books, British Wool, KnitBritish, KnitLocal, Podcast, RANT ALERT, sheep, wool, Wool Exploration, yarn review
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Episode 107 – I will never just stick to the knitting.

Today’s episode is mainly about wool and knitting, but the title stands as a good reminder that my views do often extend beyond this!

You can also listen on iTunes, the podcast app, or search your favourite podcatcher, if you prefer!


The words sh*t and piss are used a couple of times in this episode, and is *mostly* relation to my landlord mostly! This is in the first few minutes. I will mark this episode as explicit for those who need a sweary trigger warning!

| My views extend beyond craft. The content I decide for my social media and my podcast is up to me. You don’t pay to download episodes and you don’t pay to follow me on social media. My content, like speech and thought, is FREE. We can definitely disagree and we can definitely enter into a discussion, but unrelenting confirmation bias from the echo-chamber is not welcome. Do click unfollow an unsubscribe. As my good chum says – it’s not me, it’s you.

| In the Loop 10 – I recently went and presented a paper at In The Loop 10 Conference, at Winchester School of Art. I was not talking about British wool this time. I may share the paper with you another time. I cannot yet unpack the entire conference, but – as always with this conference – so much food for thought and so many great speakers. It was great to see, in particular, Linda Newington, Jessica Hemmings, Rose Sinclair and Zoe Fletcher. At some point the WSA hope to make the presentations available online. I will link to this when that is possible.

One of the best bits was visiting the Knitting Reference Library!

View this post on Instagram

PIG IN SHIT! #intheloop10 #knittingreferencelibrary

A post shared by Louise (@_knitbritish) on

| Caithness Croft from Beardy Chiel –  John Glen has created his own yarn using fleece from a local farm to him in Caithness.  I was delighted that John wanted me to try this out and what a lovely yarn it is. The breed content is Suffolk and BelTex. I’m partial to Suffolk, but rarely do you find it (named) on yarn labels. Beltex have a face only a mammy Beltex may love – they are primarily a meat sheep and look like the bruiser on the block. Both produce a lovely medium fleece and in this yarn they are a lovely match. The yarn has a lovely light lustre on it and immediately it reminded me of my Dad’s aran jumper – a nostalgic wool yarn that will stand up to a lot of wear. I am currently knitting a sock with the 50g skein that John kindly sent me to squish and I will report back on the wear!

It cost £12.50 for 50g /88m DK skein. The price tag makes it a considered purchase for me for large projects, but it will be great for mitts, hats and I think socks too! It is available exclusively from The Beardy Chiel website.

| Natures Shades Along – Thank you for your enthusiasm for our KAL! It is great to see all of the cast ons and WIPs in the group on Ravelry. There will be prizes announced very soon!

The cast off is 31st August – there will be another podcast before the end of the KAL. Prizes won’t be drawn until the end of September!

| STOP PRESS: North Atlantic Native sheep and Wool – Uist Wool is hosting the 8th annual conference. I am so looking forward to this! I am definitely going and if you are interested then you should definitely head on over to Uist Wool’s website .  This is not an knitting event, well, not exclusively.

The focus on the conference is shepherding, food and meat and also wool crafts. The North Atlantic Native Sheep group include breeds like Shetland, Hebridean, Gotland, North Ronaldsay, Manx, Icelandic, Soay, Boreray, etc and the conference bring together sheep and wool workers of the North Atlantic region to collectively discuss the difficulties facing native breed sheep today!

Will I see you there?

| Wool Exploration: Dorset Breeds

Hover over images for info.

Dorset Horn

A lovely plump wool, grippy, slight halo, looks like it will be great for colourwork, faint sheepy smell. Softer to the touch than it looks. Oldfashioned wool, like great vintage sweater wool.

Poll Dorset

A no nonsense sort of yarn! Feels robust, but soft. Lots of promise with this yarn.

Dorset Down

Smooth over the needles, stretchy fabric, distinct stitches, no splitting. Some yarns may make a stiffer fabric.

Cyn Spins Dorset Down


lots of squashiness in the ball, noticeable halo, good stitch definition in crochet, produced a nice, substantial swatch. 

Tigger Bee Portland

Next time!

