Good Lookin' Sheep

When my friend and talented jewellery designer Rebecca asked me to write something for her blog, I have to admit I had a bit of a panic.  What is a spinner going to say about jewellery and weddings?  Then I had a thought.  How many times are you going to wear your wedding dress after your wedding day?  You can keep it in a bag or a box, take it out now and again and bemoan how you’re probably not going to fit into it in 10 years, but, I imagine, not much else.  Now, your wedding jewellery – that you can wear again and again.  You bring it out on special occasions, the perfect touch to set off a little black dress, a whisper of elegance with jeans and a jacket, or on your anniversary with not much else *wink*.  This made me think.  If you asked a spinner to spin you some yarn, knit you a beautiful shawl from it to wear as the air cools and night falls on your wedding day, wouldn’t that be special?  That wonderful piece of craft would be an heirloom, something to pass onto your daughters for generations, a little piece of your special day on hers – her ‘something old’.

Raw Fleece

Taking  a fleece from sheep to shawl is a mammoth task that takes months.  Your shawl would contain hundreds of hours of work from people who are keeping our crafting history alive.  Having a shawl or other ‘keep you warm’ garment made just for you is a totally customisable experience.  I’ll hold up my hands right now and say that I can’t process raw fleeces – I’m allergic to lanolin – that’s the stuff that keeps sheep’s skin in good condition and has been used as a lubricant and emollient since people started shearing and washing sheep fleece.  Anything that I spun for you would have to have been through the scouring (washing) and picking process.   Picking is where you get rid of all the bits of grass and seeds and plant matter that doesn’t get washed away in the scouring phase.  After that however, I can do whatever you like.  I can help you to choose and blend different fibres together to give you exactly the feel you want, spin the fibre into yarn exactly as you wish it to be and knit you the pattern your heart desires.  I can advise you of the best way to get the result that you want and I will keep you as involved in the process as you want to be.

Clean and Combed

Just as an example – I can take a naturally coloured cream fleece that has been washed and combed and blend it with silk, or alpaca, or baby camel or whatever you like really (I draw the line at cat hair – sorry folks I’m allergic to that too).  Then I can spin it into fine laceweight yarn – light as air but warm and soft.  I can add beads and metallic threads, pearls or crystals – the combinations are endless.  I can have someone dye the fibre to whatever colour you fancy, or have them dye the yarn once it’s spun for a totally different feel.  At the end of it you’ll have something totally unique – just yours – made with love, care and scrupulous attention to detail.

Laceweight Wool and Silk

I realise you might not want a purple wedding shawl, but this is an example of the kind of result that you can get, it just happens that this one I knitted is purple.  You don’t have to have a shawl either – the variety of knitting patterns out there is staggering, and part of the Sheep to Shawl service is the consultation.  I’ll guide and advise you so that the end result is as close to your dream as possible.   The service is also flexible – if you know a knitter that you’d like to knit your shawl, or would like to knit it yourself, I can still help you to choose fibre and spin it for you so that your special day hug of a shawl is totally unique. The Sheep to Shawl Service isn’t only limited to weddings – I can help you to create a christening blanket that can be passed down through your family with each new arrival, a special shrug or shawl for a first communion or confimation service, a coming of age celebration, a naming, handfasting, or prayer shawl – the possibilites are endless and the final result will be uniquely yours.

Siren Song



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