Doing it all yourself is an amazing thing, and you should be very proud. Keeping loving those sheep and making pretty things! Anna

September 24, 2010 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Tami said...

Sigh. I miss my sheep. One day I will be a shepherdess again. One day. Right now I feel so far from that plan/goal/dream. I love the heart you express. "...the hat reminds me so much of myself: Chunky, imperfect, messy, and created by a farm. I accept them both as a wild sort of beautiful." Boy does that express how I feel. No, I don't have a farm right now but gosh am I being created by life. Where my husband's jobs take us. Along the journey I do my best to do what I can.

September 24, 2010 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Tanja said...

Irma gets bonus points for the Bugs Bunny and Friends reference (no, not Of Mice and Men).

Overture! Turn the lights!

September 24, 2010 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Jenna, you are such an inspiration! The hat is adorable!

September 24, 2010 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger treehuggers kitchen said...

LOVE IT! Congratulation hugs to you! I really enjoy "the hat reminds me so much of myself: Chunky, imperfect, messy, and created by a farm." I went to the Commonground Fair up here in Maine yesterday...the one thing I look forward to more than any other happening throughout the year. My mother and I were talking to a cow farmer about a mother and calf that he had there. We thought she was bigger than most cows, but the farmer said that she was just "well fleshed". I've since decided that that's what I am. well fleshed, and no one can tell me any different... :)

September 25, 2010 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger treehuggers kitchen said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 25, 2010 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Dulcimer said...

It's lovely. And you have a right to be very proud.

September 25, 2010 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Great hat! Love it! I'm a knitter and crocheter and my favorite part of the season change is that I can wear my wool hat my little girl dyed for me in the front yard this past summer. :)

September 27, 2010 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger troy said...

Hey Jenna just curious are you going to sell any hats.

September 27, 2010 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger ************* said...

I love chunky knit caps! Looks so cozy. Just had the first enjoyment of growing food from seed to seed- can't imagine how amazing it would be to make wool from your own animal! Love your blog :)

October 6, 2010 at 11:16 AM  

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