#handknitted#owl delivered to its new owner - made from two types of yarn. The blue one is a British yarn bought at @wonderwoolwales last year and the pink is #dropsmerino The stuffing is wool from seaweed eating sheep on #northronaldsay - The pattern is #seamustheowl by @mamma4earth
Sourcing some wools to add to my material bank. I have found a British wool called North Ronaldsay. This wool comes from a sheep living on North Ronaldsay, a Scottish Island and they live off SEAWEED. I love finding connections.
Inspired by the lovely @erickaeckles hand spun #woolexploration i decided to dig out my drop spindle again and have another go. Coincidentally the fluff i pulled out of my stash was some undyed North Ronaldsay which just so happens to be the first breed wool in the @knit_british Wool Exploration 2018 challenge.
My swatch is knitted in mill spun wool from @blackeryarns and has been washed, blocked and worn for one day (first tucked in the waistband of my jeans against my hip and then later draped over my shoulder against my neck). It's going for its second wash, block and wear tomorrow.
The fibre has been loosely spun and plied. It's a bit thick and thin and varies from lace to dk weight (🤔i really need to practice more! ) but i have about 50yds of yarn to knit with. If the fibre felt a bit rough and rustic in my hands whilst spinning, the spun yarn is actually surprisingly soft despite a halo of long, wiry fibres. Looking forward to knitting it up! .
My North Ronaldsay swatch is done. It’s now getting a long soak before it gets a good block. I did some garter stitch, some stocking stitch and a fishtail 🐟 🐠 lace panel. This is the first time I’ve knitted with this wool and I’ve been really impressed. I’m really glad I decided to take part in the @knit_british #woolexploration for 2018. It’s great to learn new things.** **with apologies for this mornings weird blueish winter light
I’ve been baking Christmas cakes with my daughter this afternoon and it has to be said, when she is a bit older, she is going to be WAY better at baking than me. The cakes are in the oven now so I’m treating myself to a few minutes sit down and a quick cast on of a swatch for the @knit_british #woolexploration for 2018. This wool is from the endangered North Ronaldsay breed of sheep from the Orkney Islands. These sheep live for most of the year on the foreshore and eat mainly seaweed. They are small sheep but are incredibly hardy. This wool is the natural colour (so, undyed) and smells super sheepy 🐑. I’m really excited to see how it knits up.
look at @erickaeckles beautiful #NorthRonaldsay swatch. Lisa is taking part in the #KnitBritish#WoolExploration . Every month we’ll be looking at a different breed. There is still time to take part with North Ronaldsay. The deadline for finished swatch reviews is 28th December... Who can’t knock up a swatch in that time and give it a bit of an explore?
See the wool exploration thread in the KnitBritish ravelry group and visit www.knitbritish.net to find the relevant blog posts.
Beautiful North Ronaldsay wool, swatched for the @knit_british wool exploration using the cable pattern for the circlet sweater. I'm not sure if the wool has enough drape to be well suited for that pattern but it is absolutely lovely - sturdy, with a lovely halo and good stitch definition. For now I'll keep the swatch in waiting until I come across the right sweater pattern 🌬
This evenings progress on #woolexploration with North Ronaldsay yarn from Lauriston Farm. The fuzziness of the yarn is lending itself well to colour work @erickaeckles did you find out whether the yarn is worsted or woollen spun? I'm not a fan of stranded knitting flat and did toy with the idea of knitting in the round and steeking but thought I may have to use the yarn in the swatch to finish a pair of mittens; that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it #northronaldsay#lauristonfarm#knitbritish#britishwool#maryjanemucklestone
I’m so excited to be taking part in the @knit_british #woolexploration project during 2018 and my first parcel of sheepiness has arrived. First on the list will be yarn from #northronaldsaysheep (the dark brown skein) who are incredibly hardy and live on a diet of seaweed. And despite what you might expect of a yarn from such an animal - coarse, scratchy etc - it is not at all like that. Produced and spun on #northronaldsay it is soft, squishy and smells amazing. Now, to the knitting!
