Wovember 2016 prizes announced

Hello! As Louise said yesterday, we’ve been busy looking through all your amazing knitting projects for the Wovember WAL and for the Wovember instagram competition. We’ve been blown away by the quality, quantity and exuberance of your amazing woolly images and projects and are thrilled today to announce the winners!

Photo competition

There were many amazing photos submitted this year and it has taken us a while to go through them and pick a winner. We hope you enjoyed seeing a glimpse of the wonderful woolly photos submitted to the competition yesterday and we strongly urge you to check out the gallery here if you want to see more of the amazing woolly goodness celebrated in photos all round the world this Wovember!

The winner of the Wovember 2016 Photo Competition is @woollykindknits who stole our hearts with this fantastic photo.

When they are apart, he writes letters to his sheep. #wovember2016 #30daysofhygge

A photo posted by @woollykindknits on Nov 7, 2016 at 7:35pm PST

We love this image because it captures something intangible and precious about our relationship with sheep, and because it also communicates something around the idea of passing wool knowledge on to future generations.

Congratulations! A bespoke needle wrap for either dpns or interchangeables worked in 100% wool fabrics by @ericaeckles is in the pipeline for you.

I’m really excited because the winner of the @wovemberwool Instagram competition is announced later today and I’m making the prize….a bespoke needle wrap for either dpns or interchangeables….I’ve bought some beautiful handwoven Donegal tweed and a lighter weight cloth for the lining…both of these are 100% wool fabrics…. The wrap shown here is one I made in the Summer for my friend Anne, the fabric used was a wool coat that had belonged to her mum, it was quite badly torn and she thought I might be able to do something with it…the embroidery was sewn by hand using vintage pure wool crewel threads and I’m more than happy to incorporate something like this in the bespoke wrap…..I don’t envy the judging as there were some really stunning pictures being shared…. #Wovember #wovember2016 #woolnotjustforknittingwith #handmadeandunique #handembroidered

A photo posted by erickaeckles (@erickaeckles) on Dec 14, 2016 at 11:27pm PST

The Wovember WAL

If you’ve not yet visited the Wovember Ravelry group you can see some of the wonderful things that people have been doing with wool there and by searching for the #wovemberwal2016 tag in Ravelry’s projects or on instagram. As in previous years the WAL (wool-a-long) has different categories for awarding prizes, which are as follow:

  • The Golden Fleece Award goes to the sheepiest project – i.e. the project that from materials through to concept, most thoroughly celebrates the inspirational and material qualities of THE SHEEP
  • The Ewe-sain Bolt Award is awarded to the crafter with the fastest fingers, i.e. to the greatest technical feat of WOOLWORK completed during the WAL.
  • The Sheepy Rainbow Award goes to the project which most creatively exploits the palette of colours provided by natural sheeps’ wool shades

This year we felt that The Golden Fleece Award should go to Lisa for her beautiful Fleece Flight project.

Fleece Flight – knitted by Lisa in wool from sheep local to her; proceeds from the sale of the pattern that she used support Livestock Conservancy

Lisa says:

‘Knit for Wovember 2016. All proceeds from this pattern go to the Livestock Conservancy, dedicated to the preservation of heritage livestock (like Jacob sheep!). Yarn from Meridian Jacobs and SnowKCorral farms – both within 100 miles of my home, and I have taken care of the sheep on both of these farms, so the yarns are very special to me.’

Lisa at one of the farms where the wool for her Wovember shawl was grown; she is pictured here with Amaryllis, the guardian animal of the flock

We love this project and at every stage we feel it is superlatively sheepy and celebratory. A copy of the Shetland Wool Week annual 2016 is on its way to you, Lisa, as we feel you will appreciate this wonderful publication from the working woolly landscape of Shetland, and that it will give you further sheep and knitting inspiration for the future! Congratulations.

