In early October we launched The Lost Flock, a special limited edition yarn range in collaboration with Jane Cooper in memory of Sue Blacker the previous owner of The Natural Fibre Company and Blacker Yarns.
Jane ran Wool Sack with Sue and was responsible for NFC spinning the first every Boreray yarn. Jane says “We have something very special and very rare up here”. She knows how excited Sue was the first Boreray sheep she discovered in her flock. They have a fleece that over most of their body seems not really to be double-coated at all, but to be extremely fine, good crimp, and even a faint touch of lustre. The fleece mostly being rooed and not sheared from the sheep.
That’s why we created a special, limited edition batch of Orkney Boreray 4-ply yarn supplied in 50g balls call The Lost Flock. This pure base created a beautiful and textured yarn, with plenty of bounce, in a pale greyish shade with fawn flecks, perfect for knitted garments/accessories.
The Lost Flock is the story of the remarkable little horned sheep known as Orkney Boreray and the wool-obsessed woman who moved to one of Scotland’s wildest island to save them. This lovely story was poured into a book which was published 14th September 2023 by Chelsea Green in the UK. To her astonishment, when Jane first moved to Orkney she realized that she was the sole custodian of this ‘lost flock’ and she began investigating their mysterious and ancient history, tracking down the origins of the Boreray breed and its significance to Scotland’s natural heritage, as well as encouraging a new generation of farmers to start their own Boreray flocks.
From Viking times to Highland crofts and nefarious research experiments in Edinburgh, this is a so-far untold real-life detective story. It is also the story of one woman’s relentless determination to ensure a future for her beloved sheep and a celebration of deep connection to the Orkney landscape. Jane very kindly donated the fibre for this one off yarn and Blacker Yarns have donated a % of sales to The Brain Tumour Charity as a woolly legacy in memory of Sue’s memory.
You can read more about Jane’s story on her website.