Dear WOVEMBERISTS, fellow comrades in WOOL, lovers of the fleece, BUDDIES IN BAAS; –
This is a massive heartfelt thanks to everyone who makes WOVEMBER happen every year. Thank you for tweeting and re-tweeting our articles, for sharing our stories on Facebook, for signing our petition, for mentioning this site on Ravelry and for generally SPREADING THE WOOLLY WORD.
TURBOTHANKS for your patience and for understanding that WOVEMBER is run on goodwill, deep cups of coffee, LOVE, and a shoestring.
We do it because we love these guys.
WOVEMBER happens each year because WOOL is amazing and stuff which isn’t made of WOOL should not be allowed to market itself on the long-standing, beauteous and well-deserved reputation of this marvelous textile, born of land and labour.
WOOL has ancient ties to places, industry, people, culture, agriculture, craft, textiles and fashion. Every year we try to find postings which emphasise and celebrate these aspects of WOOL. Thank you to all the shepherds, crofters, wool-sorters, shearers, mill-owners, fashion and knitwear designers, makers, creators, dyers, knitters and comrades who have made time this year to share your stories with the world!
TURBOTHANKS to Jeni Reid for your amazing daily photos throughout the month – these were a huge enrichment to the regular postings schedule.
TURBOTHANKS also to all the shepherds and crofters who created content for WOVEMBER this year and who took time away from your flocks to write gorgeous inspiring pieces about the work you are doing; I loved that this year in particular there was a thread of ideas in your pieces about the economic viability of WOOL for the farmer today – from Sally’s pieces on the Soft Fell sheep (a dual purpose meat/wool animal) to Kate’s discussion of sheep sponsorship to Jane’s amazing use of local Texel fleeces – our shepherding posts this year suggested multiple ways of saving FLEECE from the dreaded bonfire and earning necessary cash for WOOL GROWERS and SHEPHERDS everywhere.
Thanks also to all our amazing contributors who wrote about the wondrous ways that WOOL can be used creatively, in everything from designing knitwear to knitting socks. It was especially heartening this year to read of how WOOL with its history, character and provenance is in itself increasingly inspiring contemporary designers and makers like Karie Westermann, Aurélie Colas and the wonderful artisans working with the special North Ronaldsay fleeces whom we read about in this post.
It is always interesting to hear from our comrades in the working wool industry, and especially from Jamieson & Smith and Blacker Yarns/The Natural Fibre Company, who annually support WOVEMBER by donating prizes. Thanks this year to Jamieson & Smith for a wonderful post about natural fleece shades and the annual wool harvest on Shetland, and to Sue Blacker for a hugely informative series about yarn design at the Natural Fibre Company. Thanks also to Aurélie Colas for donating a copy of her pattern collection Castle Fraser throughout the year and her Sheepy Draughts pattern to our prize pot!
Yarn Design by Sue Blacker, parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.
ALSO: I want to personally say a HUGE thanks to Louise. With myself and Kate extremely busy with our respective self-published books, and Tom busy with his own amazing and important work with wool, I really needed an extra TEAM-MATE to make WOVEMBER feasible this year. I initially asked Louise if she could curate a week’s worth of posts, but she quickly outgrew this role, stepping into the breach as a full-time WOOL COMRADE. Her work has made this year extra specially wondrous, and I have learned tons from the fantastic pieces she’s written and researched. I have also been extremely grateful for all the time she has spent helping me with the gallery, the Wovember Words and the rest. TURBOTHANKS, LOUISE!
Finally, thanks to YOU for wearing wool, working with wool, loving wool, sharing wool, joining in our celebration and our campaign and for being part of what makes this wondrous adventure feel so rewarding and so necessary.
There are a few more things to say and do before we wrap everything up for good this year, but WOVEMBER remains, as ever, YOURS IN WOOL. XXX FELIX XXX