Scandinavian

Relatively Local

17th May 2015

hjelholtyarnA while back I was blissfully listening to episode 15 of the podcast Woolful. Ashley Yousling and her two guests Sue Blacker and Kim Goodling, were discussing the merits of Gotland sheep, a Swedish breed that American shepherds have been painstakingly trying to recreate from imported semen samples over many years (yes, seriously!).
Gotland is an island a couple of hours from where I live and the sheep are quite common around here. I never really thought about gotland sheep or the wool they produce. Now I got schooled on them from 3 people on the other side of the world.
I have been thinking about the importance of locally produced yarn for a while and this just cemented it. How weird that I orientate myself almost exclusively towards other countries when I look for wool and yarn inspiration. I buy local, organic food, but even though I live in a region known and celebrated for it’s sheep and knitting history I dont apply the same parameters to my yarn purchasing. The internet is so seductive though and it’s hard not to feel a little pang of craving when a new brilliant yarn makes the instafeed.

There is a lot of hype (I mean that in the most positive way) around locally produced yarn, breed specific or even flock specific yarns. The reason for this is probably varied, but I think the most important one is an increased awareness of the declining textile industries in most developed countries, where production is outsourced to other countries and a lot of knowledge lost in the process. In Denmark where I was born there used to be around 60 spinning mills producing yarn, now there are 2, both of which mostly cater to bigger yarn companies, spinning imported wool. In my feed I see yarn by Brooklyn Tweed and Quince and Co and even the British Hole&Sons. Produced locally and marketed as such. So worth supporting.

The problem for me living in Scandinavia, is that none of this amazing movement towards sustainable locally produced wool is local to me. It’s not that we don’t have sheep and wool and amazing yarn here, this is Scandinavia after all. We just don’t have a Brooklyn Tweed or the likes to call attention to the issue. I hope it is a question of time. In the meantime I’m researching to educate myself on what is already taking place in this part of the world. If you have a comment or know of anything exiting and wooly happening in this region please let me know, I would love to hear about it!

The yarn pictured here is spun at Hjelholt, one of the remaining spinning mills in Denmark. It is not entirely, but mostly spun out of beautiful Scandinavian Gotland wool.

SIM_2522

6 Comments

  • Reply Matilda Kruse 27th June 2015 at 07:02

    Älskar att läsa dina tankar om detta ämne! Jag har just beslutat mig för att endast köpa en miljövänligt garn som är producerat i europa till min shop (med undantag från garn producerat i utvecklingsländer då jag tycker att det är viktigt att stödja bra initiativ i fattiga delar av världen). Jag ger såklart mig själv en rejäl utmaning eftersom de amerikanska garnerna du nämner hade gett mig en rejäl skjuts framåt eftersom de är så populära just nu. Jag tror dock också att det är en tidsfråga innan fler och fler börjar se sig om efter närproducerat garn!! Och då vill jag givetvis vara där och erbjuda det. Jag har just hittat din blogg och ditt instagram-konto och jag gillart! ?

  • Reply Slow Fashion October: Introductions - Temple of Knit 4th October 2015 at 20:39

    […] a project with the scandinavian Gotland sheep yarn I bought a little while back. Local wool and materials is something I have been thinking about a […]

  • Reply Chainofyarn 29th October 2015 at 20:19

    Det er spændende at læse med her. Der findes dog stadig steder man kan få spundet sit eget uld, hos Henrichsens uldspinderi i skive . Ellers er der som du nævner Hjelholt, eller andre mindre steder. Man kan også kontakte en dansk spindeforening eller husflidsforening, hvor så nogle dygtige folk kan karte og spinde af ulden. Det eksisterer stadig i Danmark i bedste velgående. Der er stadig et par events eller festivaler i DK , som har uld og garn som omdrejningspunkt. Fx Saltum uldfestival i maj hvert år. Tak for en god blog

    • Reply Simone 30th October 2015 at 12:23

      Tak for dine søde ord! Ja der findes masser af garn og uld glæde i Danmark og det føles også som om det vokser med flere og flere festivaler og gode initiativer. Det er jo herligt! Det jeg snakker om her handler mere om en udmarvning af selve uld industrien som i større og større grad outsourcer det meste produktion til andre lande. Jeg går og sukker efter et 100% dansk kommercielt garn, forhåbentligt sker det snart. Jeg har sådan ledt efter info om andre spinderier end de to du nævner (det dem jeg hentydede til i min post) hvis du har noget mere konkret info må du meget gerne sende det i min retning!

  • Reply Susanne Mulvad 13th October 2016 at 09:15

    Lidt sent jeg falder over denne tråd, men vil dog gøre opmærksom på http://www.laesoeuldstue.dk som forhandler deres eget garn fra får opvokset på de åbne vidder på Læsø og spundet hos Hjelholts Uldspinderi. God fornøjelse.

  • Reply Susanne Mulvad 13th October 2016 at 09:19

    PS Kommer også lige i tanker om http://www.knudegarn.dk Lokalt garn fra Lønstrup ;-)

  • Leave a Reply