Welcome to early autumn; a time of rich colours and harvesting. Farm harvesting now finished in the fields around the house, but plenty wild harvest or foraging in local hedgerows still to be done.
It has been a busy time with the sheep, too. We made the decision to downsize our breeding flock by about 50%, and have sold many of our best-loved sheep to new breeders looking for small starter-flocks of their own. It's a sad thing to do, but we are happy that they are all with loving new owners who will get as much joy from them as we have. The last of the tups was sent to the abbatoir in early October and the meat should be back with us soon.
As far as wool goes, we got the commercially dyed cones back from the dyer and discovered that they need further scouring before we can sell them, so they need to go back to the mill. We have managed to scour a limited amount of DK and 4ply by hand, and this will go up on our website tomorrow (24/10), in time for this year's Kendal Virtual Wool Gathering. The Gathering is being run via their Facebook Group and this is where all the vendors will be posting their wares, demonstrations and talks available and announcements made. Please click on the text link and join up to the group! We will also be running some special discount codes over the weekend (launched in the group and to our newsletter subscribers) and you will be able to watch the You Tube Video we made in the summer.
A year without face to face wool shows has been hard; partly because of the impact on income, but also because we love meeting new and returning customers in person, sharing knitting plans or photos of work completed and our love of our animals and their wool. It might be that 2021 brings much of the same as this year, and so virtual wool events (and perhaps even a more regular blog and newsletters) might become the new usual.
Of course, the Covid pandemic continues and we are currently in a state of semi-lockdown which is likely to be tightened over the coming weeks. Luckily at the moment I can still meet with one friend at a time for walks or to sit in a cafe and catch up. The sheep are a blessing, as is being surrounded by lovely wool all waiting to be made into nice things over the coming months.
Wherever you are, I hope you are keeping well.