Week Thirty-Seven: The Sheep and Wool Challenge

Last weekend I attended my seventh consecutive Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. Events at my first Sheep and Wool Festival (specifically, the utter lack of anything to do after 5pm on Saturday) inspired me to create an event that is now known as Unwind; I attended my sixth Unwind on Saturday night.

I love the Festival, and I’m proud of Unwind, but this year as I explored the vendor barns and saw what so many fiber crafters had to offer (fiber animals, finer, yarn, patterns, books, artwork, jewelry, pottery, baskets, clothing, wheels, spindles, needles, and more new items every year), I started to feel uncomfortable and melancholy. It didn’t take long to identify the source of this discomfort.

As I walked down each aisle I recognized vendors from whom I had purchased items in the past — items I had not yet used, even though they had been procured with the best of intentions. I had bought fiber from one vendor which I have not spun; yarn from another that I have not knitted; books from yet another that I have not read. I felt guilty, sad, and — somehow — a failure. I had done nothing with the spoils of previous festivals — which didn’t leave me feeling especially festive.

It was time to do something about it.

I have made a new resolution, one that will overlap the 2013 resolutions with which I’ve been grappling (with overall success, the Calculus of Damocles notwithstanding).

Henceforth it is resolved that, prior to the commencement of the 2014 Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival, I shall have completed all projects using materials purchased at previous Wisconsin Sheep and Wool festivals, inclusive of the years 2007-2013.

Well, full completion of all materials might be straying into “unreasonable” territory. We’re talking about at least 16 ounces of fiber to spin, and I have neither wheel nor spindle in my possession right now. And I’ve forgotten how to spin. We’re talking about 3,390 yards of yarn to knit. And we’re talking about 514 pages of books to read. Even my short-time readers will note that I do have a current project or two I really should finish (the Ravelry count is over 16, but who’s really counting?) ere I set myself another massive goal and decide which motivation is more compelling, that of carrot or stick.

It’s one thing to decide that you should do something, and quite another to decide, before you’ve even lifted a finger to take action, that you shall probably fail. I won’t let doubts derail me. Who am I to presume what I cannot do? I’ll only know what I can do after I’ve done it. It’s a challenge I issue to myself. Meeting it is its own reward, and there is no punishment for failure.

That being said, it is a mighty challenge. But I’ll take pictures as I go, and try to keep my progress entertaining for any spectators.

I have three types of fiber to spin, which I know as Camel, Wookie, and Jacob. I have nine yarns to knit up: mohair, Rose Tyler, River Song, Killer Rabbit, Shetland, green heather, blue heather, the Sun Valley mini skeins, and natural colored sock yarn. And I have two books to read: Hit By a Farm, and Sheepish.

Rose Tyler.

Rose Tyler.

River Song.

River Song.

Killer Rabbit.

Killer Rabbit.

Green heather.

Green heather.

Blue heather.

Blue heather.

Handpainted Shetland.

Handpainted Shetland.

Fourteen items to check off in a year.

I hope this is all there is, but I fear that it is not. I’d better get a head start on the rest of it. As I read somewhere in the last week, “If you need to be in two places at the same time, you had better move quickly.”

As long as nobody expects anything hand knitted for Christmas, this should all work out just fine.

(Oh, crap.)

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Good Luck w/your resolution! I hope you’ll keep us updated, as the act of posting also helps you on track and accountable to yourself!

  2. Remember the first rule of what to do when you find yourself in a hole: stop digging. (And stop buying until you have spun/knit/read enough of past purchases to feel okay about purchasing more.)


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