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Posts Tagged ‘North Ronaldsay’

Another great episode of Lambing Live last night including an interesting feature on the history of the wool industry in Britain. I didn’t know about the wool smugglers on Romney Marsh! Though I can understand the value of this fleece; I have some Romney which is beautiful to spin and knit with.
On the BBC website for the programme are a series of short films about some breeds of sheep including Jacob, Shetland and North Ronaldsay. Well worth a look here.
If you’ve found this blog through searching for Lambing Live, I’ll explain what we are doing. Give Fleece A Chance is a project to promote British wool and connect the producers (farmers, smallholders) to the users (knitters, weavers, spinners, people who want to wear British wool). Adam Henson said in last night’s episode that wool prices are rising and The Campaign For Wool are running for five years to really boost the wool industry and get consumers back to this fantastic natural product.
GFAC is doing the same in a small way. If you want to get involved, we are knitting small sheep in as many different breeds of sheep as we can to create an installation art piece to exhibit. I’m running the South West flock and have local wool I can supply you with. If you’re in another part of the country, I’d love to start up regional flocks to promote the local wool in your area. Have a look around this blog, the pattern for the sheep is here, info about me is here, the catalogue of sheep is here. There’s also a short video of the first 50 sheep on youtube here. Thanks for looking.

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Since Christmas and New Year quite a few things have happened in the GFAC world. Through this blog I was contacted by a farmer in Lydford (Devon) who told me that he had some Cotswold sheep and did I want some of the fleece? I went along and bought two fleeces; both not very clean but beautifully soft once I got pass all the nasties on the outside. If you want to see photos of the sheep, click here and go along to the Lydford website. The Cotswold Sheep Society have a really interesting website, describing the role that this breed played in the wealth of the Cotswolds.

Cotswold fleece

Cotswold fleece

I’ve also got North Ronaldsay fleece from Heltor Rare Breeds (Dartmoor), Oxford Down fleece and lambswool from Callington (Cornwall), and Poll Dorset/Charolais cross from Helston (Cornwall). All of these I found on eBay; I got the idea of looking here from Jackie at Huxtable Farm, who sells her fleece this way.

Also found on eBay; yarn spun from sheep at Morwellham Quay (Devon). A skein each of Lleyn Aran, Lleyn DK and Hebridean DK. If you want the details of any of the sellers on eBay, get in touch and I’ll pass them on to you.

Morwellham Quay wool

Morwellham Quay wool

From Fowlescombe Farm, I’ve got Organic Hebridean and Manx Loaghtan yarn, and I couldn’t resist buying a cone of Hebridean weaving wool. I’m planning to use this either for machine knitting or trying some weaving. Fowlescombe Farm have flocks of pedigree Hebridean and Manx Loaghtan sheep; have a look at their website as it’s filled with interesting details about the farm, how they are supporting rare breeds, and their diversification into educational farm visits. 

Fowlescombe Farm

Fowlescombe Farm Hebridean and Manx Loaghtan

Finally, I found Wonnacott Farm, Okehampton (Devon) who have skeins of organic DK yarn.

Wonnacott Farm wool

Wonnacott Farm organic wool

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