We've been on the search for dried goose windpipes for 6 months, and today they finally arrived, thanks to Mr Richardson, my mother's local butcher in Windermere who has made them especially for Prick Your Finger.
Up until about 1910, hand knitting was a major industry in the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, but due to a lack of electricity, it was worked by candle or gas or fire light. So, you may ask, what did they do when their yarn unraveled into a dark corner and could not be found?
The answer is simple.
Take the windpipe of a goose and wash it thoroughly. Thread string through the windpipe, and join both ends, forming a circle. Lay the windpipe down gently in curing salts, making sure that the pipe remains 'open' and not squashed. Allow to dry out, checking every few days that pipes are still 'open'. When dried and stiff, remove string, and stuff it with dried peas. Now use the windpipe as a bobbin, winding the yarn around it.
Your ball of yarn will now gently rattle every time it rolls away, so you will know where to start looking.
When the national grid fails and we start loosing our wool, you will know where to come.