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60 Second Interview: The Border Mill

Today we bring you 60 seconds with Juliet from the Alpaca fibre processing mill The Border Mill. When did you start knitting/spinning/crocheting?

I’ve knitted all my life, but only recently got hooked by crochet (sorry!)

I started handspinning four years ago when we got our first alpacas.  I totally loved it, but soon realised that I couldn’t keep up with the rate of growth of the herd – which led by a few scarily short steps to us setting up our own fibre processing mill here in the Scottish Borders

What was your first knitting/spinning/crochet project?

The knitting goes too far back to remember, but I wove the results of my first handspinning efforts into a small throw – it’s lumpy and bumpy and totally wonderful. 

Can you show us some of the products you'll be bringing to the festival?

  • Pure alpaca knitting yarns in a range of natural and vegetable-dyed colours
  • Rovings for handspinning or feltmaking
  • Handwoven scarves, throws, baby blankets and cushions – all in pure Scottish alpaca (even the stuffing!)

What product/pattern are you most proud of?

I love our handwoven textiles which combine natural and vegetable dyed alpaca yarn in the warp and weft – the interplay of the colours gives a gorgeous ‘shot silk’ effect which really emphasises the lustre of alpaca.

Scarves - colours

Scarves - basketweave






How many WIPS have you got?

Less since I discovered weaving – a great way to recycle over-ambitious knitting projects!

Do you use Ravelry?

Yes – anytime my husband isn’t looking

Have you got a favourite pattern designer and why?   

Not a pattern designer, but Teresinha Roberts is my guru when it comes to natural dyeing – her website is full of inspiration and helpful advice.

What's on your needles/hook/spindle right now?

I’m (slowly) knitting a cowl-necked poncho for my friend Cathy, made from her favourite alpacas, Tatiana and Heidi.

If you had to pick just one kind of yarn to knit with/ tool to work with / fibre to spin for the rest of your life what would it be?

Need you ask?  Pure Scottish alpaca, of course!

Thanks Juliet! For more information visit the Border Mill's website (and aww! at the cutest Alpacas known to man!) and remember to visit their stall at Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

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