Joining Ginny this week for Yarn Along to share a story about a shawl for a shepherd friend.
It seems fitting that as I have been knitting the past two weeks, I have also been reading a book titled The Art and Science of Shepherding, as I have been knitting a gift for a shepherding friend. (The book deserves its own future blog post, as it is a fascinating study of shepherds in France who rely on the traditional form of shepherding to care for their flocks.)
I have been knitting the Farmhouse Shawl by Cabinfour for my friend, Kat, who has been my shepherding mentor since the day I purchased my first two sheep from her farm years ago. She raises a flock of lovely sheep whose fleeces are sought after by handspinners. Kat is one of those solid people, honest, caring, and ever so generous. While visiting her booth at the New Hampshire Sheep Festival, I learned that her best friend, Susanne, had died in January due to a sudden illness. Susanne was always in Kat’s booth at festivals. Through the years, she and Kat formed a close friendship. She had purchased sheep from Kat and would bring her fleeces along to sell at the festivals, and to help Kat with her booth. Susanne always remembered me and my family. Though I only saw her once a year, she would ask about each of my children, calling them by name. She was always interested in what we were doing and would encourage me in my endeavors.
Last year, I had purchased a fleece from Susanne. It was a lovely Cormo/Romney cross fleece, silver gray with the softness of Cormo and the luster of Romney. I had it spun into yarn, blending it with a black mohair fleece from another Vermont farm. The yarn was beautiful. As soon as Kat told me about Susanne’s death, I knew what I wanted to do. Two weeks and five hundred yards later, I have knit a shawl for Kat out of her friend’s wool yarn. Now, when Kat misses Susanne, she can wrap the shawl around her shoulders, and feel the warmth of Susanne’s love and friendship.