A Wonderful Wool – and a couple other things

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Wrapping up my stay here and hoping to be home soon, I want to share a few last things about these sheep and their wool.

But first, a couple maps to help you see where I am. In the second you can see the placement of the Isle of Man between Ireland and England. In the first, I can point out where I am staying – in Douglas on the east coast. We drove up to Laxey, which I will describe below, and then went around to Peel which has the castle and was the capital of IOM and the Viking seat of power.

There is a lot of history here and I barely scratched the surface of it. Like many other areas, it was settled by Vikings. They have a wonderful museum here, where our conference was held. I spent a few minutes going through it but not nearly enough to do it justice.

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But back to wool. We spent an afternoon in Laxey. It is the site of Laxey Woolen Mills and we heard a great talk about its history by the current owner, John Wood. The only commercial mill left on the island it was founded in 1881 and has had a very interesting history. Here they weave Pure Manx Loaghtan and blends into travel rugs, scarves, tweeds and for bags – all weaving done on the two pedal looms here.

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The upper level has a wonderful exhibition space which houses a variety of exhibits. The one there currently was scheduled to coincide with our conference.

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Here are some of the creations of local artists, celebrating this magnificent sheep breed and the versatility of its wool.

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Here is one of the looms – with mill dog “Rick”.

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All in all, a very good conference with a lot of interesting talks and field trips. What a privilege to meet such an interesting breed and the people who care so passionately about its survival.

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[thanks again to Nathalie Ketterle for another really good ram photo!]

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Published in: on October 15, 2017 at 9:06 pm  Comments (1)  

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