I’ve discovered rather late in the day that it’s wool week. It will end on 11th September, so I’m only getting in on the act with 48 hours to go. Prince Charles has been instrumental in getting Wool Week underway. He began a campaign for wool in January 2010, to help sheep farmers who, at the time, were making a loss on fleeces. It cost them more to shear their sheep than they could get from selling the wool, which was of course an utterly ridiculous state of affairs. The Prince’s campaign is about promoting British and Commonwealth wool, emphasising how much better this natural product is than artificial fibres. It’s a shame the rest of the Windsors aren’t also as active in helping various sectors of industry and the population.

Just by chance, though, despite not knowing it was the week to celebrate the stuff, I bought some beautiful wool in Limoges on Thursday. There happens to be a wool shop called Point Laine between Benj’s campus and the city centre. I popped in on Thursday. It’s not in the smartest part of town and it could do with a lick of paint on the outside, but inside it’s an Aladdin’s Cave of knitters’ delights. It’s run by a young fella who really knows his yarns. He was able to tell me all about his various sock yarns, which is what I’d specifically gone in after. However, he has a fantastic stock of all sorts of thicknesses and types of yarns that I’ve never seen before, so I can tell I’ll be calling in there every time I visit Benj! (But Pip, I’ll be back to buy more wool off you too, promise!)

There have been lots of Wool Week activities going on in the UK – markets, knit-ins and farm visits, for example. Some wool companies have been giving free patterns away. You can find out lots more by visiting this website. It’s not too late!

And to join in with celebrating Wool Week, I’m giving away one of these. It’s a handknitted (by me!) llama USB key cover in 100% llama yarn. I designed the pattern too. Leave a comment to this post with your email. Ruadhri will pull names from a hat for me at 9pm French time on Monday 12th and I’ll get in touch with the winner. How exciting – my first giveaway! Do take part.