Monday, 26 December 2011

Made in Cumbria - blankets by Helvellyn Herdwick and Original Cumbrian Wool, and oak swills

I ate so much Christmas dinner yesterday that these blankets are about the only thing big enough to wrap around my expanded self.

Helvellyn Herdwicks make throws and blankets from the wool of sheep that live on the Helvellyn fells - the light grey Herdwick wool is left in natural shades, and also dyed mossy green, a russet bracken colour and soft pink and blue.

Original Cumbrian Wool is a group of sheep farmers based in the Duddon Valley that make rugs and blankets from undyed wool from their fell-bred sheep.
Two-ply rug

Single ply rug

Oak swills are baskets traditional to south Lakeland and were used in farming and industry, and they can be bought from Owen Jones who makes them using traditional methods: the main part of the basket is made from thin oak strips steamed until they are pliable, woven on to a hazle rim ('bool').  
Oak swills are perfect as log baskets, but also for laundry or toys or newspapers...
this is a pic of a much-loved swill: you will note that the swill is missing a handle. 
this is not traditional design

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