Hello! As you may know, in addition to my various personal knitting projects, I’m also involved in a community project: Aula in Blauw. It’s about a funeral space in the Frisian capital of Leeuwarden that has a beautiful view, but looks and feels terribly bleak inside. The plan is to make it into a more comfortable and comforting place using local wool and dye stuff.
The garbage bags leaning against the benches are filled with wool from a local flock of sheep. This is only a fraction of the total amount of wool needed. I took 2 batts home, weighing 564 grams together.
After spinning and plying, I ended up with five-and-a-half skeins of aran weight yarn, with a total weight of 540 grams. (The missing 24 grams were vegetable matter and unspinnable bits of wool).
It isn’t a lot, 540 grams, if you think of all the wall panels, furniture coverings and cushions that will be needed for the entire space. And a carpet, too. But I’m only one of the volunteers and many hands make light work.
Many hands make light work is one of the maxims of non-profit organization Pleed (a Dutch word for blanket, pronounced more or less as played) and this is one of their projects. From the waste product it now is, Pleed wants to make wool from local traditional sheep breeds into a valuable resource again. It feels good to be making a small contribution to that.
These are two pages from the Wool Rescue Handbook they’ve published. We were given a new edition at the kick-off of Aula in Blauw.
The bilingual booklet (Dutch & English) contains lots of information and tips for would-be wool rescuers that can be applied anywhere in the world. If you’d like a copy, don’t hesitate to contact Pleed here.
I put my hand spun wool in a box, added a nice card with the details of my skeins and sent it off.
Now it’ll go to another batch of volunteers – the dyers. They’ll dye everything beautiful shades of blue using woad.
Well, actually using woad leaves not flowers, but the flowers are more photogenic.
When it’s all been dyed, it’s my turn (and that of many others) again. Later this year, I get to knit a cushion cover. Or perhaps several – I don’t know yet. What I don’t know either is whether I’ll get my own yarn back or someone else’s. I’ll wait and see…
To close off today’s post, here’s a lovely quote from the Wool Rescue Handbook:
Working with your hands is relaxing. It frees your mind.
The quiet harmony of spinning a yarn,
the rhythm of a weaver’s loom,
the rubbing movement of felting,
or the sound of knitting needles:
all these activities are very enjoyable and relaxing.
Handling soft natural fabric is enjoyable.
The joy of making something passes on to the person receiving it.
A jumper made with love is so much nicer to wear.
What is made with love lasts longest.