Saturday 6 September 2014


Since the start of the year, I have been making a conscious, deliberate effort to make more time for making. Rediscovering my creative side has been a revelation to me. Having a variety of absorbing, enjoyable, fulfilling (and manageable!) hobbies have been doing wonders for my physical and mental well-being.

In parallel to my renewed interest in making things with my hands, I'm also becoming increasingly interested in the processes involved in creating the raw-materials that I then enjoy transforming at home...or out on the hillside.
I've started with wool. Living in a sheep-farming community, this seems the logical thing to do. Daily life, yearly life in our village still revolves around the handful of sheep farmers who scratch out a living raising livestock.

Perennial, divisive issues such as the expansion of the ski stations, the management of the Pyrénées National Park, electronic tagging of livestock, the reintroduction of the brown bear (...) are all important, very real issues for local farmers.

But despite having lived here for five years and taking an active interest in these thorny issues, I realise that I still know very little about the realities of the traditions and way of life that have shaped our valley over the centuries.

And I know even less about sheep!

Back in February, I listen to some excellent French podcasts about sheep farming and the wool industry here in France. They've really got me thinking. In addition to recycling, re-purposing and re-using yarns, where possible, I'd like my choice of materials to have a real connection to the landscape in which I live and work.

The first step back then was to find a spinning wheel and learn how to use it!

Since then, I've been spinning away at every opportunity and feel like I'm really starting to get the hang of things now.

The next step then is to knit a garment with my own, hand spun yarn. Only a few weeks left before it's time to cast on!


  1. so inspiring! thank you for those podcasts links, will most definitely listen to them!

  2. Yes, certainly worth a listen, especially the interview with Marie Thérèse Chaupin (ATELIER Laines d'Europe). It really was a revelation when I first heard it back during the winter.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts after! :)