When fiber, life, and dreams converge

Saving sheep from purple rabbits—wait, what?

These beautiful Soay sheep are from Steve and Priscilla Weaver's Saltmarsh Ranch in Jacksonville, Oregon.

I don't know if my dream of purple rabbits has anything to do with the start of the Chinese New Year and 2011 being the year of the hare—perhaps! Image by Anna Efimenko, iStockphoto.com.

Do you ever have fiber-related dreams? I do, all the time. I had a dream the other night about Deb Robson. I'm sure it had something to do with viewing her new video Handspinning Rare Wools. In my dream, Deb was shepherding Soay sheep (yep, it was a breed-specific dream). Their wool was shedding naturally in blankety-tufts, and the unusual part about it was that she was herding them from a lake onto a boat. Their wool had absorbed the water like a sponge does (and not like wool at all). They stepped out of the lake quite daintily and up to a table set for tea with white linens.

In the next scene of my dream, the boat (complete with tea table) had transformed into a flatbed truck, and we were arriving at an estate with a cast-iron gate guarded by huge eggplant-colored rabbits—they were very fuzzy, purple, and yet menacing. The sheep, Deb, and I were not eager to get off the truck and face the guard rabbits. The rabbits were short-haired—they didn't have the spinnable fiber of Angora rabbits, but their coats were a gorgeous deep eggplant-purple.

I'm not really sure what this all means (maybe you know and can give me insight). What I've read in standard dream dictionaries about the meaning of sheep and rabbits doesn't really mesh with what these animals mean to me as a spinner. I've also read that any person in your dream represents an aspect of yourself.

In my dream, Deb was calmly and systematically guiding her sheep from danger to safety—a spinner's superhero. In real life, she's a passionate advocate for rare breeds, and for decades she's been a powerful voice in their preservation—for the sheep themselves, for the diversity of the fiber available to handspinners, for the landscapes they inhabit, and for the lifestyle that preserving them enhances. All in all it was a pretty wonderful dream that gave me a lot to think about. I wonder if I can spin a yarn in that same shade of purple…

Happy spinning,

 P.S. Speaking of dreams, if you're planning on attending Spin-Off Autumn Retreat (SOAR) this year in Manchester, New Hampshire, October 2–8, 2011, you're in for a treat because Deb will be one of the mentors. She's already hard at work gathering up samples of rare breed fleeces for the event. We're working on getting all the details ready for you to peruse on our website, but it won't be ready until the end of March. And mark your calendars because registration will open on Tuesday April 12, 2011.




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