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  • Writer's pictureMark

Something warm and special to remember your stay

crafting holiday

When we first opened the cottages in 2001 we had a commercial flock of sheep which were run alongside the beef cattle on the grassland half of the farm. We sold the sheep in 2008 as the flock was no longer big enough to be profitable but soon after started to miss the sight of lambs in the fields at spring time. Lowland sheep and lambs thrive on good grass but as we’d now given this to the cows we decided we needed some sheep which were better suited to grazing some of the poorer areas of the farm.

Our small flock of 16 Hebridean sheep are now used to graze our nature reserve and to control some of the smaller parcels of grass around the cottages. Hebridean sheep were originally bred to graze in the harsh conditions often found on remote Scottish Islands, although ours have never got any further north than Leicestershire! They are a small sheep with a lot of character but due to their colouring the wool they produce has little commercial value. We shear them in May to give them a shorter coat for the hot weather that should follow and last year decided with a friend to send some wool away to be processed. 60kgs of wool was sent off with little expectation of receiving much back so we were quite surprised to get 20kgs of wool ready for knitting!

We are now offering knitting kits to our guests which are available from the farm house at a cost of £10. The pack consists of a couple of patterns to make a hat and a pair of fingerless mittens and a skein of wool (either double knitting or Aran) produced by our sheep needed to complete them. The hat and mittens are very warm and make great gifts, whether you have knitted them yourself or given the pack as a gift for someone else to complete.

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