Wovember started as a post on needled and is now, well, woven in 100% wool. Hurrah. It’s a genius idea. And since I’m emerging from a hermit phase full of woolly enthusiasm I’m hoping to have a woolly post a day. Yesterday’s will, serendipitously, count as the first.*

Also serendipitously during a recent visit to my father he (re)acquainted me with a little ditty he’s fond of reciting: “In winter warm, in summer cool, there is no substitute for wool”. He said it was an advertising slogan remembered from his youth. Today I searched it up and discovered it was a campaign of genius which appeared on those rectangular posters in the carriages of the London underground:

In the 1950s, this advertising campaign was the brainchild of the International Wool Secretariat in London, today’s Woolmark Company. Members of the public were invited to submit short poems depicting historical events, each ending with the sentence ‘There is no substitute for wool’. The public responded magnificently and commuters were entertained by a series of amusing, sometimes risque’ and informative historical vignettes. Famous cartoonists of the period such as Kenneth Mahpod, William Hewison and Bruce Petty were hired to illustrate the pieces…

Oh be still my beating heart! Also, SQUEEEEEE!

There’s a book of the collected wool-works. Now I wonder whether anyone will be moved to write some 21st century additions….


* Although the yarn designated for the mathematical sock is not 100% wool it is at least entirely clear about its exact proportion of content.

6 Comments on “Wovember!”

  1. Dave says:

    Don’t let them pull the wool over your eyes. Sheep are still a scourge and a menace!

  2. rr says:

    Whilst looking for pro sheep-grazing environmental propaganda (there is some, of course, but the issue is needless to say somewhat complex) I came across this I there sting article (PDF) which suggests to me that the hollow might benefit from some low-intensity pig grazing. And just think of the scrapple!

  3. Dave says:

    Terrible idea. We have very different forests; pigs aren’t native here, and where feral populations get established, they can devastate native forbs (to say nothing of tree and shrube regeneration).

  4. rr says:

    So what occupies your pig niche? There must be something rootling about, even if it doesn’t taste good.

  5. Dave says:

    The short answer is that because we haven’t had anything like pigs for a very long time (at least the last 8000 years), the current eastern forest ecosystems didn’t evolve in response to that kind of disturbance regime. So I don’t believe we have such a niche.

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