Denise: This new kit went into the ‘garden shop’ a few days ago, but other matters intervened and it’s only today that we’ve got round to putting it online, on the Hebridean Woolshed website. We don’t call them Uist Felted Purses because the design originates here in Uist. No, it’s because the wool is grown here in Uist. Some customers seem to find it difficult to chose between the black Hebridean and the white of the Cheviot. This kit solves that problem neatly: both wools are used in the one design! J asks what these purses can be used for. What a silly question! Only a man … !!! Unfortunately he doesn’t seem ready to accept a withering look as a sufficient answer, so – just to humour him – we’ve staged a couple of photos to help men in need of both a present for their partners! Unfortunately adding these photos means I have also to add the note that the kits do not include the contents! Anyway, if you’re interested, you’ll find all the details on our Hebridean Woolshed website.
Denise: I first started spinning in about 1982, when we lived in Kendal. What few others know is that Jonathan too has been spinning all that time. In fact, I seem to recall, as it was he that had assembled our first spinning wheel (an Ashford Traditional), it was him too that got to spin first! (We taught ourselves, from books.) Until 2003, when I started spinning wool for sale (in our own Hebridean Woolshed), we both spun wool about the same. Over the past ten years and more, though, I’ve spun more and more, but J has had to give his full attention to his professional work. But he’s certainly not forgotten how to spin – very far from it. What he’s lost through lack of practice is just speed and consistency. So he’s a bit slow and occasionally wobbly – but nothing that can’t be improved on with a bit more regular spinning! Even without that, though, he really does know what he’s talking about: he’s very knowledgeable about the craft. He’s also got long experience of tutoring beginners (albeit in engineering, not spinning!). Now, since he ‘retired’ from civil engineering and construction, late last summer, we’ve been looking for how he could relieve me of some of my workload. Over the winter we agreed he’d take on tutoring of spinning workshops (perhaps not all, but at least half of them). Well, today was his first workshop. And it looks like he managed to get through. And if this photo of Charlotte – his first pupil – is anything to go by, he must have managed quite well, because she’s not only smiling for the camera, but is managing to keep spinning at the same time!
Denise: It’s been a long and dreary day of cloud and light rain, so we’ve made best use of the day by getting on with a new ‘indoors’ project. Encouraged by the surprisingly instant success of our first kits and patterns, we’ve now put together another new design and kit. This is for a ladies’ Cheviot a Horseshoe Lace Cowl, using our Hebridean Woolshed’s own DK 2-ply wool.
I like doing these kits because it’s something Jonathan and I can work on together. I do the design, knitting and writing down the pattern (J insists on calling it ‘coding’ !). With me doing any modelling, J does photography and then puts together the pattern leaflet, website posts and pages. We then work together on doing all the packaging.
Anyway, if you’re interested, you’ll find all the details on our Hebridean Woolshed website.