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14 June 2005



An Ode to Wool

I love to knit by the pool
With my hands so full of wool.
People say that I am a fool
To be knitting by the pool with wool.

*Birch is beautiful!

Lee Ann

Okay, Laurie gets Keats, I get Frost:

Why make so much of fragmentary blue
In here and there spun wool, skeins hung to dry,
Or distaff, or drop spindle, or double ply,
When dyers present in fleece the solid hue?

Since wool is wool, perhaps, not heaven (as yet)--
Though some savants make wool include the dye;
This blue in variegated tones we'll try,
It only gives our wish for socks a whet.

I still think Jasmine's limerick kicks butt, though ;-)


I vote for the limerick too, but I did my ode in pictures. It's here: http://mamacate.typepad.com/mamacate/2005/06/my_ode.html

If only I could get the smell on a blog.

That Laurie

Wool, glorious wool!
Wensleydale and Gotland!
While we're in the mood --
Corriedale and Shetland!
Romney and Border Leicester!
What next is the query?
Fine shepherds have 'em, spinster --
CVM and Targhee!

Wool, glorious wool!
We're anxious to try it.
Three fleeces a day --
Our favourite -- dye it!

(with apologies to Dickens musicals eveywhere -- it is not an ode, but there is a faint ode-or)


Love wool for its forgiving nature and its great warmth factor. So much so that when I was stationed in Beijing for 2.5 years, I frantically bought wool yarn and knitted up garments furiously.

Coz now that I am back in Singapore, wool has to be relegated to those cold wet days which are far and few.


Roses are red, violets are blue, wool keeps you warm and looks great too!

Plus, it's great to knit with...and soft....and when my feet get wet walking through snow, they stay warm.....but I can't make all of that rhyme.


Hi Carrie
Thank you so much for this idea - I had only been musing the other day on this very topic, and I hadn't been able to assemble my fragmented thoughts, so here goes...
For me, wool and knitting means my nanna. My nanna taught me to knit when I was 5, and it was my main form of craft until I was about 21, and learned to quilt. Learning to knit is one of my most vivid memories - a cold, windy day, sitting in front of the fire with my nanna, and my mum (her daughter-in-law) sitting behind me, working on one of her commissioned knitting projects. Feeling loved and secure, and totally triumphant at the end of the first whole row on my own. Knitting took a back seat until last year, when I had a sudden, inexplicable urge to take up the needles again. And so began the journey into my fibre fetish, lol!! Not too long after starting to knit again, I discovered blogs, and was drawn into the spinning culture. I remembered my nanna had a spinning wheel, and at the same time, my local craft group offered spinning lessons. I went to stay with my nanna, and she got out her wheel and assorted paraphernalia with it, including fibre. When she gave me a demo of the wheel, I was transported back in time to being a little girl. I don't have very clear memories, but the click-clack and whirr of the wheel made me feel safe and comforted, and some hazy recollection took me to the feet of my nanna as she spun her homespun yarn. In our family, everyone gets a handspun hat and a handspun jumper (sweater) from my nanna. I've long outgrown my jumper, but now my kids have theirs, and their hats. My favourite jumper is the last adult sized garment my nanna knit, as it was too much for her to be able to continue to knit such big items. Every time I put on the oversized jumper (in case I grow into it, lol!!), I think of the love that went into every stitch, and give thanks for the craft she handed down to me. For knitting and spinning have guided my path through some dark hours in the last 12 months, and now follows me on my new journey in life, leading me to new fibre friends and relaxing my heart and soul at the end of each day. Every yarn and fibre purchase reminds me of the two great women in my life from whom I have learnt so much, both in knitting and non-knitting matters. And it means the beginning of a new journey with my children, DS (7) already showing a knack for garter stitch, and the pestering of 'can I do the wheel thing again mum??'.
Now my goal is to make life with my kids on a little property, just a couple of acres, just enough to have some sheep.......
Who knew wool could come to mean so much??

Alison in Australia

Siow Chin

I write no poems, so I googled and found this touching poem from the husband's perspective.
Why I love wool? Just because.


This may not be much of an ode......

I love wool, because it's good for my hands and for my soul, gives me pleasure at least 3 times (when I buy it, when i knit/spin with it and when I wear what I've created), AND it's so lovely to look at.
How can I not love wool!?


Remember those "change one letter" word games? I think they may have even been on some of the aptitude tests we had to take as kids. Anyway, start with one word and change one letter at a time to get to another word.

So here is "Sheep to Wool" (Of course I had to fudge the rules a bit since they have different #s of letters...I worked in a few other fibery words too!).


julia fc

I don't need any more sock yarn, but can I just say that if I did want to say something, it would be something like what Laurie wrote. But it would take me three times as long to think of it. I'll be posting my own ode to wool when I bother to do a what I bought at Fiber Frolic post.


Here's mine - also on my blog

My house of wool
is really quite full:
Needles & patterns & yarns in a bin
Fluff & carders & wheels that spin
When I go to the fair
And fill my bags with what's there
Somehow cotton really never gets in.


why wool above any other fiber? because knitters don't let knitters knit wool into cameltoe... (see blog for photographic evidence).


