Posted on Wednesday, July 4 2012 at 8am
It may sound a bit strange to enter a competition to spend your money on yarn, but the Boreray is no ordinary sheep. With only 300 ewes registered, they’re rare enough to be classified by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) as Critical.
The Natural Fibre Company and Blacker Yarns are keen to see this Hebridean sheep survive, and have spent the past year, with key help from hand spinner Jane Cooper, collecting enough fleece from specialist breeders to make a very special batch of yarn.
Altogether there are only 360 50g balls of the aran weight wool, making it, as Sue Blacker of The Natural Fibre Company and Blacker Yarns says, “probably the rarest batch of commercially spun knitting yarn ever made.”
In an effort to boost interest in this extremely rare sheep and in British breeds wool and yarns in general, the companies are inviting you to enter a prize draw to purchase a pack of two balls of the yarn.
Sue describes the yarn as “pale beige, quite hairy but also soft, so is quite similar to the more familiar (to knitters!) North Ronaldsay, but knits up to a denser fabric.”
To be in with a chance of purchasing one of the packs, which also contains a specially adapted knitting pattern for a wool hat and hand-warmer mitts, you need to contact the company at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them you wish to take part in a prize draw. If you win, you will be one of only 180 customers allowed to buy this unique yarn for £30 including VAT and postage in the UK and £25 plus postage overseas.
Out of each purchase, £2 will be donated to both the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and the Soay Sheep Society (which also looks after the interests of the Boreray sheep), to enable them to work together on genetic research that will hopefully help the breed to survive.
The deadline for applications is 31 July, so make sure you send that email as soon as possible! The draw will take place on 10 August.