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This story belongs to twins Zoe and Aidan
and their Daddy Malcolm.
It's a tiny tale about Daddy Malcolm's life
and the things he used to do.
Wow. Go again.
And now it's time for Daddy Malcolm to share his memories,
and take Zoe and Aidan on a journey of discovery.
Daddy Malcolm works on an island called Lewis,
off the coast of Scotland, in the Western Isles.
He used to be a weaver, a bit like the lady in this old film.
Weavers use a special machine like this one
to join threads together to make cloth.
The cloth is then used to make clothes and other things.
Look. Daddy Malcolm and the twins are all busy doing some weaving.
Zoe is using something called a shuttle
-to weave the wool between the threads.
-Wow, look at us, guys.
We're a family of weavers.
I'm weaving with paper. What are you weaving with, Zoe?
-Wool? Wow. And, Aidan, what are you weaving with?
The same as Daddy. I love weaving.
When I was a boy, my mummy worked in the mill. She was a mender of cloth.
And I used to look at all the different colours
and all the different patterns,
and I thought I would like to do that, because I liked art.
And my mummy said, "Why don't you become a weaver?
"Why don't you become a designer of cloth?"
And then Daddy Malcolm talked some more about how he did just that,
by going to learn about cloth at college.
And look at this old picture of Daddy Malcolm - groovy hair!
When I went to college, I learned lots and lots
of things that I didn't know before.
I learned all about the colours of the rainbow, about red,
about orange, about yellow, green, blue and lilac.
I had to learn about what happens
when all these colours sit next to each other.
And it's like you, Aidan and Zoe,
when you're colouring with your pens, how you have all your colours
and you make rainbows and you draw fish, and you draw flowers.
That's what I learned,
was how all the colours work together to make beautiful patterns.
This is one of the beautiful patterns
that Daddy Malcolm has designed.
And he wants to show Zoe and Aidan
where he goes to get ideas for patterns.
He's taking them to a special place on the island
that is very, very old.
This place that Daddy's brought you to today is called
the Callanish stones, one of the most magical places in Scotland.
And when textile designers are weaving cloth,
they look everywhere for designs and ideas, and I got my ideas here.
What ideas did you get, Daddy?
I got ideas for the colours from the stones, and the mosses,
and from all the patterns of the lines that the stones have.
-I've got another really good idea.
-What is it, Daddy?
-Hide and seek.
Who would like to play hide and seek?
OK, then, I'll count to ten and then I'll come and find you, ready or not.
Oh, this looks like a great place to play hide and seek.
One, two, three, four,
five, six, seven,
eight, nine, ten.
Here I'm coming, ready or not!
I'm going to find you!
Where are you? What rock are you behind?
Where are you, Aidan and Zoe?
Hi, Aidan! I've found you!
There she is, there she is, let's get her.
Ah, Zoe, we've found you.
Come on, we've found you. We knew we would, didn't we?
That was good hiding. Well done, Aidan.
Well done, Zoe. Give me a kiss. Give me a kiss.
That was fun!
And now they're off to see the mill where Daddy Malcolm works.
He used to be a weaver,
but now Daddy Malcolm designs cloth for a woollen mill.
A woollen mill is a place that turns wool that comes from a sheep
into thousands of colourful threads
that can be used to make cloth.
It's full of big, noisy machines.
So Zoe and Aidan have to be very careful.
Look at all the bright colours.
What I've brought to show you here, Aidan and Zoe,
is some beautiful wool off the sheep.
The farmer shaves the wool off the sheep
and it comes to the mill to make the cloth.
But first, feel it, feel how soft it is.
Here, Zoe, here's a piece for you to handle.
Aidan, would you like a piece?
Here's a little piece for you to handle.
Isn't it beautiful and soft?
It all arrives at the mill in this white colour, this cream colour.
And then it's dyed to all these beautiful colours
that the designer uses to make his designs for his cloth.
-What's your favourite colour, Zoe?
-What's your favourite colour, Aidan?
-Blue. That's fantastic.
Well, what we do when we get the wool, the dyer takes the wool
and dyes it in little vats of colour. Look. This is red.
They get their wool, white wool, as it comes to the mill,
and they pop it into the dye in a big machine.
It goes from white, and you put it in,
and you push it in,
and then when you bring it out again,
it's changed to red. And you have red wool.
