Tag: Meet the maker

Activistas de la lana.

“Now I have to find more wool. There are many flocks, but they don’t all have the right wool. Some are more like goats with their long hair.” Elena Solier has sold out of her last batch of Xolla Wool and is uncompromising in selecting fleeces for the next spin. She lives in Catalonia, making wool from the entrefina fleece… Read more →

Soul Wool

“They are the most beautiful sheep you’ve ever seen. Both the ewes and the rams have amazing horns – a sort of swept-back affair.” Jenn Monohan is talking to me from her home in Elsing, a small village in Norfolk where she runs her yarn business, Fibreworkshop. She’s telling me about the Norfolk Horn sheep whose fleece she uses for… Read more →

The four seasons – now in colour!

“I sometimes think it would be nice to tell my grandma about everything I do now with the foraging and the dyeing. It comes from what she and my grandad taught me.“ Emma Kylmala, also known as The Town Dyer, is a Finnish plant dyer who has made her home in west London. She’s talking to me about the origins… Read more →

A dance on the surface of your knitting

“I’d see her through the window when I came home from school. She’d sit by the window where there was good light, with a big basket full of mending” Judit Gummlich describes how it was when her beloved grandmother came to stay, to help with taking care of her and her siblings while her mother was working. “She embroidered little… Read more →

Knitting in high places

‘When he saw I knew what I was talking about as a knitter, it helped me to create a bond.‘ Irene Waggener is an anthropologist, textile conservator and a knitter. She’s talking to me over Zoom from her home in Yerevan about her book, Keepers of the Sheep, an account of her time learning from the knitters in the High… Read more →

How the duck got its beak (and other stories)

‘This pattern should be impossibly frustrating,’ I wrote of a pattern I was knitting back in early 2020, ‘and yet it’s the most delightfully compulsive knitting… the littleness of the stitches and Odile’s diminutive form are just so inexplicably pleasing.’  The pattern was Bunny Odile, and making it marked the beginning of one of the most enchanting and kooky knitting… Read more →

In Shetland no one swatches

In the English speaking knitting world, travelling to the Shetland islands, 130 miles north of the Scottish mainland, has become something of a Haj-like pilgrimage. Those who are lucky enough to make the journey, return with stories of mill trip adventures and fairisle masterclasses, photos of beautiful sheepy hillsides and coastline sunsets, and suitcases bursting with heathered shetland wool inspired… Read more →

The insatiably curious knitter

It was quite early in Wendy Peterson’s young life as a knitter that she noticed her right leaning decreases were neater than her left leaning ones. It bothered her. It looked wrong and she wanted it to look right. This was long before knitting on the internet, before the time of hacks and FAQs. There were no online hive minds or videos to… Read more →

A Dream Come True

“You have to learn this stuff from the beginning. It takes a long time” Ramon Cobo is the 4th generation of wool makers at the family mill in Castilla La-Mancha. In the time of his great grand father and great uncle, they would collect wool from farms close to Mota and take it by horse and cart to wash the… Read more →

Seeing the world in neon

Helen Reed has an eyesight condition that, as far as I know, has no name. She sees the world in neon. Even people’s skin tones have a neon glow about them. Dry leaves yield neon yellows with pink undertones. Helen is the dyer behind The Wool Kitchen dye studio – a garden shed in Walthamstow, east London from where she’s… Read more →