Each year spent at Middle Campscott seems to have its own theme or flavour. The setting up years, the early learning years, the very hard years, the year of the foot and mouth, the recovery period from the foot and mouth. That is still continuing, but this has definitely been the year of Wool.
This year we decided to be more experimental and explore some further processing possibilities for our wool.
Our fleeces, hand clipped from the sheep by Lawrence, for some years now have been Organic, but just recently, Organic Standards for fibre have been established, and our processors, the Natural Fibre Company have achieved organic status, making our knitting wool fully Organic.
The Shetland knitting wool is always a joy to knit with and to wear, and besides the jumpers knitted to order, Karen has been knitting baby booties and mittens.
Our new breed of sheep that we have introduced into the milking flock, the Llanwenogs, have yielded beautiful white knitting wool slightly heavier than the wool of our Friesland/Dorsets, and looks wonderful knitted in Aran style.
The creamy coloured wool from the Friesland/Dorsets, besides yielding the crisp clean knitting wool, and the baby blankets, has for the first time been woven into fabric. We have light, medium and heavier weight fabrics in the natural cream. It is suitable for soft furnishings such as curtains, cushion covers and throws, or whatever you can think of. We are producing cushion covers and throws to add to our products. Our first designs are textured patchworks, they look and feel wonderful.
Cheeses have been as good as ever, and we were pleased to be awarded a Bronze by the Taste of the West in their food awards.
This winter we will be taking the opportunity to redecorate the dairy, and prolific cheesemaking will be resumed with the new season’s milk after lambing.
Our Border Collies definitely deserve a mention for outstanding production. Jess and Poppy each produced a litter last year. Jess gave birth to eleven, and Poppy had a modest seven. Jess then surpassed herself by producing a second litter of beautiful Border Collie pups – eleven again! These she raised with minimal help from us, but she was pleased when it was time for them to go to their new homes. With a bit of luck, we won’t be getting any new puppies this Christmas.
We hope that 2005 will be a very good year for all of you.
Karen and Lawrence.