For Lorna's I'll even reveal what a one-trick pony I am:

In the first place,
you are not allergic to wool.
That lie is the bastard brat
of ignorance, overheating and vanity.
You may be allergic to cats,
angora rabbits,
dust, mold, pollen, the stings of bees,
bad dreams, the semen
of Rh negative men,
or, if you were an axe murderer
in a former existence,
strawberries. You could be reacting
to chemical dyes, the sulfuric acid
they soak wool in to carbonize the hay,
sheep dip so deeply lethal
it kills on contact, bad vibes
from an old cryptorchid ram, hysteria
or bad karma. But not wool.
Never wool.

Has it ever crossed your mind
that there are breeds,
that each breed extrudes
a different wool? You buy
a crappy, scratchy,
certainly Suffolk
sweater because you like
the pretty color,
then brag that you're too sensitive
to wear wool. What do you know
of Merino, Spanish wool so fine
it makes a grandmother's love
seem cold and harsh?
Men were beheaded
for smuggling these sheep.
You could spend a life
exploring the differences
between Icelandic and Churro,
Black Welsh Mountain,
Finn, Romney, Jacob, Corriedale,
Karakul, Cheviot, Shetland, Lincoln, Leister--
both Border and Blue Faced--
Coopworth, Cormo, Targhee, Wenslydale,
Herdwick, Swaledale,
Cotswold, God forbid,
Dorset, Tunis, Polworth, Rambouillet.
Then you could start on rare breeds.
Don't get me started.

Wool is the perfect fiber,
the only one
which insulates when wet.
Wet cotton, silk,
are out to save themselves, leaching
your body heat away.
Like us, wool breathes.
Unlike us, it's blessed with memory,
returns to its original shape when washed.

Wool is proof of a benign, personal God,
is grace, divine intervention at its best.
It's why sheep are mentioned in the Bible
more than any other animal.
I made that up,
but you believed me, proving
you've had your own suspicions
all along.

When mercury freezes,
hang your quilts on the wall.
Curl under wool.
Wool knows you're a mammal.
It's sympathetic, doesn't just conserve
body heat--it radiates it,
melting your bunched muscles
into something capable of sleep,
making sure your dreams
fill with green fields.


Wool socks are red
wool socks are blue
If I win this yarn
I'll knit some 'im Nu' (Im Nu is pronounced 'im new' and means in a jiffy in German) I don't need any yarn(yeah right who doesn't NEED any yarn) but I love the idea of this contest so I had to join.


There once was a fiber called wool.
To pull on when the weather got cool.
And when it got hot,
Wool lace hit the spot,
And the neophyte knitters would drool.


I looked all over to find a great wool quote. This is the best I could come up with:

Spinning Wool - $20.00 per lb.
Craft Wool - $19.00 per lb.
Custom Various Domestic Top - $25 per lb.
Mohair* & Wool Blends - $24.00 per pound
Llama & Alpaca - $29.00 per pound
Dyed Wool** - $22.00 per pound

You might be able to do better on ebay!

Great Contest!


Oh Wool so soft and fine...
how I want it,
all mine.


Here's the short list of why I love wool:

Wool. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
-For being warm even when wet
-For being soft against my skin
-For having that wonderful conditioning lanolin
-For being a renewal product
-For coming in whole ranges of colors so that dyes are not necessary
-For being appropriate for a whole range of projects from carpeting to the finest lace with everything between
-For being elastic and cushy and not inflexible like cotton
-For being a part of the crafts close to my heart; knitting and spinning
-For the sheer joy of being able to transform fleece to yarn
-For the way the yarn feels when it flows through my hands as my needles click
-For having enraptured me so that I could discover a whole community of people that have the same passion.


I'm on a haiku kick lately:

I thought you scratchy,
I was wrong, you purl and knit,
felt and grow with style

A very fun idea, here. I've loved reading them.


There are too many reasons to list why I love wool, but I guess the first one that comes to mind is because I get so cold. Animal furr is THE warmest fiber next to the down of certain birds. Wool allows you to have the warmth of animal fur without killing the animal. It just grows more wool. How cool is that? A renewable resource that is versatile, soft and warm even when wet and besides that sheep are very peaceful animals. Can't get enough wool, oh but then there's alpaca, ahhh.


My daughter got to exempt out of Consumer Ed (the most BORING class on the planet but required by the state of Illinois for high school graduation) because of her knowledge of WOOL.

She and I poured over the textbook the day before the test (which NO ONE ever passes) and tried to infuse her lovely brain with all the required knowledge. We did a pretty good job of preparing her, but we couldn't cover everything.

Her excitement when she (and she alone) exempted out of the class was so delightful.

"Mom, I passed by one question! Which fiber is still warm when wet! I knew, and I got out of the class!

"It was so cool to be a knitter's daughter!"

Let's hear it for wool! It's wonderful for so many reasons we haven't even thought of as yet.


Ifan ode to wool is what you want, I think my crazy yarn loving kitty is most qualified:

I love the wool, so plushy and soft
I drag it all over the house, also in the loft.
Wool to play with, wool to eat.
No matter how you use it, it's always a lovely treat.

My opinion, I like to knit with it, I've been known to sleep with it but no, I haven't tried eating it

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