Ewe have found the website of Woolly Wally – (incorporating Rinansay* Weavings) !
For the past 8 years I have inhabited this remote wee island in Orkney along with my little family of assorted sheep, goats and chickens.
Here, after work duties and animal care routines, I needle-felt fibres from the rare native sheep named after this island
*North Ronaldsay’s Viking name is actually Rinansay
These peedie nordic sheep have lived here for centuries without being subjected to selective breeding, unlike commercial sheep breeds, so they are as wily and intelligent as their truly wild counterparts.
They have evolved to live on a diet primarily composed of seaweed (a very nutritious foodstuff in fact) and their fleece is double fibred, which keeps them warm in these windswept parts, and is used by the islands Woollen Mill to make knitting yarn.
I use by-products from the Mill- hair fibres are extracted from the fleece so the yarn that is spun is soft and not itchy, the hair remains and has a range of possible uses – including being great for needle felting.
As well as this hair I also use wool from my own pet sheep and, one of the ways I support animal charities is, by buying and using wool of sheep living on Animal Sanctuaries.
My philosophy has always been waste not want not.
I worked on Organic smallholdings as a young person and later on worked for a city farm- where environmental awareness was the buzz word.