Strange Market

If you come and visit me in the MidWest, you’ll be in Cow Country. Yup. Cows everywhere. What will you find on the menus? Steaks, chops, ribs, roasts, burgers… Do you need leather? There are stores here that just sell cowboy boots, and you’d have no problem getting leather items anywhere.

I went to the UK for a 2-week tour. Sheep everywhere! What do you find on the menus? Steaks, chops, ribs, roasts, and burgers…but no lamb. No crown roasts, no chops, no legs, no shanks. Do you want some authentic British wool? You can get Red Heart and Bernat in the local convenience stores. Those are NOT British labels. I went into google to search for shops in Edinburgh and London and in those huge cities, I found 4 shops, only 2 that sell locally-sourced undyed wool. And those 2 locations are warehouse stores that sell exclusively online.

I have a former student who cards and spins wool here in Omaha. It’s Wonderful stuff! Like I said, this is cow country and I have a more available source of undyed, pure wool here in town than I had on my travels in the UK.

So, as a tourist, I thought they’d offer authentic Aran sweaters and knit goods to sell at exorbitant prices. They had mass-produced sweaters with cable patterns. Most were wool/polyester or wool/cotton blends. None were produced in the UK. I am confused. They have more sheep than people, and you cannot find wool or locally crafted sweaters? In fact, there used to be an “Irish Shop” in the local mall that sold Aran sweaters and woolen goods here in Omaha, and I didn’t find any with variety on the whole tour in the UK.

I think I am going to contact my student and get some of her wool to make a sweater, an authentic Irish pattern sweater.

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