Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Saturday, 12 April 2003

I took Jackie to the Fleece Fair in Greencastle, Indiana. We'd done this both last year and the year before, and it's always a fun trip. It's a pleasant drive (about two hours), passing through some pretty countryside.

At the fair, vendors sell all sorts of things--fiber for spinning, tools for preparing the fiber, spinning it, and weaving or knitting it afterwards, along with end products like yarn, scarves, sweaters, hats, etc.

Since it's a fleece fair, there are a lot of raw fleeces--what you get when you shear a sheep. Going from a fleece to something ready to spin into yarn is a lot of work--the fleece has to be skirted and picked (cleaning out the bits of sheep droppings, twigs, grass and such) and then washed (a lot of work all by itself, as sheep are not notably cleanly creatures), then either combed or carded (so that the individual fibers are lined up and ready to be spun into yarn). It's enough work that Jackie doesn't feel like she needs another fleece.

[Sidewalk in our Apartment complex]

The crowd is interesting. It's diverse in some senses. People from all walks of life are interested in spinning. There are back-to-nature types and working-class folks and suburban moms. It's largely female, but not so much so as to make me feel out of place, and includes all ages from babes-in-arms to the elderly. It's not diverse, though, in the sense that people seem to use the term these days: the crowd is overwhelmingly white. I wonder if there are lots of Black or Asian spinners who go to other such fairs. Perhaps the ethnic mix at this fair is due to its location in south-central Indiana.

The trip to the fleece fair is a chance to see some wildlife. The turkey vultures are back, soaring over the bluffs and ravines. I saw a bluebird, which is pretty scarce where I live.

I foolishly forgot to bring the camera to the fleece fair. In order that I might have a picture to put here anyway, I took the camera and went out to get a picture by Kaufman Lake, but a cold front must have gone through in the late afternoon. We had been perfectly comfortable in shorts and t-shirts at 4:00, but at 5:30 when we went out with the camera, it was much too cold. We cut our walk short and just walked around the apartment complex.

So, here's a picture of one of the sidewalks in the apartment complex.

Sunday there'll be a meeting of Chambana Speculations, our local writing group. I'm hoping people will have had a chance to read my story.

No writing today, and no exercise to speak of. It was a good day, though, even so.


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