Wovember Words: St. Blaise, Patron Saint of Wool combers

While I was thumbing through Sue Blacker’s book, Pure Wool, I came across a reference to St. Blaise which led me to investigate and uncover the story of the Patron Saint of Wool combers… If the yarn is to be worsted-spun, the wool is taken half-carded to a series of machines which align the fibres… Continue Reading Wovember Words: St. Blaise, Patron Saint of Wool combers

OneHutFull: Friday night Vi-EWE-ing!

Sam the Ram, Whitefaced Dartmoor sheep from Paula Wolton’s flock In contrast to the historic films presented last week which reveal the story of how wool suffered with the advent of artificial textiles in the 1950s, this evening WOVEMBER shares the trailer for a very different sort of film: one that celebrates the lives past,… Continue Reading OneHutFull: Friday night Vi-EWE-ing!

Wovember Words: Bellwether

One of the wondrous things about WOVEMBER is how much WOOL information comes through in your comments. A few years ago several remarks on this post informed me that a Bellwether is a castrated ram that wears a bell around its neck and leads the rest of the flock about. The bell enables the shepherd… Continue Reading Wovember Words: Bellwether

Wovember Words: Grey Hodden

We shall be hearing more from Kate Graham this evening, and as we were thinking yesterday about coloured fleeces and their sale and use, I came across the phrase “Hodden Grey” in K.G. Ponting’s worthy tome, The Wool Trade. Herdwick photo, © Kate Davies The Herdwick is a very hardy breed found in Cumberland and… Continue Reading Wovember Words: Grey Hodden

Wovember Words: Canisters and Cluckets

The practice of putting bells on one’s sheep is no longer widespread in the UK, however there is some evidence that it was once much more popular in the UK than it is today, and sheep bells still seem to be used in other parts of Europe. The sounds of sheep bells featured in a… Continue Reading Wovember Words: Canisters and Cluckets

Wovember Words #6

Today’s Wovember Words is a small excerpt from German writer Thomas Mann’s 1924 novel The Magic Mountain. It’s been a long time since I read this last, but I still remember the scene where a young Hans Castorp visits his ailing cousin Joachim Ziemssen in the Swiss International Sanatorium Berghof. Hans is initiated in one of the many rituals surrounding the lives… Continue Reading Wovember Words #6

Wovember Words #5

Today’s Wovember Words is brought to you by a member of the Wovember Ravelry group. She goes by the Ravelry name Corvid and is superstar glove knitter; do check out her project page if you’re a Ravelry member! Winding Wool, by Robert William Service. Winding Wool She’d bring to me a skein of wool And… Continue Reading Wovember Words #5

The revolution WILL be televised!

We interrupt our schedule of posts from Shepherds during the ‘Growing Wool’ phase of the WOVEMBER postings to reflect on recent events in the world of blade-shearing, handspinning & handknitting, and to bring you news of the momentous use of this fleece, grown on the back of a now famous Norwegian sheep! Who else was… Continue Reading The revolution WILL be televised!


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

Laura Rosenzweig on Growing Wool…

Throughout WOVEMBER some of the people who work with a whole process – from raw sheep, to finished textile – will share their stories here on the WOVEMBER blog in a series of posts spread across the month. One such person is Laura Rosenzweig of Laura’s Loom, who is producing a range of woollen products… Continue Reading Laura Rosenzweig on Growing Wool…