the loopy ewes story
I bought my first sheep in 2011, absolutely determined to work with their wool to produce contemporary, artisan products with real provenance. I don’t come from a farming family, it is a passion I grew into, but I rarely feel more comfortable in my own skin than when I am in the field with my flock. It wasn’t how my career started out, I spent many years working in the creative world, but when I started farming it felt like coming home.
My flock of rare breed, British sheep graze on an estate in the Cotswolds. As well as the sheep, my husband and I run a herd of native breed cattle. We farm with a regenerative philosophy, which means we don’t just look after the environment, but we proactively try to encourage wildlife habitats and improve soil health.
After shearing, I take my flocks fleeces to the Natural Fibre Company in Cornwall, where it goes through the scouring, carding and spinning process to be made into my chunky knitting yarn. They use organic methods to dye the yarn to my colour specification and if you look closely, in each colour-way you can see the flecks of tan kemp so unique to my Portland breed of sheep.
I bring the finished yarn back home to my studio in The Cotswolds where I knit with a hand powered knitting machine. I create my own designs and enjoy combining bright, vibrant colours to create textiles that bring aesthetic pleasure and a sense of warmth and cosiness into the home. My craft is new to me, so it’s a continual journey of learning, but it is so rewarding to work with such a beautiful and sustainable material. Each stage of the yearly cycle is as important as the next, from delivering beautiful lambs and watching their fleeces grow throughout the season, to shearing time and handing over my wool clip to the mill. Finally, when I run the threads of yarn through my hands on the knitting machine, knowing I've spent the year caring for the animals that produced it, I become profoundly connected to my work.
Awards & Accolades
Shortlisted for the National Trust's 2018 Emerging Designer Maker, Artisan and Craft range
Received a commendation for 'enhancing the versatility of British wool' in the Bradford Textiles Society's 2017 Design Competition