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Please feel free to get in touch with us to make an order or if you have any questions about The Birlinn Yarn Company.

Sunhill, Isle of Berneray, North Uist
Outer Hebrides, Scotland, HS6 5BQ

+44 (0)1876 540283

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Blog

Open design competition for Knitting Fashion Accessories

Meg Rodger

Open design competition for Knitting Fashion Accessories

Design for the Birlinn Yarn Company and win a holiday in a beautiful Hebridean Thatched Cottage.

At The Birlinn Yarn Company we are seeking a knitting designer who understands our established brand but who could give us a wee contemporary twist.

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Fashion Revolution Blog: The Birlinn Yarn Company and Seafaring Sheep

Meg Rodger

I was recently contacted by the UK co-ordinator of the Fashion Revolution website to contribute to their blog. This organisation believes in an industry which values people, the environment, creativity and profits in equal measure and their mission is to bring everyone together to make that happen.
I have been very flattered by their interest in The Birlinn Yarn Company but also grateful that our careful consideration of both the cultural and environmental context within which we work and live, was recognised within an international arena. It makes all the hard work worth while.
Thank you Fashion Revolution for giving our wee Scottish voice a international megaphone!!

Please click on the image below and have a read of our blog and those of others from around the world who are working towards the same social and environmental aspirations. 

Shearing on the Sound of Harris Islands

Meg Rodger

Setting off early to shear on the Sound of Harris Islands

Setting off early to shear on the Sound of Harris Islands

On the Isle of Berneray each island croft has a grazing allocation of both the machair and outlying islands. Exactly which islands you are allowed to utilise depends on the township within which your croft lies. Our croft at Sunhill is within Rushgarry township, therefore, our allocation of island grazing includes islands near Cheese Bay on the Southern side of the Sound of Harris. We take our sheep back and forth by boat - hence why, in addition to their Viking heritage, we like to call them "Seafaring Sheep". Each spring, our ewes and lambs are taken out for summer grazing with the ewes brought back for tupping in October and the remaining flock wintering on the islands. We have found that our Hebridean sheep really benefit from grazing on the diversity of island flora and, also, from eating seaweed from the shore. As a result, they fair very well and are in great condition as we regularly check on them throughout the winter and into spring.

A couple of weeks ago we took advantage of our family visitors and as the weather was good we headed off for a day of shearing on the islands.

As the flock has grown so has the team needed to gather and shear, it is always handy to have a couple of the bigger cousins around to help out. We now run a couple of boats with equipment and supplies to keep us going all day. It takes a big team effort and it is always a long hard day, but as we can only do it in good weather it is a great adventure and a lot of fun.

The kit for the day goes ashore.

The kit for the day goes ashore.

After quite a run around to get the sheep in the pen, we were all ready for a cup of tea before we started the shearing - waiting for the kettle to boil.

After quite a run around to get the sheep in the pen, we were all ready for a cup of tea before we started the shearing - waiting for the kettle to boil.

Spreading the shorn fleeces on the rocks to dry in the sun and wind, while shearing continues.

Spreading the shorn fleeces on the rocks to dry in the sun and wind, while shearing continues.

Corrie, our border terrier, has a very keen nose for otters and deer both of which can be found on these islands so she has to be kept on a string - cute but a bit naughty!!

Corrie, our border terrier, has a very keen nose for otters and deer both of which can be found on these islands so she has to be kept on a string - cute but a bit naughty!!

Homeward bound ...

Homeward bound ...

After a long but great day with all the shearing done, we loaded up and headed home. No rest though, after a quick fry up it was down to the hall for the ceilidh and dancing until 1 in the morning. Just as well we were allowed a lie in the next day!!