Friday, 5 November 2010


We love Steve Messam's 'Sentinal', made during Wool week, up in the remote Eden Valley in Cumbria. Steve covered a barn in 200 Swaledale fleeces, on no budget with the help of four volenteers. Steve explained to the Westmoreland Gazette that barns, known as 'hogg houses' were built to shelter the year old sheep - or hoggs- overnight or during bad weather. The Swaledale sheep became so hardy that they no longer needed the shelter, hence bringing about the demise of the barns. Steve wanted to shw the relationship between the breed and the barn as points of history of agriculture and the shaping of the landscape.
Steve explained on his blog that he was delighted to make a piece of art that the farmers 'got'.

Swaledale, if you haven't knitted with it, is tough, oily, and very warm. We spin it here in DK, and it is 90p/10g. If you want a garment for walking in this kind of landscape, Swaledale, (or it's cousin Herdwick) is the yarn for you.
These lovely pictures are from Steve Messam's blog which you can find at