Episode 122- Festive, with air quotes

There is some kind of festive holiday afoot – not sure what that is, but if you would like a break away settle in a while with me –  Wool Phasers are set to the ‘comfy n cozy’ setting.


Also available on Spotify, iTunes and wherever you find your podcasts!

n.b. I’ve split wool exploration across the episode as it is a lot to get through in one sitting. For the ease of writing shownotes, I’ve just included a short summary section. Please note that the shownotes does not reflect the running order of the podcast. (Though I’m not sure it always does, anyway!)

Also, last episode I mentioned that I would have Zoe Fletcher’s talk from the day at Fine Fettle Fibres, but Wool Exploration has taken up all the bandwidth for this ep, so that will appear in January. Sorry about that.

| Importance of self-keeping

We can take a mental and physical battering at any time of year, but this time of year particularly. Add to that, that here in the UK we’ve just had a catastrophic (IMHO) election result. Feelings of anxiety, grief and terror are abounding. The UK has been under conservative rule for 9 years and – like the last time they had a strong hold – there has been (i use it again) catastrophic effects to people and to services.  Austerity is crippling people.  Did you know over 2000 foodbanks have been established since the Tories came to power? How many more people will be pushed to poverty as they continue to be in power? Racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, Homophobia and Transphobia are clearly at home in the corridors or power and are leaching further out and higher into society. I could go on about the damage done to our National Health Service, or the damage they’ve caused since the EU Referendum and continued blunders through the Brexit omnishambles.  I feel, like many people do, despondent and despairing. (If that poor excuse of a US president and the poor excuse for a UK Prime Minister get left alone in a room together I fear EVEN more. )  – please know if you feel like this too I am sending a massive hug of solidarity.

Boy! when I talk about the politics it doesn’t make the whole festive holiday feel quite so bad! But that’s not the case for all of us. Again, through this “Festive” time (sarcastic Ho, Ho, Ho) know that there are those of us who get it. Who know its not all fun. Who know it can be painful, or lonely. It can be hard to fight our way through the mental murk, but self-care was made for this. I hope you can carve out time that is just for you, that is dedicated to some small act that makes you feel good; or calm or spoiled. One of mine is to pick a festive audio book and take myself away for a couple of hours listen to it entirely. I mention the Matt Haig Christmas books (which are not just for kids!) and you can find those on audible.

But it could be anything! (Selfcare Cinema is another favourite of mine)   

Listening back to what I recorded, I should have also mentioned how you can donate to Foodbanks in your area. The Trussell Trust supports over 1200 foodbank centres and provide a minimum of three days of nutritionally balanced food to people and families in crisis. They also provide support too. If you have a few pounds, they could really do with a donation – www.trusselltrust.org/make-a-donation/


I always have a link to the Mind website in my instagram profile, which links to various helplines and resources, if you are finding things tough and need to speak to someone. This link will also take you to that page. 

| Tin Can Knits-along

Amazing that there are already a couple of finished items in this KAL, which kicked off on the 1st!

I had decided to make a Snowflake sweater, but ended up having to rip out the almost-finished yoke part as I made a silly mistake! Ah well, onwards!

There is still plenty of time to participate! We will be knitting til 14th February. Are you planning to join in?

| Small Gestures 

By the time this goes out, I will have sent out (or will be about to!) the pairings for the Small Gestures Swap. Thank you so much for participating! You make this really special

| Wool Exploration with Welsh Mountain Group

Whooo-wee! Taking on a whole breed group is always interesting! This time around we looked at the Welsh Mountain Group, which comprises of Black Welsh Mountain, South Welsh Mountain. Welsh Mountain, Balwen and the Badger Faces Torddu (pronounced Torthee) and Torwen.

For image credits please roll over the images. All images shared via Creative Commons

Our wool explorers were Drygardening; WoollyElly; Me; ACraftyScientist; WFCornwell; Dreynold1; BellaRah19; MadameMaigret;ThinkandKnitGreen; PracticalCat; RamsayBaggins;

We used yarn from Black Bat Rare Breeds; Blacker Yarns; Armscote Manor; Elise Langley; Black Hill Sheep.

We used fibre from Wychwood Spinner; Winghams; Adelaide Walker

Written Resources for Welsh Mountain Group used were: The Fleece and Fibre Source Book by Deb Robson and Carol Ekarius and A Breed Apart by Adam Henson


| Thank you, pals!

Thank you for everything this year, my wool pals! Thank you for supporting WoolWork (Nee KnitBritish); thank you for participating with Fieldwork KAL; with Good Intentions Club; with the Tin Can Knits Along and the Small Gestures Swap. Thank you for everyone who participates with Wool Exploration from chatting to exploring and adding your valuable experience. Thank you to everyone who has been on the podcast this year. Thanks to everyone I met at events this year. Thank you for all your online contact too.  Thank you to everyone who bought me kofi/coffee this year. Just thank you! I could’t do this podcast without you. I say it all the time, but your enthusiasm for your own wool work just makes this for me!

A very special thanks to those of you who don’t chat in the group, who don’t follow on social media, but who listen and who participate along with us. I see you. I know you are there.

Important Information

Music used this episode – Bortex with Happy Holidays; David Mumford with Singin’ in the Rain (demo) and Snowy O McSnowerson and The O So Snowly Snowers with Felliz Navida and all those are available from FreeMusicArchive and shared via CreativeCommons. Images are copyright to those attributed on the images, or in the additional information

Source: knitbritish.net

Episode 122- Festive, with air quotes