Northland is in northern Wisconsin, about a mile from Lake Superior. And it got cold. And windy. It was then that I discovered wool. Well, wool and long underwear and warm winter boots, and knitting. My first wool purchase was a Peruvian wool sweater. You know, one of those chunky hand knit kinds too warm to wear indoors because you'll sweat? I loved it; wore it every chance I got! In fact, I still have it, and it still fits. I wore it this winter. My engagement photos were taken while wearing an alpaca sweater that I also picked up at college. My hubby was wearing a wool sweater.
My love affair with wool eventually progressed to yarn and fiber. Now I make most of our woolen/alpaca gear (hats, mittens, scarves, etc.). I do buy wool and alpaca socks and sweaters because while I can make them, I choose not to, and don't really have time. My kids have had an early introduction to this wonderful fiber and can probably spout all its benefits.
Why do I love it so much? Good question. I think it goes beyond the science of it, although that is certainly part of it. Yes, it's odor and stain resistant. Yes, it lasts for a really long time. Yes, it's eco-friendly and natural. But, when you get right to it, there is a feeling I get when I work with wool and alpaca as it slides through my hands and is transformed into something that accentuates the fiber. A feeling I get as feel the fiber and I stroke the felted bags and accessories I create (they continue to get softer the more they are used). I can't really explain it, but it makes me smile every time. I truly love creating pretty things that I know will last and I hope will be loved.