Is it British wool

Is it British wool?
You might be fooled into thinking that buying wool certified by the wool marketing board as British wool that it would be 100% British wool. This sadly is not the case – the wool marketing board describes “British Wool as having to have a minimum content of 50% wool that originated here in the UK the rest could come from anywhere.

Where do I source my wool from?

For hand spinning and for personal use I buy direct from the farm – so my wool is 100%British wool and I’m proud of that – it means that when you buy from me you are not only supporting a small craft business you are also supporting a small farm businesses too. For products that I sell I only use wool that is native/ rare breed which supports some of our smallest sheep farmers and smallholders.


Meet Erin, a Jacob cross Welsh black mountain – she’s providing some of my wool this year


and Denis – he’s also supplied a wonderful fleece for this years projects for my family but since he isn’t a native rare breed I won’t be using his wool in the products I’m selling.


Erin’s wool is a lovely mix of colours and should provide some fantastic yarn.


For weaving I also use some other people’s yarn for specific bespoke items such as this bag created in lovely blue dyed wool with a sliver of sparkle added. I buy my yarn direct from a small spinning mill in Shetland which guarantees its wool is 100% from Shetland crofts and no other wool is added from elsewhere – so it isn’t mixed with wool from Australia or other countries and because of this it has a very low carbon footprint.


Colours can be mixed to suit – you can even send me your own yarns to have something made up for you.


Contrasting colours can be very attractive.

Spinning a yarn

When you get the craft bug it can be quite a fascinating change of your life. It isn’t just about the things you make, at least it isn’t for me; it’s also about the story, for example I just bought and washed a huge wool fleece ready for combing and spinning – it was a lovely sticky sloppy job, it’s all part of the fun. I was particularly interested in this fleece because the lovely lady I got it from also sent me two or three pictures of Denis the Texel sheep who had grown it. So there was already a bit of a story there, but now I have a bit more of the story and the nice thing is that I can tell the story whenever anyone asks about the things I have made from his wool and who couldn’t fall for the story of this not so little fella?

“Denis is on the Pantcyfyng farm Bwlchllan, Lampeter where he and the rest of the flock are looked after by Caroline Lewis.

Caroline told me…

“Denis was one of a twin from a neighbouring pedigree flock of texels. He was born with contracted tendons and wonky bandy knees on both his front legs. After 3 -4 days of hoping he would strengthen up so he could follow his mother and go out into the field, the owner gave up and asked me if I would like him as he couldn’t do anything with him. Never one to shirk a challenge where a little lamb is concerned, I immediately offered him a home. He spent the first 6 weeks of his life living in my house with splints on both front legs.

The first day he wore the splints he couldn’t work out how to lie down as his front legs didn’t bend. That first night, I slept on the sofa with Denis draped across my body with his front legs dangling off the front of the sofa!!! By day 2 he’d got the hang of it all!! He couldn’t go down to the shed pen with the other orphan lambs though as he couldn’t walk in the straw.

His splints were changed every 4 days as being a Texel he grew rapidly. My one worry was that his daily weight gain would be too much for him to support and I’d never get his legs to hold him up.

Eventually though, with gentle daily walks with me, he strengthened enough to have the splints removed bit by bit each day and finally he was strong enough to go out with the other lambs and lead a normal life.

His original owner had castrated him before I had him and he now has the very important job of babysitting the stock ram “Donald” for 10 months of the year.

He made an appearance on BBC Countryfile alongside Anita Rani in 2015.

He will be 3 years old in March 2017 and now weighs in at 130kg.

A more gentle sheep you couldn’t wish to meet, I’m sure he thinks he’s a pet dog! He’s one of the farm characters,  love him to bits!! (as you can probably see from the number of photos of him!!!!)”


So that’s where the wool came from that is currently taking up half the house as it dries after its washing.

What happens next is another story – watch this space