But changing the colour of wool wasn't always so easy.
In the old days,
people on the island had to scrape special plants from the rocks
and boil them in water, along with the wool, to change its colour.
Wow, that looks like a witch's cauldron!
Once the wool is dyed into a lovely colour,
it has to be turned into threads
so it can be woven into beautiful cloth.
Today, big machines can do this really quickly.
But a long time ago, it was done on something called a spinning wheel,
which took hours and hours.
That looks like really hard work.
Daddy Malcolm has brought Zoe and Aidan to a really old village.
These houses are called blackhouses.
A long time ago, the families who lived here shared their houses
with their cows and sheep!
That must have been a bit smelly.
But they had lots of lovely wool from those sheep.
CLACKING Can you hear Roddy's loom?
Let's go in and see him weaving his cloth.
Daddy and the twins are going to meet Roddy, the weaver.
He's going to show them
what happens to the thread from the mill once it has been made.
The special machine is called a loom.
Weavers have been using looms to make cloth
on the island for a very long time...
and still do today.
-Good to see you again.
This, Aidan and Zoe, is a very, very old loom. It's over 80 years old.
-It's older than your granny was.
-How does it work, Roddy?
I've got two pedals here.
When I press this pedal on this side,
the shuttle goes through the loom to the other side.
And when I press this pedal,
the shuttle goes back to where it began on the other side of the loom.
And that's what weaves the cloth.
And Roddy's been weaving cloth on this loom for 50 years.
-Shall we sing Roddy the song that we've made up?
Right, here we go. One, two, three.
# From deep in the sea to up in heaven
# Any magic spell can be woven
# Shuttle, treadle, weave, pick # Shuttle, treadle, weave, pick. #
Singing has always been an important part
of making cloth on the island.
To soften the cloth, women used to beat it on a table
while singing songs. The songs helped them to get the work done.
The women in this old film are singing in Gaelic,
which is a language spoken on the island.
Daddy Malcolm and the twins have gone back to the mill
to see some finished cloth.
The cloth that the weavers make on the island is called tweed.
It's a funny word. Tweed.
And it comes in lots of different patterns and colours.
Well, the mill has made the wool into all these beautiful coloured yarns.
And then the yarns go into make the lovely cloth that the weavers
-have woven. Aidan, what's your favourite colour?
-The blue one?
-And what's your favourite, Zoe?
-And why is that?
-Because it's yours, Daddy.
-Ah, that's nice, because it's Daddy's.
Wow. Look at those waves.
Daddy Malcolm has brought Zoe and Aidan to the beach.
And he's going to set them a challenge.
One of the beautiful things about being on an island
is that you're surrounded by sea.
And on the sea, you've got lots and lots of beaches, and lots of lovely
things and lovely colours that can give you good ideas for design.
You get lovely shells and stones and everything.
So what I'm going to do
is ask you to go down and take some pictures of all the beautiful things
that you see and show me them later on,
and I'll use them in my designs. Off you go, down to the beach.
Oh, Aidan, these are excellent pictures. Well done!
Let me see yours, Zoe.
They'll be perfect for getting design ideas.
Shall I take your pictures now?
Wow. These are funny faces.
Thank you, Daddy, for bringing us to the island.
It's my pleasure, darling.
Can you remember all the special things that we've been doing?
We went to your favourite place to see the old stones.
And played hide and seek.
We went to the mill to see where you work.
We went to the blackhouse village and saw an old weaving loom.
We went to the beach to get ideas and take pictures.
What was your favourite thing, Zoe?
The colours of the cloth at the mill.
And what was your favourite thing, Aidan?
Playing hide and seek at the Callanish stones.
My favourite thing was bringing you guys to the island
and telling you my story. And I've brought you a present.
I've brought you a tweed teddy bear.
One for you, Zoe, and all the different weaves.
And one for you, Aidan, with your favourite-coloured bow.
Come and give me a cuddle.
And thank you for listening to my story.
What a fabulous heap of fun!
That was Zoe, Aidan and their Daddy Malcolm's tiny tale
about the things Daddy Malcolm used to do when he was a weaver.
Now Daddy Malcolm has shared his story with the twins,
it's time for Zoe and Aidan to start their own story.
Do you know someone
who has a story to share?