Woolly connections

In recent years I have met many people via social media – some only online, but quite a number I’ve eventually encountered in person. The networks that I have built up have enriched my life, providing me with new friends, sources of produce and teaching me a great deal. And this week, they yielded a creative collaboration. I won’t go into the rather convoluted details of how this link came about, but Thursday found me visiting Glynelwyn, home of Faithmead Felt, Fleece ‘n’ Fibre, to talk wool.IMGP4975Mandy and Derek have goats, pigs, horses and poultry, but it was the sheep that I was there for. Below are some of them – indoors to keep them out of the current poor weather (some breeds are not as hardy as you might think, plus this will help to avoid pre-felted fleeces). As you can see, some of them are particularly partial to dry pasta as a treat!

 

Glynelwyn is home to small numbers of a variety of breeds – Blue-faced Leicester (standard and coloured), Wensleydale, Corriedale, Gotland, Leicester Longwool, Teeswater and Grey-faced Dartmoor – and produces single-breed wool. It is also the home to tiny Fennel – a ‘micro-Corriedale’. She’s not a big wool-producer, but she does write well (a truly amazing sheep) and has just started her own blog!

IMGP4970

Fennel and her pal Dennis

The wool from the big sheep is sold at occasional shows and on-line (they will send wool anywhere in the world!) and Mandy’s studio is heaven for a wool lover:

 

But, as well as the fibre, fleeces and yarn, Mandy wants to sell kits, and that’s where I come in. After a couple of unsuccessful previous attempts to have some patterns written, a mutual friend got us talking to each other and I’m going to help out. We are going to start small – a knitting kit for a hat using one of the yarns that Mandy has in (relative) abundance. On returning home, my first job was to knit some swatches, decide on an appropriate needle size and stitch pattern, and then get working on the hat…

 

It’s really lovely to be doing this with a local producer and I’ll be reporting on progress over the coming weeks.

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39 Comments

  1. What a lovely project.

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  2. As Glynelwyn is just round the corner from me I am particularly delighted with this collaboration. It feels as though the various networks to which I belong are beginning to form cross-connections (not because of anything I have managed to do I hasten to add!) and it feels great to see the strength of the web increasing. I see the sheep regularly on my dog walks and will think of you now every time. And look forward to seeing the finished article in a future post.

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  3. Lovely sheep, and if you need a pattern tester I owe you.

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  4. Ooh exciting! I think we will need some crochet kits too!

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  5. Good luck with your project – will follow with interest.

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  6. Brilliant! I do love hearing about new collaborations like this. Now all I need is for someone to do the same sort of thing here, but sadly this is not good sheep country; too hot and too wet. Down south would be better, Victoria or southern NSW.

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  7. What a wonderful collaboration – sending my very best wishes for great success with it! xo

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  8. Murtagh's Meadow

     /  February 4, 2018

    Sounds likes a great collaboration.

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  9. That’s such an exciting project. How cool to meet the sheep. I had never considered the possibility of prefelted fleeces – oops

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  10. How wonderful, and a web of relationships, including sheep! It’s a project that includes so many of your passions ~ local produce, sustainability, rare breeds, knitting, giving generously of your time and knowledge, and many more. Have fun!

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  11. What a fabulous opportunity for you 🙂

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  12. Laurie Graves

     /  February 5, 2018

    Wonderful! Keep us posted.

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  13. How exciting! Good luck with it all and I look forward to seeing the results of your collaboration.

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    • The more I think about this the more exciting it is… and it will certainly ensure that I actually get on and write up some of those patterns I’ve been mucking about with for ages.

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  14. A fabulous plan which I think will prove very popular. Best of luck. Mxxx

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  15. What a great collaboration to be involve in – I’ll enjoy seeing your progress as you get up and running.

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  16. What a wonderful opportunity. Surely some Welsh Wool Snail kits are needed?

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    • The trouble with that is that the snail pattern that I knitted mine from isn’t one of mine and I haven’t got round to designing my own yet… perhaps this will give me an incentive! Or maybe a colour-work snail hat…

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  17. Fantastic venture!

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  18. what an exciting project!! Who is doing the spinning – is that you?

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  19. Very exciting. Good luck!

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  20. How exciting! It’ll be fab to get a kit that’s entirely local like that.

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  1. The Dancing Skeleton | The Snail of Happiness

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