Meet the trader – Oakhill Wensleydales

Today we meet Shelia, from Oakhill Wensleydales.

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Hello, please could you tell us about your business?

I  have been breeding pedigree white Wensleydale sheep for 25 years under the flock name of Oakhill Wensleydales.  My original aim was to help conserve and promote a rare breed and to this end I have sold quality  breeding stock to all parts of the UK and Northern Ireland. I have also shown the sheep and fleeces winning championships at many National shows, making full use of their wonderful fleeces has been a natural progression to promoting the breed.

What can we look forward to seeing at your stand at ESGWSD 2015?

At the Lewes exhibition I shall be offering for sale, fleece, locks, tops and yarn all of which are from my own flock and some of which has been dyed from plants grown here on the farm.

What are you looking forward to most about the event and/or visiting Lewes?

Having traded at the exhibition for a number of years I am looking forward to meeting many loyal customers and hopefully some new ones!

See you soon, Shelia!

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Meet the Trader – South Downs Yarn

Today we meet Louise, from South Downs Yarn (http://www.southdownsyarn.co.uk/)

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Hello, please could you tell us about your business?

Hello, I am Louise Spong, founder of South Downs Yarn. We work with local shepherds to source Southdown wool from the South Downs. All our yarn is geo-traceable, meaning it can be tracked back to the flock it came from. It is woollen spun in England and naturally dyed in West Sussex using plant-based dyes. Our mission is to champion the breed, the Southdown, the place, the South Downs, and the people associated with both.

What can we look forward to seeing at your stand at ESGWSD 2015?

As well as showcasing our 100% Southdown wool from the South Downs in a range of colours reflecting the Sussex landscape from Downs to coast, we will be launching an exclusive limited edition knitting kit at the event in honour of Lewes. We will also have some vintage Southdown Flock Books and other associated Southdown information for people to look at, including a traditional Pyecombe hook – which I made myself!

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What are you looking forward to most about the event and/or visiting Lewes?

Lewes is a special place for me for a number of reasons, not least because of its historic association with wool, its former sheep fair, and the town’s proximity to Glynde where John Ellman started improving the Southdown breed in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. For me, the ESG event is part of a continuum from our local shepherding heritage to the modern day activities of those involved in all the different aspects of British wool production.

See you soon, Louise!

Meet the Trader – Owena’s Farm Produce

In the next installment in our series with the traders who are supporting our October exhibition, we meet  Owena Lewis from Owena’s Farm Produce (www.owenasfarmproduce.co.uk)

Hello, please could you tell us about your business?

Baulcombes Barn produces wool from my Shetland and Jacob flock on a small care farm at Hamsey, near Lewes, East Sussex.

What can we look forward to seeing at your stand at ESGWSD 2015?

I shall be selling locally produced wool supplies;  I shall have brown and black fleeces from my shearling Shetland sheep; natural coloured knitting yarn, sliver and roving for spinning, felting, knitting and weaving; peg looms.  Plus some lovely tanned sheepskins.

What are you looking forward to most about the event and/or visiting Lewes?

I am looking forward to being at the fair surrounded by lots of wool and wool products!

See you in October, Owena!

Meet the Trader – Woolcraft with Wensleydale

This week we meet Julia from Woolcraft with Wensleydale (http://www.woolcraftwithwensleydale.com/)

Label for Woolcraft with Wensleydale Hello, please could you tell us about your business?

Woolcraft with Wensleydale came about through breeding my pedigree Black Wensleydales, sharing knowledge and skills with other equally passionate Wensleydale Breeders and combining my love of animals and nature with Fibre Art of all kinds. I am also totally committed to the passing on and exchange of  Heritage Skills based on Rare Breed fibre through the former  Sheep to Shawl Project, Open Studio Days, Group Visits and so on.

What can we look forward to seeing at your stand at ESGWSD 2015?

There will be naturally coloured  Wensleydale supplies of locks,  combed tops, worsted yarns, finished products, e.g. designer handknits with our own patterns, and some semi-felted wallhangings using hand-dyed fibre.

Semi-Felted Wallhanging -= Chiaroscuro - Dark and Light

What are you looking forward to most about the event and/or visiting Lewes?

The biennial exhibition is a wonderful display of talent of all kinds in the East Sussex Guild, and so it attracts a dedicated visitor base. It also gives the opportunity to exchange ideas with people – and it is beautifully run!

See you in October, Julia!

 

Images in this post courtesy of Andrew Weekes