You may remember that there are three categories for the WOVEMBER WAL: The Golden Fleece Award is given for the sheepiest project – i.e. the project that most thoroughly celebrates the inspirational and material qualities of THE SHEEP. This year that prize goes to Lee Hawkins:
I started keeping Leicester longwool sheep last year due to them being such a rare UK breed.
They are such fantastic sheep, each brimming with their own personality.
I had my first lambs this year
And my first shearing – This was done by a young man in his final year of agricultural college – a fantastic chap George who really knows his stuff and coped very well with my girls (who are all rather large)!
I’m determined to make full use of my lovely longwool fleeces but am pretty novice at all things creative, so this is my first project:
Dyeing the fleece
And then weaving it onto a pegloom to make a rug.
The Sheepy Rainbow Award is given to the project which most creatively exploits the palette of colours provided by natural sheeps’ wool shades, and this year we felt the clear winner in this regard was Fran Rushworth with her beauteous Texel wool bathmat, created from hand-spun and hand-crocheted wool. Her blog post about the process is one of the most inspiring things we’ve read in ages – here’s the link:
I have nearly finished making a rug from a Blue Texel fleece and I shall call it Dappled Thing.
This has been a huge pleasure of headlong spinning and never mind the lumps, yarn fatter or thinner as the mood of the evening took me; crocheted to go with the flow of a skein, it holds my glory in a landscape plotted and pieced – for anyone else, it’s a bathmat.
The Ewe-sain Bolt Award is awarded to the crafter with the fastest fingers, i.e. to the greatest technical feat of WOOLWORK completed during the WAL; this year we had a lot of competition for this entry – you all have been working really fast and really hard with your WOOL – however in the end we reckon that Linda Drage’s wonderful lopi cardigan has pipped everything else to the post. Cast on on 1st WOVEMBER and completed in a flurry on WOVEMBER 27th, even the buttons are woolly:
My Wovember WAL project was my Wovember Icelandic. Made with 100% Icelandic wool. I felt that I learned a great deal with this project, and thoroughly enjoyed it. This project was arranged particularly to fit in with Wovember.
WOVEMBER PHOTO COMPETITION
This year we ran the photo competition through instagram to try and reduce the administrative burden of manually resizing and uploading hundreds of photos; this worked really well and we will be doing the same thing next year!
We love the high WOOL + JOY factors in this beautiful photograph: it is a true celebration of the warming powers of WOOL! Congratulations, Fidlstix, you might have invented the best hash-tag ever:
In coming days an electronic copy of Aurélie Colas’s wondrous collection “Castle Fraser throughout the year” will be winging its way to you. This is a collection of accessories inspired by one of the grandest Scottish baronial tower houses – its architecture, decoration and history and we felt these designs could only give further inspiration and woolliness to your illustrious wardrobe.
Thanks also to Fidlstix for many other lovely photos posted throughout the month, connecting final garments back to their roots in the landscape and in industry:
WOVEMBER 2014 also saw the emergence of a very exciting podcast called Woolful. Created by Ashley Joy Yousling, this podcast offers insightful conversations with makers from the world of fiber and textiles and especially folk involved in the wool industry. The sheepiness of the endeavour is embodied in the @woolful entries to the Wovember photo competition:
Getting very excited about the Woolful podcast launching next Tuesday the 25th. @woolful
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Getting very excited about the Woolful podcast launching next Tuesday the 25th. I'll be giving a sneak peek of the guests on Friday. I'm also on the lookout for persons who'd like to be a part of the "man on the street" portion of each episode and shops/brands/etc who are interested in being involved as a sponsor. Email me at email@example.com 🐏👍
My hope is to bring something new to the fiber community that will inspire makers, dreamers and wool lovers alike. This podcast is unlike any other, focusing on the fiber industry as a whole, from sheep to sweater, including guests from every facet of the craft and industry. Knitters, dyers, fiber processors, shepherds, designers, spinners, proprietors and so many more.
We salute you, Ashley, and would like to offer you a prize of an electronic copy of Aurélie Colas’s gorgeous sheepy draughts pattern.
Thanks for all the sheep you shared during Wovember through your instagram feed and your important podcast!
On the theme of sheepy-knits, who could argue that Donna Smith’s beauteous sheep baa-ble is deserving of some form of wonderful woolly prize? The sheep! The wool! The colourwork! The fun!
Sheep get everywhere #wovember2014 #Christmasdecoration @donnasmithdesigns
It is especially lovely that just a few days earlier, Donna posted a photo of the inspiration for her wonderful baa-ble:
One sack of Blacker Designs yarn is on its way to you, Donna, in colours that fairly match your baa-ble: Congratulations!
Another sack of yarn is on its way towards Jed Baxter, who managed to get some truly beautiful photos of sheep looking AT HIM rather than running away. We are not sure how you managed this feat but we think you are some kind of sheep-whisperer and should be rewarded with yarn.
Three Portland sheep on a misty day. #Wovember2014 @jedbaxter
Two Black Welsh Mountain chew straw while a Portland keeps the peace! #Wovember2014 @jedbaxter
As you can see, many of our WOVEMBER photo entrants included several photos rather than just one, and one series which especially stood out to us was captured by knittertraceyalice:
I’m spinning up 2 natural colors of Maine raised Icelandic wool for #wovember this year! For a yoked sweater idea I have – wool from @portfiber – my awesome LSS! @knittertraceyalice
What a wonderful sense of labour, thoroughness, care and skill in these images that show fleece slowly becoming yarn. We can’t wait to see the sweater, and would like to offer you the Jamieson & Smith gift voucher prize. We will be in touch!
Thanks everyone for another stunning round of WOVEMBER creativity; that’s us over and out for another year.
SEE YOU NEXT WOVEMBER! 😀
If you are already missing the daily wool fumes, we highly recommend that you join our Ravelry group to keep the woolly warmth going on throughout the year.
YOURS IN WOOL,
TEAM WOVEMBER XXX