I find it exciting that wool is making a comeback in the marketplace. In publications everywhere I look, I see wool featured. We are receiving more and more inquiries from people moving away from synthetics and back to natural fibers. It shouldn’t be a surprise, since wool has been providing man with survival and comfort for 12,000 years, a history with man that no other fiber can touch.
Somewhere along the way though, we forgot to appreciate the qualities of wool, began taking it for granted, and then even thought we could make something better! New and exciting “performance fibers” took its place, and wool was no longer in favor. At Imperial Stock Ranch, our belief in its importance is what took us down the value added journey to sell direct, 16 years ago.
I’ve been singing the praises of wool for a long time, and it is such a pleasure to see others rediscovering its miracle qualities and spreading the message of its importance to man for comfort and “performance.” It’s the original performance fiber! The other night I was up at sheep camp just before sunset, and took these photos, while I contemplated the magnificence of nature and how it provides for us.
We’ve been shearing this week, and immersed in the beauty of the entire cycle. The “shearing dance” as the wool is harvested and the sheep jump out of the shed, fresh as spring, and ready for a new year. We took some guests that came for shearing, out on a “land tour” to see the grasses, springs and creeks — the habitat where the sheep live. We went all the way to the mouth of Wood Gulch, and various species of hawks, wrens and other birds, treated us to their maneuvers and calls. Wildlife showed up perhaps just to honor the season, and welcome the guests. First a herd of antelope bounded away up the slope as we drove along a field we call the “Section,” and next we witnessed a group of elk enjoying life in a meadow bottom, near Burgess Homestead Cabin, and finally, a bunch of deer on a ridge above Thompson Creek. It was a marvelous outing, and as we drove back to the headquarters and the shearing shed where the “action” was still going, there was a powerful awareness of the vital role sheep and all grazing animals play, on the earth. Sheep are important grazers of the landscape, enhancing its health and vitality as we witnessed on our tour, and at the same time, providing man with the most essential basics for survival. Let’s never take them for granted.
I look forward to sharing this marvelous place and the animals with the folks who will attend the upcoming Vogue Knitting Destination Experience coming June 3-6, 2016. Click here for more information.