A Northern Yarn in summer

Hello! Only me. Only me that is now an official supporter of The Campaign for Wool! That’s right! Ok, now I know that I didn’t have to break any records to become a supporter, but I did need to write an application with an explanation of my business and its goals and how I use and source wool. With my quest to find local producers and support local farmers it just feels like I’ve been validated in some way and I’m really proud of that.

‘The Campaign for Wool is a global endeavour initiated by its patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, in order to raise awareness amongst consumers about the unique, natural, renewable and biodegradable benefits offered by the fibre.’

Read all about the Campaign for Wool here:


I’ve had such a lovely month getting to know my customers on both Garstang Market and Lancaster’s Charter Market. I have learned so much from conversations I’ve had and genuinely feel honoured to be part of your day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. (Can you tell I love my job??) Following are some snippets that I still think about, so albeit quite a sombre snippet, I was told a bit more about Fisherman’s Ganseys/Guernseys. I did know that each village would have its own cable design, what I didn’t know is that part of the reason for this was so if the fisherman had an accident at sea, the body would be able to be identified when it washed ashore and the fisherman would be taken back to his village and family for burial. Fascinating and functional knitwear.

Something else I’m really enjoying is talking to shepherds and farmers who keep sheep who often stop at the stall. (Is a farmer a shepherd if they keep other animals?? I must ask my friend.) I have a couple of photos up of sheep on my stall, a Teeswater and a Bluefaced Leicester. I can usually tell if people know about the sheep already but several times this month I have heard this; Bluefaced Leicesters are depressed and want to die. Now considering how much I love their wool I am a bit sad about this fact. I brushed the first occasion to one side and maybe thought it was just this particular shepherd who had depressed sheep, maybe they had SAD or needed nicer sheep nuts or a cheery song. But several farmers have since confirmed it. Not that they are depressed as such but that they are hard to keep. (alive, but that seems so harsh!) And the reason they find it hard to survive? Because they don’t have a lot of fleece and what they have isn’t enough to keep them warm through the winter months! I almost feel guilty and obliged to help them. Surely knitters would make a Bluefaced Leicester a woolly jumper to keep it warm. At least until shearing time when we’ll all be there rubbing our hands waiting for its fleece, ha ha. No seriously, I feel a campaign coming on to keep our beloved BFL’s warm in winter. Watch this space!

Righty ho, the summer holidays fast approach and I need to meditate!

Thanks for reading, hope to talk to you again soon! 

Kate. xxx