It’s been just amazing to see your photos of wool growing, and to meet so many esteemed wool-growers during the opening days of WOVEMBER! However as we said at the start of the Growing Wool phase, the day-to-day realities of shepherding are just part of the story of where WOOL comes from… You can get the rams and ewes paired up just right for the best WOOL results; you can husband your animals with exemplary attention to detail and the right diet; and you can trim hooves, administer sheep medicines and mind your animals in all weathers… but unless the person who takes the WOOL from your animals does a good job, you won’t get the best value out of all your hard work in the fields. Therefore this next phase of WOVEMBER is dedicated to SHEARERS, and to all the folks who work with the wool harvest.
To launch this exciting phase of WOVEMBER in which we’ll learn the difference between blades and clippers, discover the meaning of “second cuts” and explore the features and value of a well-presented fleece, here is a fantastic photo by Dave Wheeler! This photo appeared on Facebook during Shetland Wool Week, where it was seen and loved by TEAM WOVEMBER member, Felicity Ford. Dave Wheeler takes photographs on Fair Isle, and if you are interested in seeing more images of Crofting, WOVEMBER highly recommends his fascinating gallery here.
We love this photo because the Crofter in the picture has skipped over several intermediary stages in the life of WOOL to go directly from Harvesting Wool to Wearing Wool! It’s an amazing look for WOVEMBER and the fact that the fleece is all in one piece and can be worn by the shearer like this speaks of skill, well-practised hands, and the sense of humour that you need to get the jolly hard work of shearing done.
Photo © Dave Wheeler, Fair Isle, and used with his kind permission