I’ve had a fabulous week down at the mill crafting my Morris Mouse tartan. After a hearty breakfast, Tommy drove me down on my first day and introduced me to Myrtle, who stood patiently whilst Tommy regaled her with tales of his arduous training regime for the recent highland games. It was looking to be quite a lengthy and somewhat one-sided conversation until Ivy appeared with armfuls of scoured fleece and happened to mention that she’d just overheard something about erratic temperature changes in the brewing kettles whilst in the storage barn. Tommy shot off in the direction of the brewery that sits next to the mill. Myrtle and Ivy giggled … Tommy falls for that one every time apparently.
Myrtle and Ivy started my tour of the mill by showing me where their wool comes from, their sheep friends Fly and Mo live in a paddock out the back and provide enough Cheviot fleece for an entire years production. Hector, who’s responsible for general maintenance and sweeping up, includes within his job remit the task of spring sheering, which takes him for a ride around the paddock for about two weeks each year.
After much deliberation in the yarn gallery I decided upon a limited palette; grey and pink to match my fur and paws, a red for my backpack and a hint of gold inspired by the button that fastens it, with a final flourish of buff and green to reflect many a country lane travelled.
Tommy insisted on footing the bill at the end of my visit, most generous considering I came away with a kilt and matching fly, a cosy winter blanket and a sash each for Millie and Gertrude. As I left the mill Myrtle handed me a squishy brown paper parcel for Tommy that contained an ongoing thank you gift for letting the girls run their business rent-free from his mill.
On my last evening I asked Tommy why he’d given the mill over to Myrtle and Ivy when he could have used the space to expand his brewery business and this is what he said. “Well, the girls were being forced out of their last premises by ever increasing rent charges, they were in danger of losing everything they love and I just couldn’t sit back and see that happen. The soul is nothing without a passion to drive it dear Morris … remember that.”
Sometimes, in the midst of Tommy’s trickery, I forget why he’s one of my best friends and then he reminds me!
Morris would love to know what you think of his new tartan design, just drop him a line here or under his Instagram, Facebook or Twitter shares. If you'd like to design your own tartan check out clan.com, they have a fabulous online designer. © All images and story content copyright of lynncf