Staying Inspired

Right now I’m listening to Gershwin and the sun is shining.  There will always be music and sunshine.  I’m determined not to let anything, anyone take my smile away.  Just thinking about Ira Gershwin, I’m inspired.  Born  Israel Gershowitz in 1896 and working in his father Moisha’s Turkish baths until he became involved in the music business in the 20s, I wonder at the opposition he and anyone of his ethnicity and social status faced and had to rise above.  I can only imagine, obviously.

I drove my daughter back to college last weekend and had a long discussion about my family’s heritage on my father’s side.  She quizzed me about pogroms and flights.  We talked about the Egyptians, the Jews, the many and varied oppressed societies and the art and beauty that has come from the ashes.

Not entirely unrelated, I have been reading and researching heritage sheep breeds and their ability to adapt and thrive under varied and adverse conditions.  I own Shetlands & Cotswolds which are on the threatened and recovering lists.  I watch with interest and fascination to see others I know that are involved in bringing back other critical and threatened breeds and follow groups that make journeys to remote islands to research and introduce positive and constructive measures to recover flocks.  I think I would very much like to help more in the future.

Ways you can help are by supporting The Livestock Conservancy whose mission is “genetic conservation and the promotion of heritage breeds.”  A fellow designer and teacher, Maria Muscarella, has published a breed-specific pattern, ‘Fleece Flight‘, this fall using wool from breeds which are on the Conservancy’s list, including Cotswold fiber from our own farm in the form of “Thelma & Louise”.  Maria is donating proceeds to The Livestock Conservancy and writes, “Throughout the world, there are over 1,000 distinct breeds of sheep, yet many of us are only exposed to a few of the most common in our everyday knitting. Fleece Flight is a wonderful way to branch out and experience some of those rare yarns you have been missing.”

    We are working with the other farms that have yarns specified by “Fleece Flight” to create an upcoming promotion! Thanks to Maria, we’re all giving our flocks high-fives on growing great fleeces because the demand has been so great!

Our yarn that is made from Thelma & Louise, our old Angora grannies, and also from Hester, our beautiful Cotswold ewe (+ a little fine wool), is presently sold out after some success in a pattern from Maria and also Beatrice Perron Dahlen’s “Gentle Ewe’ shawl.  But the great news is that Mary Jeanne Packer, over at Battenkill Fiber Mill in Greenwich, NY, is almost finished with our next run.  I ran the fall shearing over to her and like magic, she has turned it into more Thelma & Louise.  It will take me a little bit, but I’ll get it back in the online shop and into the hands of the public as soon as possible.  My mom came by this week and modeled her ‘Gentle Ewe Shawl’ she had made with the old girls’ pretty yarn.  We had such fun taking pictures!

Mom with our "Thelma & Louise" yarn and her new "Gentle Ewe" shawl!

Mom with our “Thelma & Louise” yarn and her new “Gentle Ewe” shawl!

Our calendars were put out to pre-order this week and FLEW OFF THE SHELVES!  (But not really, since they were pre-orders.  However, there are zero-calendars in inventory now!)  So we are busily prepping to put more in the shop.

Meanwhile, I am visiting my daughter in St. Louis while Martha and Tessa and Jim are watching the flocks for a couple of days.  I’m anxious as heck to be away from my farm, but so happy to be with my dear one.  We have good and fun things to do together.

Enjoy a little Autumn Ecodyeing HERE that I’ve set to Vivaldi.  I’m excited to turn this pretty fabric into a garment during the cold of winter when I spend a little time at my sewing machine.

Stay inspired.  There are so many wonderful and positive things to do and to be done!


6 responses to “Staying Inspired

  1. Ever so inspiring Tammy! Love the adorable picture of your mom and her beautiful shawl. Now I want to make one too. Have a wonderful visit with your beautiful and talented daughter.

    • Thank you, Carrie! I had a good time with my mom and her modeling her shawl! I am blessed to spend time with SJ this week!! Thanks for the note,

    • I do, Barbara, and I love it! Thank you for thinking of me! Did you see the recent post of their little goat that was born with no back hooves? They are so awesome there, nurturing and enjoying the animals so. And thanks for the compliment on Mom’s shawl – she did great, didn’t she?!

  2. Hi Tammy, just cannot refrain from telling how happy I m reading this post, and tell you that I’m very inspired by you, and so glad that we share music, sheep (that campaign for preserving sheep livestock reminds me of another campaign trying to preserve old kinds of grain), overalls, yarn, etc 🙂 as important parts of our life, and a small but important thing for me, that people like you and others, accept that a man like me like yarn and fun clothing, and thanks for the great Mexican proverb you mentioned on instagram, my wife loved it ! take care, still hope some day to visit you, now back to Denmark tomorrow and get in insulated overalls and try to enjoy winter 🙂 and keep up work for good life all over! in DK we have similar challenges than US, nice fabric, here in SF, our landlady gave us a lot of used fabric for overalls patches 🙂 and now I stop 🙂

    • Oh thank you for such a nice response, Niels. And I am glad you had a wonderful trip to SF and are all stocked up for patches for wintertime stitching. I know your life is the kind in which repairing what you have and working hard each day gives you so much joy in return, there’s need for little. Many hugs across the sea!

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