Welcome! The alpacas and farm life have become my constant teachers, and I have begun shifting my blog focus to reflect the lessons I am learning. I plan to share more thoughts and stories related to farm life in Grays Harbor County and carve out a space in the ethernet where one can stop, breathe, and think.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What's in Your Closet?

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately.

That statement reminds me of a famous line often uttered by my PhD advisor: "Ten minutes in the library can save you thirty minutes in the lab. But sometimes ten minutes in the lab can save you thirty minutes in the library."

So...sometimes one needs to stop and think, but sometimes it's better to just try and do. This seems to me to be a fitting description for the art of life - mastering the balance of time put into thinking and time put into doing. One without the other leads to either a lack of purpose or a lack of fulfillment. And if there was an easy answer to this balancing game, I'm guessing the phrase "time management" and all of the articles and books written about it would not have to exist.

There is much happening on our farm right now that has required thinking and decision making of a serious business-type nature. Commercial mill equipment will be on its way here shortly as we prepare to convert part of our barn space into a full-service yarn mill. We have been thinking about which equipment to buy, how to use the space we have to its best advantage, what changes may be necessitated, and where each piece of equipment should sit (when your carder weighs 3000 lbs, you can't just move it a little to the left a few days later). And that's just the tip of the thinking iceberg.

Then I came across a blog post tonight about The Fibershed Project, which got me doing more thinking, albeit along more philosophical lines.

As a knitter, seamstress, fiber artist, and alpaca rancher, you would think that I would be wearing more of my own handmade clothing. However, like most other knitters and fiber artists I know, the objects I make generally end up being for other people - either for sale, for gifts, or for charity. There's nothing wrong with that, but now I'm starting to think about how making and wearing my own clothing is more than just a utilitarian exercise.

The Fibershed Project has inspired me to become a force to start a similar movement in Grays Harbor County. The clothing we wear does not have to be produced any farther away than our own homes or the homes, farms, or businesses of our local community. You don't have to be like Rebecca and exchange what you already have for solely handmade, but let's start thinking about the next thing that enters our closets. Try to find the time to make a few things for yourself. If you haven't already, learn how to knit, crochet, sew, quilt, weave, spin, felt... If you do buy something new, pick something locally made. We have a vast resource of fiber artists and raw materials available in our area that's waiting to be tapped.

If you stumble upon this post, I hope you will think about joining me in an effort to push the 'local and sustainable' concept beyond just food. You are what you eat, but your values are also expressed by what you wear. That's what I have been thinking about tonight. Now I'm ready to start knitting.

Ciao for now,

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