September Shows

September was a good month for shows, we went to the, new to us, Perth Festival of Yarn and returned for our third year at Yarndale.


Fibre East 2017

Well, they asked us back!
It's a long way to Bedford from Dumfries and Galloway. Nine hours or so, with a car full of yarn.
I was recovering from a minor operation, Mrs Woo had been doing all the heavy lifting, so our preparation was interrupted.

Our range wasn't as complete as we would have liked but we still took buckets of glorious Berties.


Fibre East is a great show, well organised, well attended, and it was good to see so many familiar faces.
We were in the gym again, which can get a bit warm, but is a fantastic space.


We have increased our range of single hanks to go with our gradient packs.


And Mrs Woo had been busy knitting samples.


So, great show, great fun, great people… Hope to be there next year too.

The New Dye Studio

WooSheeps may have seemed to be keeping a low profile earlier this year, this was due to my moving out of the kitchen, and into a new dye studio!
This sounds posher than it actually is. At the far end of a neglected part of the garden, there is an old greenhouse, which the previous owners had extended with, what looks like, someone's old conservatory.

With Lola supervising, I ruthlessly removed the old leaky roof,


There is in every enterprise of this sort, the point of no return.


With my neighbour's and Sue's help, the new joists went up, in quick time.


Soon there was a shiny new tin roof. You can see the Southern most point of Scotland from up here, that's the Mull of Galloway and the Isle of Man in the distance.


Things started coming together in March. Except for the roofing sheets and timber, almost everything was reclaimed or reused.


After struggling in the kitchen, with dye pots vying for position with dinner, I was looking forward to having all this space to play in. Soon I had power and water too.


And here we are, dyeing a Boogie Nights set, and getting in the mood.


Now, I can get into production, we are already expanding our range with mini skeins, DK skeins, new gradient sets, and premium sock weight. We are working with exciting designers with plans for kits and, as the cliché goes, much much more.

After Yarndale

Well, what a show!
Yarndale in Skipton, Yorkshire was amazing, this was our first big show. We were absolutely shattered, and foot sore, when we got home. The organisation was fantastic, people were happy, and we had a great position near the loos and cafe. All the stall holders we spoke to, agreed that it was one of the best shows ever.


Saturday was so busy, within 5 minutes of opening, we were three people deep at the entrance to our stall.
This was taken in a quiet moment.


Fox Paws, on the corner there, was frequently fondled, and gave us an opportunity to show off our gradient sets. We also brought our new WooCakes of gradient yarn, appearing in the shop soon.


Angus our 75% Merino 25% Nylon base, proved to be the most popular, especially after people had a good rummage in the WooTwos and WooSplats


All in all it was a great weekend, met some lovely people, learned a lot about shows, and had some fun.

Hope to see you there next year.

Sheepy business

In between all the dyeing, and haggis fettling, we at WooSheeps actually do keep a small flock of sheep. North Ronaldsays to be precise.
North Ronaldsays, are a rare breed from (you guessed it) North Ronaldsay, one of the Orkney Islands. They live on the beach, surviving on a diet of seaweed, whiskey and shipwrecked sailors. The islanders built a wall around the island to keep their drunken antics confined to the shoreline and out of the fields.
They are a hardy 'primitive breed' less prone to dropping dead for no good reason than most sheep. Our wet and windy coastal climate causes them no problems. We collected seaweed from a local beach once, thinking a taste of home would excite them… They wouldn't touch it, having come from Preston, they had never seen seaweed before. There are surprisingly few North Ronaldsays on the Scottish mainland, most live in England. Kept by members of the
RBST and the NRSF.
They are small, nosey, sheep, which makes them easy to handle. We hand shear them, or rather, I hang on to their horns while Sue wields the shears. Their fleece is not bad quality, I have plans for Fifi's dark brown fleece, which may involve my spinning it and Sue knitting me a sweater.
We started off with three ladies, Fifi, Maxine and Morag. We didn't name them ourselves. But they do actually live up to their given names. Each has a distinct personality, with Fifi as boss until Dave the ram arrived.
After proving to ourselves that we could keep three sheep alive for a whole year, we got a ram called Dave.
He is a good natured chap, who traveled back from England in a dog crate in back of the car. He likes to have his chops rubbed, and follows you around the fields, eager to help like any good dog.
Dave performed well, although Fifi took eight weeks longer than her sisters to woo. Although, to be fair she was quite a bit bigger than Dave at the time.
I set up CCTV in the field, and after a good deal of pacing and fretting, we saw Maxine give birth to Humbug, then the next day Morag produced BB.

Below are Maxine at the front and Morag at the back trying to see what is going on, with their lambs Humbug and BB, by their sides.


This is Rodney Fifi's lamb, instead of eating him, we have had him 'done', so he can live with his sisters and aunties.


Rodney and his mum Fifi, Fifi is sporting a "Should have gone to Specsavers" haircut.


This is Dave, Dave is a good looking fella, and knows it.