We’ve awarded The Ewe-sain Bolt Award to Huda for busting out this amazing sweater in 12 days. This sweater has not only been knit up in record time, but it’s special because it uses Huda’s mother’s hand-spun yarn, and has been knitted for her father.

Huda’s ‘The Killing’ sweater, knitted for her father in wool spun by her mother

Huda says:

‘This uses my mother’s handspun yarn for father.’

Congratulations Huda on this lovely knitting project with so many familial ties, and undertaken with such impressive speed! To enable you to continue developing your colourwork skillz, a copy of the fantastic Tup Knits by Ann Kingstone is on its way to you!

Last but not least, we’ve awarded The Sheepy Rainbow prize to Annette, whose enthusiastic experimentations with wool in many shades from many breeds just blew us away this Wovember.

Annette’s actual sheepy rainbow, containing wool from 11 different sheep breeds!

Annette says:

‘I had an excellent Wovember, thanks all who run it! Due to having just acquired my spinning wheel a couple of weeks or so before it began, I did a lot of spinning, with of course pure WOOL. Mostly with natural sheep shades in various different breeds. Here is a pic of all the WOOL things I made this month (except the blanket they are on, that is WOOL, but I didn’t make it)…

ALL THE WOOLLY THINGS! made by Annette

All the yarn here, used and unused, was spun by me this month. Top left is my Furth hat crocheted from two types of yarn I spun, the brown is moorit and black Shetland spun mixed together in a sort of humbug style, then the brim is my special art yarn spun from Black Welsh Mountain and Eider using a technique I learned in Jacey Boggs Faulkner’s Craftsy class on art yarn.

Top right is the start of a poncho which will use a gradient of four tones, brown BFL at the top, which I need to spin a bit more or, then grey Gotland, then pale grey Swaledale, then I need to spin some Whiteface Woodland for the edge.

Below that is some Manx Laoghtan, some dark brown Corriedale and a little bit of brown Icelandic, then one of the two skeins I spun from humbug Jacob, the other of which has been crocheted into the mitt to its left. Those two were spun in slightly different ways to experiment with how the colours of the humbug top played together.

To the left of those is brown Finnish, half of which has been crocheted into a leaf to make a scarf or shawl, which will also use other natural shades, probably of Finnish, but I need to buy more top. Below the leaf is a swatch of mega bulky Swaldale I spun to see how big a yarn I could make! It is big, 2-3 wpi 🙂 also very soft and lovely. I will spin more like this also using different sheepy shades to make a huge cowl.

Below that, the yellow is some old dyed top I had lying around, probably merino but not labelled (certainly WOOL though!) which I spun into singles to make a mobile phone mat for my husband. I was very pleased with how even this came out. To the far right bottom is my first singles yarn, the red, done on the first of Wovember. To the right of that is a merino blend I made on my blending board from top dyed in single shades. Bother, I forgot one – not in the photo is my jade mix yarn.

Then in the centre bottom is my favourite sheepy rainbow project so far, my yarn of 11 sheep! Yes, that gradient knitted up in the swatch with the red is a single yarn.

The Yarn of Many Sheep!

This post is getting too long now, I will do another where I can list all the sheep breeds I have used this Wovember :)’

We just love the enthusiasm, exuberance, and spirit of adventure with which Annette has made all these wonderful woolly things. That’s what it’s all about – trying new things, discovering more about wool, playing, creating and having fun WITH WOOL.

We thought that in that spirit of woolliness and for the love of sheep, that you would enjoy copies of The Baa-ble Hat, Cowl and Mitts patterns, by Donna Smith. These are on their way to you and we look forward to maybe seeing new and multi-breed versions of these in Wovember 2017! Congratulations again on a superb array of woolly achievements this Wovember 🙂

Many thanks again to all who entered the Wovember instagram competition and the Wovember WAL – your participation in the woolly celebrations is what makes Wovember awesome, and we hope you have enjoyed thinking about what wool means to you and how to share that message, and working with wool, this Wovember. Huge congratulations to all, and very best wishes for the festive season.