The best of times and the worst of times?

The best of times and the worst of times?

The best of times and the worst of times? The Natural Fibre Company

I have not written a blog recently – mainly because I have been very busy handing over to the the new owners of the business. 

The photo above is of the sample carder which I renovated in my garage in the year before The Natural Fibre Company took me over.

I have a series of planned blog items in the pipeline though:

  • what makes a yarn “good” or workable?
  • how are yarns designed – this starts from the opposite end to the Wool Journey
  • our decision to cease worsted spinning alpaca and other options
  • knitting for health and welfare
  • the eco/organic/green debate from our viewpoint
  • starting a flock with wool in mind

There may be others you would like?  If so, please email me with suggestions!

The best of times and the worst of times? The Natural Fibre Company

And yesterday, we had to announce the temporary closure of production at The Natural Fibre Company mill although we continue to supply needy craft workers with yarns.

So, having been thinking about it – after all who has not?  … I wanted to say a little about the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • this makes life and living as we know it VERY different for nearly everyone and will create permanent change in societies, economies and cultures, which we will all have to accept
  • the health service workers, carers and teachers all know this very well and need our absolute support in staying at home right now and for as long as it takes – but this is not  going way any time soon so we have to prepare for a long haul
  • however, farmers, who have managed Foot and Mouth Disease and Bluetongue in the time since 2001, and also those who manage flocks organically or to Maedi Visna disease standards, are very much more aware of the spread of diseases and how to manage than most people
  • during the Foot and Mouth Disease epidemic in 2001 and the later, quickly contained, smaller cases, people learned quickly and were able to support each other – few will forget the agony of seeing whole flocks and herds destroyed and the awful sight and stench of the funeral pyres – it meant we really then took time to care for our neighbours
  • this means that our Natural Fibre Company customers in particular, well understand what needs to be done – and  not done – and how important the disciplines of bio security are
  • this equally applies to anyone who works in catering and the food industry, who well understands the risks of nasty diseases lurking in food if not managed to the highest standards
  • and those of us who knit or crochet also understand the importance of preventing moths!
  • we are already seeing less pollution, less litter and some wonderful examples of more kindness and innovation …

So some of us have experience and knowledge which we can share and will help us deal with the stress, loneliness and worry which come alongside self isolation, possible loss of income and the sheer uncertainty which has surrounded the timing and meaning of new announcements.  Because uncertainty is the hardest thing to deal with, bringing a sense of impotence and not knowing what to do.  Younger people and urban people are perhaps less well equipped to cope with this and may need more help.

So being calm, drawing on inner reserves, keeping in touch with family, friends, neighbours and even – now one thing we probably have much more of is time – more distant acquaintances are all vital.  Sharing problems may even halve them!  And giving oneself a little luxury or treat of learning, making or doing is rewarding and need not be expensive.

After more than 15 years of 24-7 work for the business I am feeling a little challenged by my new, hands-off role and am learning to manage it and to find new and interesting challenges – perhaps even re-visiting the piano and sketch-book, doing a bit more house cleaning or gardening, spending a little longer with the sheep, as well as more active things like a bit of consultancy, local volunteering and fitness, along with my continuing part time work for the business, knitting and patterns.  Spending time with sheep – or perhaps your pet – is very calming, as they work to their own timescales and this is a luxury which I can now enjoy much more.

So please stay well and stay at home!

The best of times and the worst of times? The Natural Fibre Company