I totally forgot to record that Caitlin, aka Iosaturnalia is organising a KB get together on 18th August. See the deets here.

Sometime in the future (cos there is a lot of life stuff ahead of me) there will be another episode and I will be chatting with Louise Spong, of South Downs Yarn!  

Take very good care, and keep on being awesome!

Important information

Music: Carefree by Kevin McLeod and Singin’ in The Rain (demo) by David Mumford – Both are on FreeMusicArchive and are both shared under Creative Commons Attribution license. Images are copyright to those attributed in the caption or in the accompanying information, otherwise they are mine.  Other music played is Misty is by Floppy Circus and shared with kind permission. I link to them on SoundCloud and Facebook, as per that agreement. I bought that single via bandcamp


  1. Kate Unwin says

    This was a wonderful episode, thanks so much for taking the time as ever. I’m sure we all just appreciate what you do in the time you have available and realise that you have a life beyond this podcast!
    I recently bought a couple of Portland fleeces which I will attempt to spin and use in various other ways. They need washing (still some poo on there) and some attention but only cost £5 each and were local to me. I found them on the marketplace on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust website. I just wanted to share this with anyone who doesn’t know about it: I think all the Portland fleeces have gone now but they told me that they knew of others in the area. Thanks again 🙂

  2. Jennifer O’Brien says

    Go Louise. Terrific to hear your robust defence of your political/knitting stand
    point. Your outspokenness on matters that are important to you (and millions of others of course) is to be applauded. I love that your podcast takes both knitting and the wider world so seriously. Thank you Jennifer O’Brien, Mansfield, Victoria, Australia

    • Lese says

      What she said. Loved this episode and love your podcasts in general, love your passion for all things wooly, and love your spirit!

  3. Janet Danks says

    On controversy.
    My husband follows blogs on investment and fly fishing. (I know, I know, but each to his own.). He complains that interesting technical debates sometimes degenerate into slanging matches on irrelevancies. I reply (smugly) ‘That doesn’ t happen on knitting blogs. If anything, they are a bit too bland and nicey-nicey.’ So a touch of spice wouldn’t go amiss.

    On the other hand … You are, of course, entitled to express your views, just as your audience is entitled to mutter ‘Oh for heaven’s sake!’ and switch you off. But it would be disconcerting to turn to Robert Peston or Laura Kuensberg for an informed view on Brexit only to find them pontificating about crochet. As St Paul puts it, ‘All things are lawful, but not everything is good for building up the community.’

    So perhaps a pinch of chilli every now and then, but not too much too often?

    Given the choice of swear word on your Ravelry profile, I thought you were remarkably restrained about your landlord. Good luck with the move!

    • louise says

      a pinch of chilli will be applied whenever i feel the need for it – whether it be wool-related or not. I won’t exercise restraint on important issues in my online places, as in my off line places.
      there are definitely the knitting blogs and podcasts that do exercise restraint but not here! (smugly 🤣)

      Thank you very much for listening x 😁

    • Angela says

      That is incredibly patronising. For all you know Robert Peston has been crocheting since he was a boy. And even if he hasn’t he is still entitled to an opinion on the subject.

      Please re-read what you have written. Are you implying that Louise is “pontificating” about politics? Surely everyone is entitled to an opinion whether their day job is a cleaner or an investment banker. Just because a podcast/blog is used generally to discuss wool and yarn does not mean that the author is not as well read and informed on the subject as the journalists you mentioned.

      Disclaimer: I don’t know Louise at all but I am enraged at your implications that just because she talks about wool she shouldn’t share her opinion on other subjects. May be if more people from a wider section of society chose to inform themselves on political issues rather than sticking their heads in the sand (their knitting?!) we wouldn’t find ourselves in the political and economic mess we are in today.

  4. Thanks for the kind words and wonderful review Louise. Caithness Croft has its second outing at the Mey Highland Games this Saturday. Without P&P it’ll be selling there at £9/50g which isn’t quite so scary for the average wallet. This year’s clip has started to arrive so watch this space and I’ll send you some of the next batch to squish and knit once it is processed..

  5. Christine Worrall says

    A thoughtful and honest episode. I really appreciate your airing of your views in all areas of life. I’m glad to hear you stand up to be counted by using your online presence.
    From a satisfied listener.

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