I Love Hand Spun Wool! I love hand spun wool for its imperfections, for it's texture, because it comes from nature and a natural process; and most of all I love hand spun wool for it's stories. For example, The wool pictured below came from a young guy I met last weekend at a show in New Albany, IN.
He was 21-years-old, attending a local college, getting ready to transfer to an art school, to study fiber art. He had found an old spinning wheel at a yard sale, in desperate need of repair. He decided he could buy it, fix it, and learn to spin; which he did all based on YouTube videos. (This seems to be the way the next generation is learning, according to several young adults I've met lately.) He had several different types of hand spun wool, including those he had practiced using natural dyes. I ultimately chose this chocolate brown.
This ball of hand spun wool has a different story.
I had never been to Gatlinburg, but wanted to go because I had heard so much about it. After hanging around Pigeon Forge, hiking Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains, we made a day trip to Gatlinburg. Fortunately we started on a side street in town, not realizing there was a whole commercial strip of shops. We first encountered The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum. If you haven't been, it is definitely worth the trip and $2 admission. It was leaving the Museum that I spotted the Smoky Mountain Spinnery. After wondering around the shop gazing at their beautiful selection, I asked the woman running the shop to show me specifically the locally spun wool. So that is where this ball of wool came from, which half of has already been turned into "sweater weather" accessories.
And on that note, my favorite place to talk fiber is The Clay Pearl in Nashville, IN. -Not that they spin their own wool, though they have plenty of hand crafted yarns, they love to talk fiber all day, are super helpful, and have many great stories to share of the yarn they carry. Just had to give them a plug here.