Today’s Woolness & Me post was written by Deborah Gray, who has written on the Wovember blog before, and will be known to many of you from her classes at Shetland Wool Week and her long-running and informative blog, Perfect Weather for Spinning & Knitting. Today she describes many of the links from sheep through wool through craft through community that form the unbroken chain of Woolness in her own creative work.

Here’s my #woolnessandme pic:

It’s a swatch knitted in my own handspun yarn, the second one made while sampling to produce a very specific three-ply yarn for a project. The yarn and the swatch embody the learning, the application of theory, experimenting and recording observations about the way wool behaves through the different stages of yarn production and knitting. The wool itself is very special, closely linked for me to place and the landscape it came from, to friends and a pleasurable memory of aquiring it. This is one of the fleeces that won the coloured wool section of the Shetland Flock Book in 2015. The flock book event is such a joy, seeing the serious determination to keep the breed characteristics ‘true’, but a lot of fun at the same time. And the quality of the prizewinning fleeces is of course sheer heaven for a hand spinner. Spinning the yarn will take many hours of careful focussed activity, with the slow satisfaction of seeing bobbins fill and finished skeins mount up. Not a museum re-enactment but a continuation in a long unbroken thread of making. I often spin alone, but Knitting is a more sociable activity; both in real life groups and through online communities I feel surrounded by supportive knitting buddies. They will help, when help is needed, with advice and encouragement freely given as I delve into the complexities of placing stitch patterns, garment construction and fit. They are a big part of what #woolness means to me.

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