Cheering on our BritSpin teams

One of our most favourite things about the woolly world are all the wonderfully vivacious, colourful, inspiring folk who populate it. The fibre community is a fab place brimming with some serious talent and many smashing events. One of the newest and biggest events in the UK hand spinning calendar is BritSpin.

As some of you know, the British Wool Spinning Marathon (or BritSpin) is a 4 day challenge event taking place from this Thursday to Sunday. The participants spin up as much yarn as possible during the challenge. All the proceeds go to the UK Association of Air Ambulances and it is a wonderful way of highlighting the many varieties and joys of British wool. And we are lucky enough to be sponsoring two teams this year: the Arbonites and the Arbonistas.

John with Marilyn and Hilary when they visited the Mill earlier this year. They had a right laugh and are giving him fibre horns in the photo!

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Come see our cosy & colourful Yarndale stand!

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!

Amy Goodwin, painting our new signs in her studio

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Goodbye Fibre East and Hello Yarnfolk!

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.

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Gino!

Last week was a flurry of organising and tidying in the Mill before the arrival of two special Italians! One was human, and one, not so much.

So, without further ado, let us introduce you to out newest member of the team… GINO! He is the non-human Italian and is our first ever brand new piece of machinery (all the others being 2nd hand and re-furbished). Gino is a lovely and shiny new cone winder. He goes super fast and is very clever. And he came with the human Italian – an engineer who came to install Gino for us and teach us all the finer points on how to use him to his utmost! We have let the human go now (thanks Massimo!) and Gino is now settling in quite nicely.

So, here are some photos of him being moved into his new home.

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Beautiful Bluefaced Leicester & Fibre East

Drum roll!

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.

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Shows and treats…

We had a busy time between us at the beginning of July here at John Arbon Textiles… John and Juliet went up to Durham Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers, whilst over the same weekend Becky went to the Exeter Guild who were hosting their annual fleece fair (she is a member of the guild but this month she took lots of treats in the form of fluff!) Becky was exhibiting with lots of other talented Devon fibre crafters and John was giving a talk to the guild in Durham, explaining how he began his life in the textiles industry and eventually became the master of spinning at his Mill that he is today. A lovely weekend at both ends of the country.

Other exciting things … new to our secret Mill Members page on the website we have the natural Brown Corriedale Top, and also a new Top which is a blend of said natural Brown Corriedale with 20% Mulberry Silk which makes a super classy, silky, dreamy Top. They are currently only available to Mill Members, however will make their way over to the main website after a period of time when a new run is made up at the Mill.
Brown Corriedale

Brown Corriedale.Silk

OK, so we are currently busy preparing lovely woolly things for Fibre East, our next show at the end of July.

Ampthill, Bedfordshire, MK45 2NU – 30th and 31st July 2016
Saturday 10:00-17:00, Sunday 10:00-16:30

Find there website here!

We hope to see you there!

Raffle enteries!

After inviting everyone to come along to our Open Weekend with something crafted from our fibre or wool, it was great to see lots of entrants to the raffle to win a goodie bag.
We had some amazing things entered! From felted sheep, to experiments gone wrong with knitting then felting! And everything in between! It was lovely to hear the stories of creations also, from companionship in hospital to whipping something up on the journey to the mill. Again, we love seeing what you have made … we have a group on Ravelry dedicated to showing off your finished objects here.

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Thank you Open Weekend!

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!

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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.

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Lovely guild member’s Brenda and Jean spent the weekend spinning up our fibres on their wheels and answering many a spinning query!

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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

Edinburgh Yarn Festival

We are now on the final run up to Edinburgh Yarn Festival! Over the next few days we will be organising our yarn stash, whipping up some tops and pairing our socks!

We are getting ready to embark on the long drive up to Scotland from North Devon and cannot wait!

On the stand, as well as our normal array of yarns including Knit by Numbers, Viola, Alpaca 2-3 ply, etc, we will be bringing along a very lovely run of a new Knit By Numbers DK colour – Mustard, in 6 lovely shades! …going from a lovely Dijon coloured Mustard through to a light hint. … And, you will of course be happy to know, we are making good progress on the 4-ply!! Shh! … this will be available later in the year.

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