Things have been rather bustling here in woolly John Arbon Textiles land. It’s hard to believe it has already been a month since returning from Yarndale.
There have been lots of things keeping us busy…
We’re bundled up in woolly garb and sipping hot chocolate because the Autumnal chill has started (as it is now the end of September, don’t you know), but, happily that can only mean one thing – Yarndale is just around the corner. This marvellous Yorkshire show is one of our very favourites. For one weekend the Skipton auction mart is bedecked with woolly bunting and transformed into a haven of textile delights..
We’re particularly looking forward to this specific Yarndale because here we will unveil our swanky new show signs. Cornish artist and fairground sign writer extraordinaire, Amy Goodwin, has created some spectacular Mill inspired hand painted signs for our show stand. Please find a sneak peak of Amy’s work in progress below and click here to take a look at her website… for those of you unable to attend the show, we’ll make sure to take some photos to share with you next week!
John and Juliet have long been yearning for an excuse to visit Ireland’s dramatic coastline, so when they heard about the Yarnfolk Festival of Wool in Whitehead they began hatching plans to combine this lovely show with a bit of sight seeing.
Yarnfolk, which is organised by the lovely Louise of Lighthouse Yarns, has just had it’s second year and is going from strength to strength. This one day show takes place in a handful of different locations in Whitehead.
We had such a blast at Fibre East. We loved meeting all the folk who popped by our stand and particularly all the splendid spinners who will be joining in with BritSpin later in the year. It was Jack’s first show with us and he was a marvel – thank you to him and all those who welcomed him to the world of woolly shows.
John and the Mill folk are at this moment prepping for Fibre East – which means whipping up oodles of delectable tops (to accompany our yarns). This show, more than any other, is much about the tops – which we love… John has loaded up his woolly tubs of joy, so there’ll be enough fluff to go round! And, as always before a show, we’re looking forward to having a good ol’ woolly natter with lots of splendid folk.
We spent the weekend up at Woolfest, chatting to lovely folk and inhaling the yarn and fibre fumes. Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by our stand, we had a blast. It was a wonderfully sunny weekend up in Cumbria and a splendid drive through the beautiful countryside – and we even managed to fit in two World Cup matches on the way up!
We had all our usual goodies on display, with an abundance of delightful yarn and tops.
Firstly, thank you to everyone who came to our 2018 Mill Open Weekend and for making it such a success. We had a ball over the weekend, and it was fabulous to spend the days leading up to it polishing and sprucing, so each machine could be as proud as punch to show itself off to all the interested visitors.
You came from far and wide – from just down the road, from further up the road and even from Italy! Over the course of the weekend we gave 18 mill tours (9 a day) to 350 people, with over 1000 people visiting total! And we all ate about a million local homemade cakes accompanied by made many cups of tea.
After 2 years of waiting, we have managed to locate the perfect fibre to produce a beautiful Devon bred and processed Bluefaced Leicester Top. And we hope you will agree it was worth the wait!
It has been selected from breeders on Exmoor and then graded and sorted at the South Molton Wool Board depot. Our wool agent, and close associate, Andrew Bowman of Wooltops, has then sorted the wool again removing 20% of unwanted kemps and inferior fibres.
The result is an exceptional BFL at 26 micron with superb lustre and a handle, unlike any other BFL on the market at the moment.
We are now back and all unpacked from Woolfest 2016.
We had a lovely time and always enjoy our visit to the lakes! (Even though Belle, the podgy dog who lives at the lovely smallholding we stay at, ate Frankie’s sandwich!)
Our new Knit by Numbers 4ply (which you can now find here) stood tall and proud as the newest member of the family, along side the double knit range … 91 different tonal Merino shades in each count of yarn. We are always super impressed by how organised you knitters out there are bringing along patterns to match up with yarns and had so much fun helping you choose colours from the 4ply range to fulfill fair isle patterns.
Thank you to every single person who came to visit us at our Mill Open Weekend … it seemed to be a great success and we have had lots of positive feedback.
We hope you had a fab time being shown around the mill and have more of an idea about what goes on behind the scenes here!
There was tea and cake aplenty! We were very lucky with the weather, and it was great to see lots if happy knitters, spinners and crocheters not only visiting but enjoying the sunshine outside the marquee whilst partaking of their crafts. Thank you.
Lovely guild member’s Brenda and Jean spent the weekend spinning up our fibres on their wheels and answering many a spinning query!
John and Sara did an amazing job of showing everyone around the mill and letting people in on a few secrets! I’m sure the biggest gasps come with the splicer demo – it’s like magic, not a knots in sight!
Here are some photos of John giving tours and explaining how the fibre process works…
John shows how the machine with no name works…. Clint is working on the Daughter of a Shepherd yarn, Hebridean with a hint of Zwartbles.
Going on to explain how Ralph works, he is working on blending The Little Grey Sheeps Gotland yarn. Yum!
We had lots of entrants to the goody bag raffle! We look forward to sharing the photos of the entries with you! Everything was spectacular! The winners will be drawn when John and Juliet return from there holidays, so keep your eyes peeled and we will let you know if your a winner!
A special thank you to the mill folk who made the machines look so sparkly and were willing to share some of the their tips! And also a big thank you to the extra helpers we had come along (you know who you are)! And to Andy of Wooltops who came along to share his undyed white yarns. And for Amanda Perkins for putting 2 of her beautiful crochet blankets on display for all to see.
We had such a lovely weekend sharing our Mill with you all … and are now feeling more inspired than ever, so lets get spinning!
Lots of love, The John Arbon Textiles weekend team!
John, Juliet, Frankie, Daisy, Sara, Becky, James, Lorraine, Judi, Ginette, Sandra, Pat, Alan, Rowan, Julia & Lewis. X
And thanks to Amanda, Andy, Pauline, Amy, Brenda & Jean! X