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Episode 121 – A kind of magic

Hello wool pals, settle in – there is a lot of woolly magic to get through in this episode!

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Also available on Spotify, iTunes and wherever you find your podcasts!

| Wool Exploration 2020

We will definitely be continuing with Wool Exploration next year. There will be slightly fewer breeds in 2020. I will try and do a blog or forum post about this before the end of the year – and there is no schedule at the moment – but I can reveal that we will be looking at :

  • Hebridean
  • Zwartbles
  • Whitefaced Woodland
  • Shropshire

Hebrideans are on the 2020 Wool Exploration list!

Like I say, there isn’t a schedule at the moment, but that shouldn’t stop you seeking out those breeds in yarn and fibre form. Go forth and explore!

 | Esther Rutter – This Golden Fleece

I was so delighted that Esther Rutter could lend some time to come over to WoolWork HQ last week to record an interview.

Esther has had love of sheep and wool from an early age and from that early age the weaving and spinning that her mum worked at presented a kind of magic for her. She was taught to knit by the mother of her best friend, and while it was a craft that she has always casually practised, she freely admits that it was not part of her identity…at that point.

Spurred on to create the kind of knitting history book that she herself wanted to read, the result is This Golden Fleece: A Journey Through Britain’s Knitted History –  both an incredibly well researched exploration of some of the textile traditions and history of the British Isles and a beautiful personal narrative too. As Esther travelled around the UK she created 13 hand-made items – each one an embodiment of our “stories made fleece”. Emphasis on the value of making, as well as shining a light on the roots of that practice is something that I felt very keenly whilst reading this book.

I hope you enjoy this chat. I am very grateful to Esther for being so generous with her time. She also reads from her book – which is a real treat!

| TinCanKnits Along – Cast on 1st Dec!

Our Winter KAL starts soon and we are making any design by Alexa Ludeman and Emily Wessell, Tin Can Knits!  Are you in?  You can cast on in any material and we cast off on 14th Feb. Please feel free to join us. There is a general information post about the KAL  and you can find the chatter over in the WoolWork Ravelry group

Please use #TinCanKnitsAlong and #WoolWorkWinterKAL to tag your projects on social media and if you are using the KAL to help you finish some Tin Can Knits Wips then please use the tag #TinCanWIPS

What will you make?

All images (c) Tin Can Knits

| Small Gestures will be happening soon!

I will open a thread in a week or so. This is our 6th year of doing this pattern swap. If you haven’t participated before essentially this is a simple swap that means you are gifted something from your Ravelry wishlist and you send your partner a pattern from their wishlist. Look out for the thread opening in a week or so, sign up and ensure that your wish list (which is usually located in your “favourites” in Ravlery) is up to date!

Thanks in advance for participating (if you plan to), you always make this a special event and it goes to show that simple, small gestures mean a lot.

| Role of the RBST – Alice Underwood

Last month I was at Fine Fettle Fibres for a Hands on Wool Exploration Day. In the afternoon we had a series of talks and today I’m able to bring you Alice Underwood’s talk about the role of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, how they monitor the Rare Breed animals of the UK; the work they do to save genetics and how they promote e use of rare and native breeds for Food, Fibre and Conservation Grazing. Alice also mention the Primitive Produce Project at the end of her talk and I link to the info about this project here.

Alice keeps Manx Loagthan sheep in Cumbria; she is a member of the Wool  Clip and co-owner of Sheepfold. Thanks so much to Alice for allowing me to share her talk.

Bye and thanks!

Thanks so much for listening and I really look forward to seeing your cast ons for the KAL. Next month we will have our Wool Exploration with Welsh Mountain and I’ll have to dig out those Ballet dancing sheep!

Keep warm, wool lovers!

| Important Information

Music this episode is David Mumford, Singin in the Rain Demo it is on Free Music Archive and shared via creative commons. Images are copyright to those mentioned in captions.

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