What is it about wool?

Some of us can never it seems have enough wool – it’s a fibre that shelters, warms and comforts in so many different ways.

I have knitted and crocheted as long as I can remember  – taught as many children are by my grandmother. As a mother myself now I can appreciate why it is often grandma – after a gruelling hour or so they can hand back to mum and dad and not then have to quell the incipient frustration while preparing a meal or doing the bed time routine. While I haven’t crocheted for many years, I am lucky enough to have inherited from a cherished godmother (born in 1893) some of her crochet hooks and even more special pieces of crocheted lace made by her.

I have knitted often through the years  -especially in the colder months, when having a project keeping your hands busy through the long dark evenings is a special pleasure.

I have bought all sorts of ‘wool’ over the years. As a student when money was tight it was often ‘acrylic’ wool but more recently I have allowed my self the treat of knitting beautiful wools from this country and also abroad. Fantastic South American blends of alpaca and silk, subtly dyed blends of the softest wool from Japan – all soothing my hands as they produce  a knitted fabric.

In a recent post I mentioned my sister’s new project – a small flock of Shetland sheep. Orchard Fruit-Shetland lamb.1

I knew from my knitting, that Shetland wool is prized for its softness and other qualities. So I was very excited last Saturday  to join her at her first fleece sale. This was held locally by The Devon Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. Along with several other fleece producers and some very talented dyers and spinners we spent a very happy day. What a friendly group of people – willing to share their knowledge and skills to newbies like us. And as for the cakes – they are also obviously skilled in other ways too!

Orchard Fruit fleece sale 1

After a while some of the guild settled down with their knitting, crocheting and spinning. Many years ago I did once have a little go at spinning – it felt like rubbing your head and patting your tummy or whichever way it is. Well – watching those talented men and women spinning was mesmerising. It was so calming – I could have sat and watched all day. In fact it should be offered on prescription for stress!

Now I have a big treat in store for me in September. As a birthday gift I received one of those lovely Shetland fleeces and a day’s workshop, working from the raw fleece, through all the processes to spinning my own wool.

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