TURBOTHANKS X

Dear WOVEMBERISTS, fellow comrades in WOOL, lovers of the fleece, BUDDIES IN BAAS; –

This is a massive heartfelt thanks to everyone who makes WOVEMBER happen every year. Thank you for tweeting and re-tweeting our articles, for sharing our stories on Facebook, for signing our petition, for mentioning this site on Ravelry and for generally SPREADING THE WOOLLY WORD.

TURBOTHANKS for your patience and for understanding that WOVEMBER is run on goodwill, deep cups of coffee, LOVE, and a shoestring.

We do it because we love these guys.

"hens selecting best wool for an easter bonnet" - Lee Hawkins

“hens selecting best wool for an easter bonnet” – Lee Hawkins

WOVEMBER happens each year because WOOL is amazing and stuff which isn’t made of WOOL should not be allowed to market itself on the long-standing, beauteous and well-deserved reputation of this marvelous textile, born of land and labour.

"This Carniola Stone Sheep merges totally with its winterly background." - Beate Herold

“This Carniola Stone Sheep merges totally with its winterly background.” – Beate Herold

WOOL has ancient ties to places, industry, people, culture, agriculture, craft, textiles and fashion. Every year we try to find postings which emphasise and celebrate these aspects of WOOL. Thank you to all the shepherds, crofters, wool-sorters, shearers, mill-owners, fashion and knitwear designers, makers, creators, dyers, knitters and comrades who have made time this year to share your stories with the world!

TURBOTHANKS to Jeni Reid for your amazing daily photos throughout the month – these were a huge enrichment to the regular postings schedule.

The Wool Man - Oliver Henry's amazing wool-sorting hands, photographed by Jeni Reid

The Wool Man – Oliver Henry’s amazing wool-sorting hands, photographed by Jeni Reid

TURBOTHANKS also to all the shepherds and crofters who created content for WOVEMBER this year and who took time away from your flocks to write gorgeous inspiring pieces about the work you are doing; I loved that this year in particular there was a thread of ideas in your pieces about the economic viability of WOOL for the farmer today – from Sally’s pieces on the Soft Fell sheep (a dual purpose meat/wool animal) to Kate’s discussion of sheep sponsorship to Jane’s amazing use of local Texel fleeces – our shepherding posts this year suggested multiple ways of saving FLEECE from the dreaded bonfire and earning necessary cash for WOOL GROWERS and SHEPHERDS everywhere.

Texel sheep on Orkney

Texel sheep on Orkney

Thanks also to all our amazing contributors who wrote about the wondrous ways that WOOL can be used creatively, in everything from designing knitwear to knitting socks. It was especially heartening this year to read of how WOOL with its history, character and provenance is in itself increasingly inspiring contemporary designers and makers like Karie Westermann, Aurélie Colas and the wonderful artisans working with the special North Ronaldsay fleeces whom we read about in this post.

" I am knitting with something that feels alive in my hands; I am reminded that the strand of yarn running through my fingers was once part of a living creature. I may be sheltered from the wind and rain outside, but my knitting is not far removed from an animal grazing on hills. I am part of tradition and I am rooted in a landscape." - Karie Westermann

” I am knitting with something that feels alive in my hands; I am reminded that the strand of yarn running through my fingers was once part of a living creature. I may be sheltered from the wind and rain outside, but my knitting is not far removed from an animal grazing on hills. I am part of tradition and I am rooted in a landscape.” – Karie Westermann

"These cosy mittens link both sheep, as they face each other and proudly stand on the back of the hand" - Aurélie Colas

“These cosy mittens link both sheep, as they face each other and proudly stand on the back of the hand” – Aurélie Colas

"Each hank of North Ronaldsay yarn I knit brings me the essence of the North Ronaldsay shore and its unique native sheep" - Jane Cooper

“Each hank of North Ronaldsay yarn I knit brings me the essence of the North Ronaldsay shore and its unique native sheep” – Jane Cooper

It is always interesting to hear from our comrades in the working wool industry, and especially from Jamieson & Smith and Blacker Yarns/The Natural Fibre Company, who annually support WOVEMBER by donating prizes. Thanks this year to Jamieson & Smith for a wonderful post about natural fleece shades and the annual wool harvest on Shetland, and to Sue Blacker for a hugely informative series about yarn design at the Natural Fibre Company. Thanks also to Aurélie Colas for donating a copy of her pattern collection Castle Fraser throughout the year and her Sheepy Draughts pattern to our prize pot!

"Shetland crofter clipping his sheep" Photo by Oliver Henry

“Shetland crofter clipping his sheep” Photo by Oliver Henry

"Yarn Design" Sue Blacker

“Yarn Design” Sue Blacker

Yarn Design by Sue Blacker, parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.

"Sheepy Draughts" by Aurélie Colas

“Sheepy Draughts” by Aurélie Colas

ALSO: I want to personally say a HUGE thanks to Louise. With myself and Kate extremely busy with our respective self-published books, and Tom busy with his own amazing and important work with wool, I really needed an extra TEAM-MATE to make WOVEMBER feasible this year. I initially asked Louise if she could curate a week’s worth of posts, but she quickly outgrew this role, stepping into the breach as a full-time WOOL COMRADE. Her work has made this year extra specially wondrous, and I have learned tons from the fantastic pieces she’s written and researched. I have also been extremely grateful for all the time she has spent helping me with the gallery, the Wovember Words and the rest. TURBOTHANKS, LOUISE!

Magnificent woolly mucker, LOUISE SCOLLAY!

Magnificent woolly mucker, LOUISE SCOLLAY!

Finally, thanks to YOU for wearing wool, working with wool, loving wool, sharing wool, joining in our celebration and our campaign and for being part of what makes this wondrous adventure feel so rewarding and so necessary.

There are a few more things to say and do before we wrap everything up for good this year, but WOVEMBER remains, as ever, YOURS IN WOOL. XXX FELIX XXX

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This entry was posted by Felicity Ford.

10 thoughts on “TURBOTHANKS X

  1. Although I live in the US, I totally support your efforts. I love every single post and learn from each one. I was lucky enough to go to Lerwick and meet the wonderful Ella and Oliver from Jamieson & Smith. You have introduced me to fiber and blogs that I would never have known about otherwise! Thank you so much!!

  2. Thank you for such a wonderful assortment of writing on my favourite subject. Loved the photos and can’t wait for next year.

  3. Thank you, Felix and Team! The words, images, and sounds shared on this blog have been a great way for me to learn over the last month, and I am looking forward to rereading, reseeing, and relistening the posts throughout the winter. Best wishes.

  4. Thanks, TURBOTHANKS, to all of you and for Felix for keeping us up to date on all that is wooly ! Wovenber is quite the treat. Slainte!!!

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