Today I took a trip to Stow's of Sowerby. Mr Stowe (Ken I believe, or possibly Keith) claims to have the largest weaving concern in Sowerby but admits that this is 'cos it's the only one left. Unfortunately he's planning to retire, so there will no longer be a working mill in Sowerby Village. He'd like to sell his loom and allied equipment but says that the only people who have the skills nowadays are the same age as him or older.
I was put on to him by a friend at work whose sister told him about a place that sold cheap knitting wool and thanks to my knitting in public (or at least at work) Johnny T. knew that I am a keen knitter. There, you see if people know that you knit they tell you stuff like this. If you keep it a secret think of the opportunities that could be passing you by. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera so didn't take picture of the weaving shed or the loom or the warping machine. But they were most impressive.
Also impressive was the load of knitting wool that he had for sale. I've no idea where he got it from. It's mostly Rowan and another make which I hadn't heard of before and I've subsequently forgotten (I'd make a great reporter wouldn't I?!?). All the wool was for sale for at £1.00 per 100 grams. Mostly skeins but a few cones (no balls).
I bought (yes you knew that it was coming didn't you?) the following:
The grey stuff at the back is Cashgora and feels lovely and soft although googling has revealed that Cashgora is an inferior type of cashmere. Feels pretty good to me, and at £1.00 a skein I'm not complaining. I have nine skeins of that. (I can never remember the approximate amounts of yarn needed to make a garment so I tend to go a bit overboard).
The Green looks like standard Rowan Tweedy type double knit and I've got four skeins of that. I love that colour.
The fawn and beige type stuff at the front is slightly stringy in texture and I would say has an element of linen or something similar in it and I've got five skeins of that (though I think two skeins are probably 50 grams not 100 grams) in various shades. Thought it would make a nice vest type top.
He also has some stuff that he's woven for sale; floor rugs, car rugs, picnic blankets, some rather nice jackets (though they were all in large sizes). If you're pootling around West Yorkshire in search of a yarny bargain give him a visit but you'd better get a shake on 'cos I don't know how long he'll be there for before he retires.