Monday, 12 October 2015

Addicted to Sheep Documentary. . .

I saw Addicted to Sheep over the weekend and keep thinking about it.  The documentary follows a year in the life of the Hutchinsons, a family of farmers and sheep breeders in the North Pennines.  It's a hard life with little pay or security, especially if you are a tenant farmer, and the work is unrelenting.  I'm always walking by fields of sheep and thinking they look so relaxed, carefree and self-sufficient, munching away on the grass, but this film really shows how much human intervention is needed; they are always being rounded up and checked for illness or pregnancy, or to be tagged and sheared, or to be fed during the winter months. The Hutchinsons deal with everything in their stride (including difficulties during lambing season), and with a good deal of humour.  Their children are really grounded and there are some very funny scenes shot at their school where all their classmates also live on a farm.

It was eyeopening, especially in conjunction with blogposts that I've recently read such as this, that point out the plight of British sheep farmers and how little they receive for their wool.  It makes me think about the yarn that I use and has really motivated me to explore as many different British breeds as I can.  I'm participating in KnitBritish's breedswatchalong and will post my progress as I go along. I love British sheep and I know I'm going to love branching out and seeing the different woolly characteristics produced by different breeds.

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