Those that read the blog know that I'm a knit-a-holic, but most people will not know that I nearly exclusively knit in cotton, bamboo, or cashmere. Not from any particular preference, I'm a special offer / bargain shopper – all my current stock was on special offer when I started looking for materials to knit with my bump.
I have however bought some lovely wool and am 25% of the way through knitting DangerBaby a hooded jumper. It's a fantastic red colour and feels warm and fuzzy soft to the touch (I've finished the back section and I'm about 1/3rd of the way through the front). In fact it was the bright red colour that drew me to the wool, it wasn't on special offer but the colour was such a deep natural looking red that I couldn't resist.
Don't fall off your chairs, but I'm glad I paid the full price for my wool. You see the wool industry is in trouble and it needs our help. HRH Prince Charles launched a 'Campaign for Wool' back in 2008 when the plight of the wool industry was brought to his attention – the price of wool had plummeted to the point where farmers were being paid less for the fleeces then the cost of having them shorn!
Sheep numbers were dropping and some farmers were losing confidence in the future of wool industry. Imagine not seeing any sheep on the hillsides of South Wales or Cumbria? What would New Zealand look like without all those little lambs bouncing around in the spring time? Wool has been an important part of our life since the Middle Ages, but because of the success of man made fibres things were looking bleak!
The Campaign for Wool brings together a mixture of industries that champion the use of wool and are reinvigorating the global wool industry: International Wool Textile Organisation, British Wool Marketing Board, Australian Wool Innovation, National Sheep Association (who's HQ is behind Granny Annie's house!), New Zealand, Norway and many other important sheep producing nations of the world. These good people are working with the leading figures of fashion, decorating and design and works closely with them to promote the use of wool.
It's slowly working! In recent months, the price of wool at the farm gate has increased threefold, and confidence is starting to return to the sheep farmers. The campaign still has a lot of work to do but it has momentum.
How can you help?
Sign up to the Campaign For Wool's pledge:
Choose from some of the activities we can all do below, I've ticked mine:
✓ I will like the Campaign for Wool Facebook page and invite my friends to do the same; by sharing my stories and experiences with wool I can help to educate the world
✓ I will run my own Campaign for Wool event (a knitting night is a great example) and share the wool yarns with my friends and family. I will add my event to our calendar
✓ I will share my wool pictures on the Campaign for Wool Facebook page and encourage as many of my family and friends to 'like' the picture as possible (see if you can make yours the picture with the most 'likes'!)
✓ I will sign up to support the Campaign for Wool
✓ Post a link to the Campaign for Wool website on my blog, website or Facebook page
✓ Rally my friends, family, colleagues or fellow students to get involved
An exclusive wool version of Larry the Lamb to be on sale at www.unikgifts.co.uk soon!