Today is the last day of the first Wool Week and I have learnt quite a bit about Britsh Wool . Before Wool Week I was not aware that in the UK there are 32 millions of sheep, 60 different pure breeds, 29 milliom kilograms of wool, 2.2 kilo per sheep and the fact that sheep farmers are only paid on average 67p per kilogram for their wool (it was 97p in 1997). I was also told that some farmers have resorted to burning their wool as they can not make any money. You can read about this in more details here and here.
The campaign for wool is a five year inititive headed by HRH Prince of Wales to raise the profile and price of British Wool. Many retailers have been very supportive and the initiative is to education consumers to buy products, be it clothes, household goods (e.g. carpets), wool for crafts etc made of British Wool. It is more environmentally friendly and safer than man made synthetics.
I was very curious and interested in Wool and wanted to find out more. So I have been reading some articles on the subject. I was out an about in Bond Street and Oxford Street last Thursday and many high street shops had great displays showing their support of Wool Week:
I also accidently attended an event at Liberty organised by Rowan for their members that evening. My original plan was to take some photos and look at the new expanded habadashery department at Liberty. However when I got there people were drinking champange and Erika Knight was starting her talk on Wool Week and the Liberty competition results. I asked the lady at Rowan whether she mind if I stayed for the talk. Luckily she was happy for me to stay and listen to the talk. The new Rowan British Wool range is lovely and although I’m on a self imposed ban on buying anymore yarn I could not resist the Boucle cream yarn.
Phil the sheep at Liberty:
The winners of the Rowan Wool Week Competition:
I met lots of lovely knitters there and also had a quick chat with Erika Knight and learnt a lot about knitting.
After Liberty, I headed off to Selfridges as I wanted to see the knitters there and the yarn bombing on the third floor. I got there a too late and most of the knitters had left, but here are a few photos of their knitting progress so far:
I hope this will be a long term initiative. Most of my stash is made of 100% wool and some silk/cotton blends, there are few that are wool and acrylic blends too. But going forward I’ll definately be using more of British Wool starting from these yarns: