A brand new event from Perth Festival of Yarn, the Scottish Wool Producers Showcase seeks to shine a spotlight on yarns with a distinctly Scottish origin and their makers. Featuring a boutique marketplace celebrating Scotland’s single farm yarns, shepherds, mills, and more, as well as inspiring presentations.
Our family have been on our Croft for in the Shetland Islands for literally hundreds of years. In 2020 we embarked on getting our natural, native, lively Shetland Sheep’s wool made into yarn. It’s 100% Shetland, 100% from our Croft and is hand sheared. We now have over twenty five colours of natural and dyed shades to chose from.
Although sadly unable to join us in-person at the Showcase we will have a selection of products from Aister ‘oo’ available to purchase.
Nestled in the rolling hills of Fife, Annfield Farm is family owned and run. We are the 4th generation farming here although things have greatly changed through the years. We are a small team of two, Andrew and Laury-Anne, partners at work and in life.
We run a growing flock of pedigree Angora goats and are entirely slaughter free with the aim to raise happy animals. The sheep wool we use is carefully selected from a very small number of farms around us, that we personally know, and where the animals are respected and extremely well looked after. The Shetland fleeces are mainly from smallholders and the pure new wool comes from two different farms, both within 10 miles of us.
We aim to be eco-friendly so our yarns are 100% wool and never mixed with plastic, our packaging is made from recycled materials whenever possible and either recyclable or compostable.
The Border Mill
The Border Mill are a small family run mill in the Scottish Borders. Alongside processing fleeces for the owners of Alpacas and rare breed sheep across the country, they spin a small range of yarns in unusual blends of animal and plant fibres and in colours inspired by the Scottish landscape.
Caithness Croft is part of the Beardychiel Designs programme. When John Glen was approached by crofters and farmers who offered him fleece in preference to it being burned or buried, he accepted, and as a result of the volume started having it spun into yarn for other knitters/crafters to enjoy. The idea of fleeces being was wasted was not something he could accept.
Caithness Yarns offer high quality, often unique yarns from high welfare flocks up in the “True” North of Scotland (including shepherd Graeme’s own.) Their range has a series of yarns from the old fashioned style of hill sheep here in Caithness and Sutherland, these demonstrate the greatness of the wool you can get if you breed for it and focus relentlessly on sheep health and welfare. The other strand to Caithness Yarns are their “Rare Breed” yarns.
Starting with their own flock of Castlemilk Moorit sheepies, they offer one-off, unique small batch yarns mostly undyed and unbleached. As a matter of good ethical business practice Caithness Yarns use a concept for sourcing the fleece that makes their yarns what they call “Living Value.” This means they set a respectful value for fleece when they buy it that better reflects the hard work and care that good farmers and crofters lavish on their stock.
After 30 years of working in the industry, Di’s client and collaboration black book boasts some of the very best labels in couture and innovative fashion; Nike, Mark Fast (for Kanye West), Margaret Howell, April Crichton, Hancock VA, Topshop Unique, Cabbages & Roses, Paul Hardy, Sophia Kokosolakis, Graeme Black, Meadham Kirchhoff, Erdos 1436, Bette Midler and Helena Bonham Carter.
Di continues to design pattern collections under her own name which can be worked in her luxury Scottish yarn brand, Lalland Lambswool which is available in both DK and Aran weights and with over 22 colours. Lalland is spun in Scotland and balled in Yorkshire at Laxtons Mill. Her patterns explore and create new symbology through deep-rooted gansey stitch patterns, combine techniques such as intarsia and circular knitting with traditional stitch patterns and cables. Published in September 2021, Di is co-author of The Gansey Knitting Sourcebook.
Although sadly unable to join us in-person at the Showcase we will have limited signed copies of The Gansey Knitting Sourcebook, knitting kits, and individual balls of Lalland available to purchase at our event.
Hawkshaw Sheep produce natural coloured yarns, carded batts, roving and tweed cloth from the fleeces of their own animals which graze on a hill farm in Tweedsmuir, the Scottish Borders.
Traceability at every step is extremely important to shepherdess Sue, and Hawkshaw Sheep wool is processed by the Natural Fibre Company at their mill in Cornwall.
Famous throughout the World for it’s beauty an tranquility, the island of Iona is often described as a special place. Saints, scholars, and artists have called it home over the years, but the island has always belonged to it’s indigenous crofting community who have shaped and defined life on this Atlantic outpost for centuries. At just 3 miles long by 1.5 miles wide, Iona is home to 7 crofts, 2 farms, around 170 islanders, and over 1000 native breed sheep.
Iona Wool is 100% single origin fleece that is sorted by hand with the first – and finest – grade being produced into limited edition yarns. Although sadly unable to join us in-person at the Showcase we will have a good selection of products from Iona Wool available to purchase.
Lammermuir Wool is home-grown, single-farm wool which is 100% Shetland wool. The wool comes from their own Koru Lammermuir Flock who graze peacefully in the Lammermuir Hills, East Lothian. Guardian of the flock, Suzie, believes that well-tended land and loved sheep makes for superb wool.
This fine, soft wool is hand-sheared and mill-spun into a range of practical weights from single-ply to Aran weight; available in a palette of natural and hand-dyed colours which reflect their origins.
Suzie will also be giving a presentation at the Scottish Wool Producers Showcase.
Although best known for their wide range of natural fibre yarns of Scandinavian origin, Midwinter Yarns also produce their very own Black & Blue range of Welsh Wool as well as Shetland Tweed and waxed cotton Ochil bags. These latter two lines will be represented at the Scottish Wool Producers Showcase.
Ka Lok Shek Ellen
Skilled sewist Ka Lok Shek Ellen takes inspiration from her home town of Aberdeen as well as her Chinese heritage to produce beautiful and functional project bags for all fibre crafters.
After a long career as a museum textile conservator and curator, Sara decided that work was getting in the way of her passion to make deep dives into research on knitting history and techniques. While COVID has put a bit of a crimp into her travel plans, she has been able to complete a book on knitting and spinning in Sweden, and has recently turned her attention to the endangered and heritage sheep of Scotland. Her interest is to carefully evaluate the characteristics of wool in order to develop blends that take advantage of each breed’s valuable characteristics. Through her books and blog (AKnitwizard.com) Sara promotes the preservation of unique sheep species and highlights the efforts of independent designers, shepherds, and dyers, to bring international attention to what they have to offer.
When she is not chasing down the last ikat dyer in Iran or making friends with Helsinge sheep in the west of Sweden, Sara lives in central Massachusetts with her long-time partner Bruce and two Russian Blue kittens, all of whom are ready and willing to help with her pursuits.
Sara will be giving a presentation at the Scottish Wool Producers Showcase.
Wee County Yarns
Wee County Yarns specialise in Scottish – spun yarns and our own exclusive designs. We also stock a wide range of needles and notions to support these. Our 10g Miniballs come in 100 colours and are supported by dozens of patterns.
Our Kinross 4ply and Kinross Lace is spun in Kinross just down the motorway from Perth and is a beautifully soft lambswool.
Based in Edinburgh, Woolly Originals uses domestic knitting machines to create bag for crafters and artists to use for their projects and for their tools. The bag designs are based on a range of ideas and inspiration: Scottish wildflowers and trees; organic fruit orchards; Scandinavian and Shetland star motifs; the volcanic landscapes of Iceland; the Scott Monument on Princes Street in Edinburgh; or the trainee women astronauts of the Mercury 13 program!