The sheep now produce a great range of wool ....I like to check out yarn shops, yarn producers and sheep.
The weeks away mostly consisted of wrapping up warm and dragging Hamish out on bracing walks along beaches and up glen paths but whilst staying in Kinlochmoidart recently (and hiding from Storm Ali) I was able to visit a flock of Shetlands with which we have a long-standing relationship. Over the years, we have swapped ewes and tups and supported each other in finding a way forward through the world of wool.
The sheep are based at Sanna, on Ardnamurchan and - we managed to combine a visit to the lighthouse which we hadn't visited since about 2004 with an afternoon's sheep-talk. The terrain is so different from that of East Lothian and the Borders, but the sheep that we have sold on to live here have adapted well and show what great value Shetland sheep are to the small holder and crafter where terrain and conditions can be harsh. The sheep produce a beautifully soft range of wool for West Highland Woollery - check them out on facebook.
The approach of autumn always has me in a frenzy of activity - perhaps it'a a hangover from old lives where September meant the start of the school or university year. This autumn we did our first ever Perth Festival of Yarn and I have to say, we were a bit nervous.
In thinking about how best to showcase our wool at this event I decided on two things:
- hat bunting (to illustrate our undyed and dyed shades working together)
- creating some new shades of dyed wool
The hat bunting was fun to do - although my hands suffered for it. My aim was ten brightly coloured hats but in the end I could only get eight done. And a swift web-based lesson in knitting iCord helped me to display them properly.
I had always been unsure that people would want to 'buy what they can see' but the display certainly helped to spark people's thinking.In picking two new dyed shades, in the end I went for Bramble and Bracken, with the bramble shown below. When not working (or , dyeing wool or knitting hats, I have mainly been bramble and sloe picking ...
Over all, Perth FoY was an incredible event for us: really helpful event team and lots of space so that the venue never felt crushed or crowded. Financially it was very successful and has re-booted our enthusiasm for woolly events. Big thanks to Eva and team!