All purchased from the yarny treasure trove @brityarn
All kinds of crazy, hectic busy stuff going on but today is a quiet day amidst the December whirlwind so I am making the most of it!
Little dinky jumper bunting in the making for @knit_british 100 episode celebration using scraps of @westyorkshirespinners Jacob, some mohair/corriedale blend from #crookabeckfarm in Cumbria, a little left over Herdwick also from Crookabeck and a little of Blacker's #cornishtin . (The rumours are right by the way, they really are addictive. I may * have * to make a few more...) Later on I plan on starting my #woolexploration with this lovely crisp #northronaldsay (also from @blackeryarns ) (Ps continuing on the Knit British theme, have you heard the latest episode of the Louise's podcast yet? It's MY #woollymucker episode!! I have been so honoured to be one of Louise's woollymuckers this year and it was fab to chat to her about my knitty journey and share my favourite 'desert island yarns' . We had a right laugh! Thanks Louise for making all of us a part of Knit British and thank you for your continued encouragement/enablement and enthusiasm for the British wool industry!) #photocraft
On the island of North Ronaldsay, part of Orkney, ten miles north of the Scottish mainland, live some very unusual sheep.
In the 1800s, the residents of North Ronaldsay built a dry stone wall around the island to maximise the production from their limited uplands. The sheep were banished outside the wall (😱) where they thrived - and still do - on a diet of almost exclusively seaweed.
These very hardy sheep are double-coated, meaning they have a fine undercoat which can be as soft as Shetland, and a coarser outer coat of guard hairs which protects them from the often inclement weather. 😉
If you're interested in trying this unusual breed, why not head over to @knit_british where North Ronaldsay sheep are the subject of the current #woolexploration . Louise is encouraging knitters to swatch with any 100% North Ron yarn, and enjoy sharing notes on the variation which occurrs even within a single breed.
I'm certainly looking forward to seeing the results, I've no doubt they'll be fascinating. 😁
My little fuzzy Freida and her mum, Esther. I adore these two so much! They say that sheep are stupid, but I'm not too sure..I've penned the girls up (with the help of a shepherd friend!) at the back of the barn using the hay bales as a windbreak, and whilst the others are ambevilant, Esther has learnt to listen for my voice to call for feeding whilst positioning herself so she can watch the entrance to the barn..just to make sure that I'm obeying her summons! whilst Frieda stands on her back legs with the front on top of the hurdle waiting for me to refill their grub tins. Progress indeed as little Frieda arrived here as a baby and wouldn't let anyone touch her. 🐑 #sheep#winter#farm#countrylife#slowliving#wool#nativebreeds#northronaldsay#scotland#wales#photography#nature#petsofinstagram#farming
#woolexploration in the thick of it! Are you taking part? see my blog at knitbritish.net
#Repost @ramsay_baggins (@get_repost)
Swatching! I'm pretty familiar with #NorthRonaldsay as a yarn so this is really demonstrating how different it can be depending on who spun it and how it's spun #WoolExploration
#wovemberinstachallenge Day 18
This is North Ronaldsay home to the North Ronaldsay sheep. I’ve been so lucky to have visited the island on several occasions including to help rebuild the sheepdyke.
The island has is own mill at the lighthouse (I’ve slept a few meters from its doors) where they spin their own yarn A Yarn from North Ronaldsay using just the islands clip (also available at BritYarn). While North Ronaldsay sheep live all over the world this is the source of them.
#wovemberinstachallenge Day 6 is Sheep These are the fabulous North Ronaldsay sheep that graze the seawall at Lauriston Farm near Maldon in Essex.
PS I haven't added days 2, 3, 4 or 5 yet - I'm intending to catch up by the end of the month but it doesn't matter, does it? I am generally terrible at keeping up with this sort of thing, work gets in the way. Maybe I should plan it all in advance and pre-schedule postings but that kind of takes the spontaneity and fun out of it for me.