Rachel Kerrison

I am a jeweller. As a member I have to do a couple of days in the shop each month. These days can be quiet and working on jewellery can be dirty and difficult without a work bench and tools to hand. So I started to do needle felting, making small cats, dogs, fat fairies, teddies and whatever takes my fancy, and I then sell them in the shop. Customers are always fascinated and they sell well.

Last summer a customer bought a teddy and was very interested in how it was made. She then said that she and her husband were sheep farmers keeping some rare breeds, and would I like a fleece as they were almost worthless. In due course 2 large and rather smelly raw fleeces were left in the shop for me. I was somewhat daunted but having researched cleaning raw fleece on line I set about much soaking, drying and carding. The resulting fleece proved invaluable as the black one is just the perfect colour for any black animal (not black at all). Unfortunately I had forgotten to take the customers name or details so was unable to thank her, so I was delighted when she came into the shop again a few weeks ago and asked me to make her a sheep like the ones they breed.

The breed is Zwartbles and she had to send me photos before I was able to make them as I had never seen such sheep before. I find the whole story very satisfactory, Zwartbles sheep made out of their own wool and the perfect way to repay the customer for her kindness.

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