Monday, November 1, 2010

Knit Speak

Many years ago - 18 to be exact - when I was in and out of the vet's office trying to save a little lamb's life, Dr. Cleveland told me I needed to talk to Mary Hal Davis. In fact, everyone told me I needed to talk to Mary Hal. "She knows all about sheep and what to do with their wool..."

Being too backwards and shy to call up an obvious local legend in not only the sheep, but also art world, I missed out. Several years later when our paths crossed at a mutual friend's house and I finally met the infamous Mary Hal, I quickly realized she would have been more than happy to help me out and probably even delighted I had called. If I had called. Lesson learned.



Mary raised sheep for many, many years and I used to pass her farm on my way to work. Big rolling "horse farm" fields full of sheep. The Elkhorn Creek runs nearby and she had a small wooded paddock nestled near a bend in the road. She had her rams in there and several rolls of hay were set along the steep hillside.

Frosted roll bales, much like painted fences, will steam as the sun comes up and the frost starts to burn off. As I passed by early one winter morning, with the sun just starting to peak through the trees, I found her toasty warm, frost covered sheep sleeping up on top of the big frosty bales. All steaming. It was so beautiful I had to pull over. Sometimes I wish I'd had a good camera with me that morning; sometimes I think maybe it's best in my memory. Regardless, it was a gift.



The gift most people receive from Mary is probably best summed up by "Show and Tell". She's always working and studying on something and is more than happy to show you and teach you what she's learned.



As soon as she pulled out her bag of goodies, the hugable sheep had to play second fiddle to the beautiful handspun hand knits. It was the highlight of the day!
























I wish I'd had the true video camera on hand and left it running the entire time. This short clip is a special treat for those of us who have gathered around Mary Hal like this for many years and a chance for everyone else to meet her.

10 comments:

Tiggeriffic said...

Oh I love Mary Hal Davis. loved watching the video.. If I had Mary in my neighborhood I would be her best friend.. she has such a lovely spirit..and so much wisdom... Oh my goodness. Someone needs to video all of her thoughts, ideas and all that knowledge she has in her mind.
This was a great blog, enjoyed reading and looking at Mary. Thanks...

Nancy K. said...

What beautiful things she has knit! And I'm sure that's not even the TIP of the iceberg.

Deb W said...

Oh! I was enjoying her 'show and tell,' but did not know the story behind it all.

(Don't forget to show the surprise you got in the mail Saturday morning!)

Alice said...

What a treasure and an honor to have had had her at your farm celebration! I wish I had arrived to hear her speak and see her creations.

Gayle said...

What treasures she makes. My work is garbage compared to her things. Thanks for sharing Mary.

Verde Farm said...

Sarah, what beautiful work she's done. I absolutely love the little purses and the great colors. You can tell she is a special lady indeed. I can picture that special morning you saw the sheep on the hay bales. What a vision :)
Amy

Jennie C said...

That was so wonderful....she must be a very wonderful lady to know. You are so lucky :)

small farm girl said...

Oh my goodness! I wished I lived closer! I want to learn to knit soooooo bad! But, I have to learn by someone showing me. Videos and books just don't get it.

dleirer said...

I agree with you--would have loved to see more of Mary talking. Thanks for posting the short video.
Diane L./Bloomington,Indiana

MarmePurl said...

Oh My...speechless, I am.

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