I've been making my best effort this year to support the Parkes family. Let me tell you about it.
I'm lucky enough to have gotten in on Clara Parkes' Great White Bale at the Explorer level. Here's how Clara described it.
I am the proud owner of a very special 676-pound bale of superfine Saxon Merino from upstate New York, and over the next few months I’ll be walking through the process of turning that bale into yarn. Not one, not two, but four different kinds of yarn. And I’m taking you with me!
Not only do I get to follow along with Clara on her journey making yarn, I get to enjoy the fruit of her labor. One point seven pounds of the fruit of that labor to be exact. This is gonna be some spectacular yarn. (No pressure Clara.)
It started in January and goes through June, so we're just over a third of the way through our little adventure. I tell you what, I'd still sign up as a Armchair Traveler in a New York minute. Watching the progression of this yarn-to-be through essays and videos so far has been fascinating and I'm sure it's just going to get better.
I'll let you in on a little secret. I don't know all that much about yarn. Sure, I know a little about dyeing it, and I know what I like, and I do a fair amount of reading about it, but when I run across someone like Clara, I feel like a nincompoop. (And I always jump at the chance to type nincompoop.) I'm learning so much here and getting to see it all happen is such a treat. It's almost as good as going to a mill in person.
The next part of my Parkes family support system is that I joined Clara's brother,Eric's, chocolate CSA. That's right, Clara's brother is the captain of a different sort of expedition. With this one, I'm receiving 10 three-bar shipments of chocolate in which only one variable has been altered. For example one type of chocolate roasted three different ways. Or one bean with three different levels of cocoa butter. It's been fun (and tasty) so far. Today's delivery was what prompted this blog post.
The package on the left is Bolivian chocolate that has different levels of refinement. The ones on the right are bonus bars from Hawaiian beans. Any guesses about what I'm having for dessert tonight?
Dang, I'm starting to sound like an advertisement. That really wasn't my intent. I'm just having such a good time with both of these endeavors. I love to see people reach out and share something that they have a passion for. They are taking the risk that others won't see it quite the same way. They are allowing themselves to be vulnerable in a new way. That's good for us all.
Now, if we can just get one of the clan to start making wine we'll all be set.