WOOLNESS AND ME: Introducing Louise Spong

Let’s introduce you to another of our amazing contributors this year – local wool champion, Louise Spong!

You may well be familiar with Louise as she is no stranger to Wovember, having been interviewed and provided us with some Wovember Words once or twice. Of course, many of you will be more acquainted with Louise as the founder of Southdowns Yarns, single flock, single breed yarns from the South Downs.

Louise and I (The Other Louise) have had a good few cracking emails going between our inboxes over the last year on the topic of WOOL. Louise’s love of place – namely the South Downs – of the land, the animals and the people of that place is inextricably linked to the work she does and her yarns speak chapter and verse of these. When Felix and I were discussing this year’s theme we felt strongly that Louise would have incredible stories to tell us about wool, wellness and place. We were delighted that she accepted the challenge with aplomb. 

By way of an introduction, here is Louise.

Hello, I’m Louise Spong. I live in Sussex, and my local, native breed is the Southdown sheep. I became keenly interested in wool about ten years ago when I wanted to knit using local-to-me wool and could not find any for sale. This desire led me to take the first few tentative steps in what has become, and continues to be a journey of discovery and creativity.

Woolness for me is all about making: making connections with people and places, making material, tangible items, and in my own small way making a difference. Our world is what we make it. Woolness has also come to mean learning to truly respect and appreciate all that goes into making woollen yarn: from the shepherd, the sheep, the environment, the processing of fleece to fibre and of course culminating in the work of those of us who love to create with andwear wool.

Louise’s posts are indeed going to take you a trip around Sussex to meet shepherds (both literary and actual), people creating with wool and benefiting the wellbeing of the community and people working to restore the natural habitats of the chalk grasslands of Sussex.  You are going to learn such a lot from her this week and you too will be bowled over my her enthusiasm and love for her local area and local wool.

Thank you so much, Louise, for agreeing to curate a week of posts of Wool, Wellness and Locale and for being such a wonderful supporter of Wovember.

If you are interested, you can read earlier Wovember posts featuring Louise:

Louise Spong on Tracing Provenance (2015)

Louise Spong and Jenny Dean on Natural Dyeing  (2015)

Wovember Words: One-erum, Two-erum, Cockerum

Wovember Words: Pyecombe Hook

You can find Louise’s website at www.southdownsyarn.co.uk; she is also on Instagram as @Louise_SDY and Twitter as @southdownsyarn.