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.
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 www.wildcolours.co.uk 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!