Surrey Tweed 2022; from fleece to fashion

It gives me such a sense of achievement to be able to show you some garments made using wool that I have washed, carded, spun and either hand knitted or woven on my rigid heddle loom into beautiful garments. Truly slow fashion.

In summer 2021, I was lucky enough to take possession of five lovely big sheep fleeces.

Two of the fleeces come from purebred Suffolk rams and three from Dartmoor Greyface ewes. They graze at Middle Chase Farm near Salisbury.  The sheep mainly eat grass from chalk pastures.  Each sheep has one acre of pasture and the farmer does not use any fertiliser at all. 

Each of the fleeces were laid out on a table and then skirted (where the dirty bits are taken off) and the remainder was washed by hand. This took place over several warm summer days, taking full advantage of the sunshine last summer to get the fleeces dried out by laying them out in the garden in the sunshine.

Now, I am part-way through carding and spinning both the Greyface fleeces and have spun a number of skeins of two-ply yarn. When it is carded, this fleece becomes incredibly soft and cloud-like. The yarn has come out roughly aran weight. This has been used to make several beanie and bobble hats and lovely snuggly scarves. It is a very strong yarn but has a lovely halo like mohair.

These items will be on sale in my online shop soon. If you’d like to buy one then please get in touch: sarahmcalisterhats@gmail.com

Published by Sarah McAlister Hats and Textiles

I make all my lovely hats, caps and textiles by hand.

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