Denise: I heard the front door open, and went to investigate, and found the door still ajar and a big cardboard box on the floor of the front porch, with 1 of 2 marked on the side in thick felt pen. I didn’t need to wait for Roddy the Post to come back with the second and to take away my signature to know what this was – I’ve been expecting it for some weeks. Our 2015 Hebridean lambswool back from spinning! Excited but nervous (we never know for sure how all that care and effort will work out!), I called Jonathan and we set about unpacking and checking it.
The whole point about selecting out the very best raw wool – the softest and finest and most uniformly gorgeously dark of all that year’s clip – is of course to get the very best finished yarn ; but when sending away to a micro-mill for spinning, we have to put our very best materials in the hands of others to exercise their own skill and judgement. It’s quite wrong to think of yarn spun in a micro-mill as ‘mass-produced’ or machine-spun: it is a work of collaboration between craftspeople each specializing in the different stages of turning raw wool into yarn.
Anyway, back to the wool coming out of those cardboard boxes : absolutely gorgeous indeed. The additional care, effort and money this lambswool (shearling) wool has cost is fully justified ; and certainly our customers think so, because despite the price (necessarily) being 20% higher, it still sells out all too soon!
Here below is the new lambswool on the right. The other two balls are made with equal careful selection for quality, but taken from sheep of all ages, and that’s what accounts for the ‘heathered’ colouring, compared to the purer dark brown-black of the lambswool.