Services that I can provide.
I can provide Commission handspinning of your own fleece or pet combings into knitting yarn. Quality knitted and crocheted items or handspun knitting wool for sale. I am also happy to consider knitting or crochet commissions. Do you have an unfinished knitted or crocheted item that you would like to see completed? Have you found a pattern that you love but can't knit or crochet for yourself? Do you have an old jumper that you would like copied? For any of the above please contact me to see if I can help.
I have spun yarns of all kinds for my customers, from ridiculously chunky alpaca for knitting on 28mm needles, down to the finest seacell and milk protein threads I could manage for embroidery and bobbin lace, and just about everything in between, as well as making jumpers, blankets, hats and other items. As well as working for sheep and alpaca keepers, pet owners and small businesses, I am very pleased to have been able to produce yarns for students at Leeds University, Manchester University and Central St Martin's University.
One of my better known commissions was the handspun, hand dyed and hand crochet Union Flag made for the NFU in 2010. This was a challenge for me at the time but 5 weeks of hard work produced a result that everyone was very happy with. It was a great honour to provide a spinning demonstration outside York Minster as part of this project too, alongside The Sheep Show. For photos from the day, see: BBC news report
I also have become known for taking on more unusual jobs, including producing newspaper yarns and more recently, handspinning human hair. A particularly interesting project I worked on was producing a very chunky, lightly twisted Oakum ( oiled plant fibres) yarn, for use in the restoration of an 1890's Essex fishing smack.
I am available for hire for demonstrations at events, fairs, shows, music festivals, re-enactments etc. either alone or with the Murmuring Wheel group - four other entertaining and educational spinners. We can demonstrate in historical costume if required. Demonstrations can be adjusted to include, the Great Wheel, smaller wheels of various styles, drop spindles, lucets, peg looms etc. As a group we specialise in Sheep to Garment displays, where a local fleece is taken at the beginning of the day and spun, plied and knitted into a garment by the end of the day to show the entire process.
Demonstration is an aspect of my business that I get a great deal of enjoyment from. When I learned to spin with the Arkwright Spinsters I was also learning to demonstrate to the public and have loved being able to take these skills out to events further afield. Working with my family and a few select friends, we have provided large interactive educational displays at events which have included Bakewell Show, Countrytastic at Three Counties Showground, Springtime Live at Harrogate, Open Farm Sundays, Green Festivals, historical events, community fairs and several years at the summer hoedown for the Avocet Trust near Hull. It is also good to spin at some of the more wool based events, including Bakewell Wool Gathering, The Wool Experience ( which I also organise) Masham Sheep Fair and the Winter Wool Fair at Hexham.
Unfortunately this is the side of the business that I have the most difficulties with. It is very disappointing to have a booking on the calendar, only to have this booking cancelled before the event takes place because the organisers have discovered that a local guild or group will provide a demonstration "the same" for free. If this happens close to the event I might already have done many hours of preparation and possibly even turned down another paying booking on the same day. The other problem I face is event organisers assuming that they can book me for their event and expect me to pay for a trade stand. This is never going to work! If I am putting in days of preparation, organising a large display, taking along valuable equipment and demonstrating all day to entertain the visitors, I am going to charge to provide this. At some events I do have a sales table, but if an organiser is paying for my time and doesn't think that selling is appropriate for their event, that's fine with me. I am now taking bookings for 2018, so if you organise a show and would appreciate a traditional craft demonstration, feel free to get in touch!
I offer lessons in various aspects of fibrecrafts. I wish I'd kept records from the beginning of how many people I have taught. It is hard to estimate but must be several hundred by now, at workshops in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Cheshire and North Wales as well as at Arkwright Spinsters and Black Sheep Spinners meetings. I'm always pleased to bump into people who have been on my workshops in the past and hear how they are getting on. I'm also very lucky that a few of my former pupils have kept in touch and have become valued friends.
To see details of the workshops I have available to book at the moment, see the events page. Alternatively, why not get in touch to enquire about running a workshop at a venue near you?
Advice/Consultation for historical filming and re-enactment, I am willing to appear as an extra during filming, also possibility of equipment and props for hire.
I also have an etsy shop. Please visit for a wide array of dyed locks, fleece and handspun yarns.
I am always looking for new ways to promote my work, any other ideas will be considered.