Sheep and tar and fish oil
Saturday September 10th 2016, 10:26 pm
Filed under: History,Knit,Knitting a Gift,Life

Finished a quick little project from the cobweb cashmere and silk that I 9-plied on my wheel recently to a fairly thick yarn. The splittiness was a pain but it was worth every minute now, now that it’s warm and so soft and pretty and–this is important–done. (Note to self: US 7 needles.)

Interesting stuff, meantime: an art-quilt wallhanging made for a museum exhibit in Australia pieced from handknit swatches and bits. I particularly like the digitalis flowers. So graceful.

And for those who haven’t seen this article yet, a bit of Viking history, starting with a 600-year-old reused sail found insulating an old church in Norway.

And so we know they were woven not of linen but of wool, shrunken and fuzzed out to a solid surface that was then coated against the water.  They would have needed 700 sheep per sail, and their entire fleet, two million animals. There is speculating that the Vikings set forth in search not of treasure of gold so much but of pastures for their flocks.

There are lines like this one: “Not long ago, researchers found that laundering synthetic fleece floods aquatic ecosystems with tiny plastic microfibers, which made wool look even better in comparison.”

I’d never heard that before. I imagine it’s surely better if you stay away from the fluffier types that tend to shed a bit? But all the more reason to buy wool to keep warm in.

Which you will need while reading a description of sailing in a replica Viking ship in those icy waters. Enjoy.

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I am grateful for wool. Have you read Liz Lovick’s blog or posts on Ravelry? I took a Shetland Shawl class from her online and then just had to have wool from the North Ronaldsay sheep that live on the island.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 09.11.16 @ 8:27 am

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