Friday, 17 January 2014

Wondering about wool

Back in 2012 we took a car load of Zwartble fleeces to the Border Mill in Coldstream to have it cleaned, sorted and spun into useable fibres.  Farmer had a vision of happy people (himself very much included) wearing wonderfully home spun handknits and scarves made from Treshnish wools.

The first box of wool to arrive was so small I thought it was a sample, I didnt realise we would get so little knitting wool from so much fleece.  It still seems too precious to use, so sits in its box until we are brave enough to commit it to a creative project.  

In researching all this, it seemed we were entering a mysterious world of warps and yarns, weights and spins, ply and weave.  Different mills weave different weights/thicknesses/ply and we were not quite sure what we would end up with and which key would unlock the door to which weaving shed. 

But finally 18 months later, we have 3 boxes of yarn which the Border Mill had spun, with their own alpaca wool to make it softer, into 4 different blends.  They are beautiful, but now, what to do with it, what to make, who to make it..

First stop had to be Ardalanish Weavers, based on the Ross of Mull, to see what they could do for us.  We met the new owners (who have been there for 2 or 3 years now) which was really nice, and they showed us their beautiful tweeds and what they might be able to weave for us.   At this point in time though, we aren't sure that we have enough wool to fit their minimum requirement, and it may not be the right weight for their looms! Nothing is ever simple.  We left a box of yarn with them so that they can discuss it with their weaver, and we keep our fingers crossed. It would be good to have the weaving done on the island!

We did come away with some tweed samples, which we plan to use for making into throws for the cottages once we have chosen.

We couldn't go all the way to Ardalanish without walking on the Uisken sands. 

We had our first picnic of the year too.

And on the way home Loch Scridain was still still, with cloud lingering on the slopes of Ben More.

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