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A year ago I was in a town called Teotitlan with a woman named Margarita. She stretched her warp out on sticks in the ground and dyed her wool with plants from her backyard. Now I am here in Barrytown, New York. I stretch my warp between two chairs, from a heater, or on wooden pegs. You can weave on anything, anywhere. Almost every plant you know will give your wool color. I spent this year stepping backwards. I look at the rug on my floor and think where did those sheep live? What plants were used to make that orange!? How did the sheep turn into string? How did the string turn into my rug? How did a sheep turn into my rug? I’ve been working at two sheep farms, one for wool, one for meat. I’ve learned how to skirt and clean fleeces, tan hides, and move fences. I’ve taken the wool and learned how to spin it into yarn. I’ve walked down the street collecting pokeberries and black walnuts. My yarn learned how to turn pink and brown absorbing the colors of New York State. I went to Woodstock and learned how to use a loom. Stretching warp, threading heddles. I like to see the whole system and know the connections. I like to know what the fleece I use ate. I did not want to buy anything new unless I could trace its past. I went to yard sales and recycling centers. When you are submerged in something you see it everywhere, overlapping with circuit boards, heating systems, and chairs. You don’t need a loom a to weave, you don’t need yarn to weave.
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Ratner, Ana, "Almost a Sheep" (2012). Senior Projects Spring 2012. 289.
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