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Lifelong Yarns Blog

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A truly awe-inspiring project...

I recently received an order for a large quantity of our Bowden yarn. This yarn is at the core of our offering - 100% Scottish Blackface, sourced form the Baddinsgill flock in the Pentlands and undyed. The order came all the way from Masachusetts, USA. I was immediately curious to discover the stroy behind the purchase. The project I unearthed has blown me away and deserves greater coverage. I am going to hand over to Margaret of Antrim Handweaving Studio and Study to describe it in her own words. Check out the link to her website for more information. I am so happy to think that the yarns we have created from a hilltop in the Lowlands of Scotland have made their way into this project-of-a-lifetime. Over to Margaret...

A little information about me as to why I am so pleased to have found you and your yarns

 - For the past 12 years, I have been working on a private collection of wraps, referred to as "Preservation Wraps", woven of primitive, rare, and threatened British sheep wools to promote their conservation.  My objective is to weave a wrap for each of the breeds watch listed by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, Categories 1-5 as well as Category 6 that includes "Other native breeds" and the British breeds on the Conservation Priority List of The Livestock Conservancy, USA.  The wraps representing the breeds listed by RBST must woven of wool from the UK and the ones listed by The Livestock Conservancy must be woven of wool from the USA so that each breed is accurately represented with respect to its geography.   When completed, I will have over 70 wraps (I am more than halfway there).  The size of each wrap ranges from 75cmx100cm to 100cmx150cm, dependent on amount of yarn I source. With the wraps, it is my intention to highlight the fleece characteristics of each breed.  The weave structure is plain weave, the simplest of weave structures, as the focus is the wool.  Wraps are woven of millspun but when I can access handspun, I will add it as bordering and supplemental fringe.  I feel these wraps look as if they were lifted right from the sheep itself.  The history and the stories associated with these breeds are very important for me to share during presentations.  For me to be able to purchase wool directly from those raising the breeds is an extra plus!  I have sourced the wools for almost all the breeds.  Some are still proving elusive, among which has been the Scottish Blackface.

Isn't it remarkable that an American woman had devoted so much of her time and passion to British sheep and wool ? And so fitting for me to have linked up with her in the middle of #woolweek !

Pauline McPherson2 Comments