Working with wool, especially breed-specific wool, gives you an incredible choice in each breed’s specific properties and qualities, as Ethel Mairet explains: Every raw material has its own definite expression, its biotechnic quality. This can even be found in the various types of fleece. Each kind of fleece has its own perfect expression – the… Continue Reading WOVEMBER WORDS #25


As we are nearing the end of our Working with Wool section, we have a lot of woolly words to share with you today, therefore Wovember Words will be short: Numerous kinds of fibres, animal, vegetable, and mineral, are used in weaving. The best known, and probably the most useful, is wool. In section, magnified,… Continue Reading WOVEMBER WORDS #24


Having read about the careful, careful approach when washing knitted garments yesterday, we will read about a rather different approach which is needed when washing woollen fabrics as part of the finishing process, before it is ready to be made up into woollen items: Knitters, and thrifty housewives, are often appalled at the treatment given… Continue Reading WOVEMBER WORDS #23


Working with wool also means taking care of your woollen items during their lifetime. Some people consider hand-washing wool an onerous chore! Here Elizabeth Zimmermann explains how to look after your handknitteds – needless to say, she only discusses woollens! [Handknitted sweaters] take time and care ot make, so wash them with time and care.… Continue Reading WOVEMBER WORDS #22

Rachael Matthews and Louise Harries on Working with Wool… AKA ‘Louder than Bombs’

The Prick Your Finger haberdashery, with hand-crocheted signage made of Rough Fell wool Yarn The Prick Your Finger jingle, made by Felicity Ford during the first KNITSONIK residency, 2011 Last year during WOVEMBER we featured this piece about Rachael Matthews and the Prick Your Finger haberdashery, highlighting some of the ways in which the work… Continue Reading Rachael Matthews and Louise Harries on Working with Wool… AKA ‘Louder than Bombs’


Yesterday’s Wovember Words gave us some advise from Elizabeth Zimmermann. Here she is again, and this time Zimmermann tells us about how she felt that there is a shared memory, that skills seemingly lost in history actually lingers in ‘memory in the fingers; memory undeveloped, but still alive.’ A few years ago Christmas was enriched… Continue Reading WOVEMBER WORDS #21


Elizabeth Zimmermann, famous unventor of many things knitting, gives some of her typical advise on working out how much wool to buy for a sweater. She also touches on the importance of correct labelling of yarn, something we rejoice in here at WOVEMBER! We might also divulge at this point that Shetland wool is Wovember… Continue Reading WOVEMBER WORDS #20

Wovember Words #19

Two days ago we posted Wovember Words #17, which talked about the gig mill, which is used to raise the nap on woven cloth. The accompanying picture showed a Victorian billiard table, which is covered in napped green woollen cloth. However, when Linda Scurr visited the National Wool Museum, she took some pictures of an… Continue Reading Wovember Words #19


Staple: “wool grows on the sheep in definite locks as distinct from the way in which hair grows, for example, in a cat. These locks are the staple, a word which, during our long history, has symbolised the power and dignity of the wool trade. We may be sure that, in whatever setting we may… Continue Reading WOVEMBER WORDS #18


Napping: the process of raising the fibres on the surface of the cloth to give blankets a soft, fluffy appearance. This was done by combing the surface of the blanket with a teaseler, made from inserting teasel heads (a type of thistle) into a wooden bat. The ‘gig mill’ was a development from the hand… Continue Reading WOVEMBER WORDS #17