Wovember 2015

Greetings fellow WOVEMBERISTS!

Shetland Ram Lambs at the Flock Book, Shetland Wool Week 2015

Shetland Ram Lambs at the Flock Book, Shetland Wool Week 2015

Myself and Team WOVEMBER member Louise Scollay met in Shetland during Shetland Wool Week to advance plans for this year’s annual celebration of sheep and wool. There will be badges!

100% WOOL badges - WOVIFY YOURSELF THIS WOVEMBER!

100% WOOL badges – WOVIFY YOURSELF THIS WOVEMBER!

There will be photos from our amazing photographic correspondent Jeni Reid (who captures the very soul of wool in her photos).

Sally Antill by Jeni Reid

Sally Antill by Jeni Reid

By popular demand there will be posts examining how to get the best use of the wealth of material and articles gathered here over the last few years. Louise will also be featuring material from her very exciting Knit British breed-specific swatch-a-long!

Louise Scollay, TEAM WOVEMBER member and the super genius behind KNIT BRITISH

Louise Scollay, TEAM WOVEMBER member and the super genius behind KNIT BRITISH

We also have an amazing prize to announce on WOVEMBER 1st and there will be new content throughout the month with a particular emphasis on small producers.

Julia Desch, shepherd and inspirational force behind Woolcraft with Wensleydale - one of many small producers whose work paves the foundation for the British Wool industry

Julia Desch, shepherd and inspirational force behind Woolcraft with Wensleydale – one of many small producers whose work paves the foundation for the British Wool industry

Whilst planning this WOVEMBER myself and Louise found ourselves reflecting on how TEAM WOVEMBER are in a sense also small producers. Between us we produce content, podcasts and books and recently – very excitingly – YARN. We cram WOVEMBER in around our full-time commitments to this other work and caffeine and late nights are always involved in the production of the month and we give our time to WOVEMBER because WE BELIEVE IN WOOL.

Working on WOVEMBER is very inspiring and ideas explored throughout WOVEMBER do tend to manifest in our other work… for example this WOVEMBER Kate will be distributing Buachaille and the knitting patterns she has designed for this 100% WOOL yarn; I am completing work on a massive community engagement project exploring Oxford through the stories of its textiles; Louise is running the eminently practical and inspiring Knit British breed-specific swatch-a-long; and Tom continues to make incredible 100% WOOL creations and develop his thoughtful contemplation of the lifetime of garments.

This woolly work is really exciting but juggling so many things at once can get a bit intense. In thinking ahead and about our own resources, we have begun wondering how to make WOVEMBER more sustainable, going forward.

WOVEMBER NEEDS YOU.

We are looking for comrades to join TEAM WOVEMBER and for other voices to enrich the WOVEMBER message. We would really like to encourage early submissions of material for this year’s WOVEMBER; if you like the idea of becoming part of our annual celebration of sheep and WOOL, please write an article for this year’s WOVEMBER 2015 celebrations, source some photos for it, and email it to wovember at gmail dot com! We will feature all submissions of content that are in line with what WOVEMBER is about and will contact you re: joining the team for 2016 and beyond. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some article suggestions:

  • undertake a Q&A with your favourite shepherd/knitwear designer/weaver/wool merchant/hand-spinner
  • shine a spotlight on a small producer of 100% WOOL products
  • write about your experience of knitting with wool from a particular sheep breed
  • review a film, documentary or book that relates to WOVEMBER’s key themes
  • write about your Woolly Heroes – who has inspired you and how?
  • provide practical tips for working with wool – spinning, dyeing, knitting etc.
  • write about your favourite sheep
  • tell us about a favourite woollen garment
  • share a poem you have written about wool
  • write a rant about incorrectly labelled clothing made of man-made fibres and marketed as WOOL
  • tell us about the realities of running a sheep farm
  • talk us through what it’s like to be a small producer of yarns

But if you have another idea for an article that celebrates sheep and wool or that rants about the wrongness of incorrectly marketing non-woolly garments as “wool” then I am sure that we will love it. Please send your articles to wovember at gmail dot com and if attaching photos, 660px – 1000px wide is the optimal resolution but we can work with most image sizes.

WOVEMBER - celebrating that real wool comes from real sheep

WOVEMBER – celebrating that real wool comes from real sheep

We’ll join you soon for news of WAL-ing, the annual photo contest and our other plans for the month of WOVEMBER. We’re doing things a little differently this year to ensure that we get enough sleep as well as putting on a top quality WOVEMBER celebration. But if you’re counting down the days, here are some heartening links and stories that have got TEAM WOVEMBER really excited this Autumn…

…see you in a few short weeks!
XF

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This entry was posted by Felicity Ford.

6 thoughts on “Wovember 2015

  1. Wow…what a great thing to wake up to…..such a wooly blog post!…so much to think about…as I pull on my boots and head out to tend my sheep….before I start my “day job”. You have got me fired up….as.I would love to share an article. And I am so looking forward to Wovember! Woo hoooo!

  2. I am a knitter and spinner who prepares her own fleece and will have to live to be 105 to get thru it all!!!
    Although I live in the states I have bought my last 3 fleeces from Shankend Farm in The Borders, Kate Graham is the Shepherd. I have bought outright and also sponsored a sheep which means I will get newsletters and that sheep’s fleece. This is a young woman who needs recognition and SUPPORT! I am very impressed with her work with her sheep and her fold of Highland Cattle. Take a look, you’ll like what you see 🙂
    Thank you for ALL the work you all do. Cheers, Susan

  3. Love Wovember. I am currently knitting a Northmavine Hap by Kate Davies with Wensleydale wool from Julia Desch, featured above. I met her at the wool fair held in Wadhurst, East Sussex which is always an important date on my calendar.

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