The natural dyes used in these mini skein sets are as follows: ‘Naturals’ – nettle, tea, and bramble leaves, plus undyed, ‘Blues’ – indigo and annatto, indigo and heather, and indigo, plus undyed, and ‘Cheery’ – avocado, indigo, and rhubarb and quebracho, plus undyed. Coulmore DK is a lovely strong wool but with a soft smooth handle and very good stitch definition.
The Coulmore flock are part of an organic flock on a family run farm with land here on the Black Isle and also on the west coast near Ullapool. Their land supports Maddie and her husband Neil, plus their daughters and families – Iona at Rhidorroch on the west and Bella at Coulmore here on the east. They have farmed organically for many years (wth their barley going into Bruichladdich’s ‘The Organic’ whisky!) but sadly the fleece from their Cheviots fetches even less from the than normal, not organic, Cheviot fleece. Even allowing that the family do the clipping themselves, mostly Maddie in fact, they get very little return for their flock’s fleece.
The family were keen for me to try having some of their fleece spun, not just because I would pay them a good rate for the wool, but because they really want to see all products from their land being well-used and, if possible, with added value. I bought some of their hogg clip in summer 2017– a ‘hogg’ being a ewe lamb which is being kept on the farm to be bred from the following year. I wanted to keep the organic status of the wool and consequently had it spun at The Natural Fibre Company in Cornwall.