We would really love to thank EVERYONE who participated in the WOVEMBER WAL on Ravelry, Twitter and Instagram. Sharing wool across these platforms really highlights its versatility and draws attention to all the amazing things that can be done with this inspiring and beautiful fibre. We really hope that you enjoyed working with WOOL this WOVEMBER and would love to hear about anything you discovered while working on your WAL projects this year.
The standard of entry was high, but the following projects really chimed with our award categories.
‘The Sheepy Rainbow Award will be bestowed on the project which most creatively exploits the palette of colours provided by natural sheeps’ wool shades’ and we felt that this beautiful selection of socks was an extraordinarily creative and fun design resource, created by @handmadebysigi. In celebration of this effort, one skein of grey Tarndie Polwarth yarn will be winging its way to you, @handmadebysigi, courtesy of the wonderful and talented Jules Billings of Woollenflower. You can read Jules’s post about this wonderful wool here if you missed it earlier in the month.
‘The Ewe-sain Bolt Award will be awarded to the crafter with the fastest fingers, i.e. to the greatest technical feat of WOOLWORK completed during the WAL’ and this, we felt, was probably this dress by yondercrawdad. It’s worked in 2-ply fingering-weight yarn from Notlwonk Springs in Utah (this is their Facebook page) and involved knitting 1911.1 meters (2090.0 yards) of yarn throughout the month… we think it is amazeballs! It is both an impressive achievement of knitting and a very contemporary and stylish use of rustic, farm-fresh, sheep-coloured yarn. One skein of yarn kindly donated from Ellie and the Doulton Flock will soon be on its way to you!
Finally in the WOVEMBERWAL, ‘The Golden Fleece Award will be bestowed on the sheepiest project – i.e. the project that from materials through to concept, most thoroughly celebrates the inspirational and material qualities of THE SHEEP’ and we strongly felt that this should go to Lindragon for her charming Dommett Hill Hat. We loved the associated account of going to a rural fair, procuring wool, and instantly turning said wool into a useful and beautiful hat and particularly enjoyed the notes in the ‘pattern’ section on Lindragon’s Ravelry project page. You will be receiving a prize very shortly in the form of Woolly Chic’s Pembrokeshire Wool, spun from her family’s flock of Dorset and Ryeland sheep. This prize contains 100g of the undyed yarn and two 25g cakes of dyed yarn and was kindly donated by Woolly Chic.
WOVEMBER Instagram Competition
A huge congratulations to everyone who participated in the Instagram Competition. Your beautiful photos amplified the WOVEMBER message across the Internet and are a joy to behold… there were 436 entries in total, and choosing winners was not easy.
However, we did keep coming back to a handful of posts that we felt really encapsulated the spirit of WOVEMBER.
For example you really cannot argue with the wonderful enthusiastic skein-smooshing baby in this photo by @knittersbitters. It’s a poster for the tastiness and pure tactile (and tasty?) pleasure of WOOL! HURRAH! A cowl created by Jules will soon be winging its way to you, @knittersbitters, in thanks for this joyous, expressive photo. Many thanks to Jules of Woollenflower for offering a lovely cowl as a prize.
We also love this image by @knittingiris, featuring a lock pulled from a sheepskin shared with a dilemma about what to do with the sheepskin. We love this because it makes a strong and poignant connection between delicious spinnable/knittable fibre, and the labour and animals involved of life on the farm. Also because crimp. For its full on sheepy credentials, we felt this photo should be rewarded with a selection of wondrous breed-specific yarns, chosen by Sue Blacker of Blacker Yarns, whom we are sure would know what to do with the sheepskin and associated locks. Many thanks to Blacker Yarns for offering this wonderful, sheepy prize.
However the photos that spoke most deeply to our WOVEMBER instincts were these ones, submitted by @la_lainiere and @knittingtastic. We just love how these images connect their creators’ lives in a deep and personal way with WOOL.
For those of you who have not read either story, @la_lainiere hand-made a mattress from local wool in preparation for the arrival of her baby and @knittingtastic is embarking on a quest to have all the fleeces from her father’s flock spun up into yarn. In both stories the connections between family, love, WOOL and life are intertwined very thoughtfully. We love the central place that WOOL occupies in your lives and would be honoured if you could join us and Martin and Adam Curtis on a celebratory outing to Haworth Scouring plant in 2016. You will need to make your own way to Bradford, but this jolly event can take place in 2016 on a date yet to be arranged and convenient to all. Many thanks to our very good friends at Real Shetland and Jamieson and Smith for offering this prize.
Congratulations to all our winners, and to each and every one of you that took part in this year’s WOVEMBER festivities! We are thinking hard about WOVEMBER 2016 and will be putting on our planning hats between now and then to make sure that this website continues to be an inspiring, activist resource. Thank you to everyone who contributed content and articles to WOVEMBER this year and to everyone who took part in any way, small or large, to make the celebration awesome. Thanks also to all our sponsors, and special shout-outs here to Kylie Gusset for Twitter FU; Emily Chamelin for keeping us engaged with the shearer’s work via instagram; MissGoggins for excellent roving reportage; JaneKAL for extraordinary activist skillz; and all the swatchers participating in the Breed Swatch KAL!
Finally, thank you to all the growers and shearers and processors of wool, to the wool-workers, and to the knitters, and to the wool lovers who wash and care for garments and woollen textiles so that they may warm us for many years to come.
YOURS IN WOOL,