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episode 62 – The Border Mill

Welcome back to the podcast after a lovely wee break. I am jumping straight back into the action with a really wonderful tour of The Border Mill. 

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John and Juliet Miller decided to make a career change 5 years ago. They already had a 2 acre walled garden where they kept their growing herd of alpaca and, after long waiting times to have the fleece spun (and often large minimum batch size requirements) they decided they would set up their own small scale fibre mill, specialising in alpaca. John and Juliet take minimum fibre batches of 1.5kg and as soon as they opened it was clear that there were a lot of clients who also wanted to spin small batch alpaca fibre, sheep wool and other fibres.

It wasn’t until 2013 that they started to produce their own alpaca yarn, for the first Edinburgh Yarn Festival and their own range has grown exponentially since then. The Border Mill range now includes a lopi-style yarn, blended with Falkland merino, alpaca and mohair, alpaca and BFL, alpaca tweed and the forthcoming alpaca and silk. The Border Mill also works closely with clients to ensure that the fibre they send to the mill becomes the best possible yarn for their needs. Their clients include Sariann Lehrer, who produces the single breed, single flock Chopped Ginger project and Hooligan Yarns, who sell single sheep yarns – if you have worked with, squished or seen these particular yarns you will be well aware of how special these yarns are. 

John gave us a tour of the mill and the entire process. Please listen in to the episode and join is on that tour – grab your WIP and drink! Read More

Episode 116 – You say shhheviutt and I say Cheeveeitt….

(i suspect that lad is a bit of a cross!)

Back again, my friends! This time I am a little weary (drunken revellers had stopped me from recordings earlier, so I retreated to a different room eventually) and admit to being a little creatively stuck. Is it the post-EYF comedown *still*? Maybe its the weather? But I’m making myself podcast today cos I’ve definitely had less creative energy of late, but half the battle is doing something! This is something and I hope its marginally better than nothing at all!

↓Listen to the podcast

You can also listen on iTunes, the podcast app, or search your favourite podcatcher, if you prefer!

Cartref Yarn is a collaboration between Zoe Carter, of Pins and Needle Podcast, and Jennie Powell from Owl About Yarn! The yarn is a blend of Welsh Mule and BFL and it is grown, spun and dyed in Wales. Their business came from them asking where was all the yarn from Welsh sheep and they have only gone and made a blooming properly lovely DK. It is available in 8 dyed shades and a natural one. The yarn is 3 plied, rounded and bouncy and I imagine all the things in it. Particularly items that have a bit of texture, I reckon. Read More

Episode 115 – my heart’s wrapped up in wool

(image: copyright Uist Wool (…and while wool is in the title of the podcast, this shawl is made from a delicious blend!)

Welcome to this episode of the podcast, which comes to you after a very woolly time indeed for me! This episode is just a long chat about my visit to West Yorkshire Spinners and Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

There is very little in the way of show notes  – Just some pictures and links (when I get around to uploading them) – there is also very little editing here, so plenty of uhms and ahhs. This episode is just a general wittering about how much my heart is wrapped up in woolness this month.

There is mention of Buggers, Arses, Shit, Piss, Tits and BOOBS in this episode, so you’ve had your warning, if you needed it.

Listen by clicking below 
(I’ve had a few probs with the embedded player since wordpress changed a few things, so this opens in a new link)

ep 115

You can also listen on iTunes, the podcast app, or search your favourite podcatcher, if you prefer!

West Yorkshire Spinners

A visit to the mill in Keighey, West Yorkshire. This was my prize for being in the online innovator category in the KnitNow Awards. Thanks to everyone involved in this day – it was such amazing fun and it was somewhere I have been really keen to visit. Special thanks again to all those who voted for me! Read More

Signal boosting episode 114!

Hi there! It was brought to my attention today that some of you who get a wee email when there is a new KB post, did not get an email for episode 114.

I am really sorry about that. It should be fixed now. I know lots of you only listen via the website, so I thought I would send you a quick post, with a link to that post.

Episode 114 – be an advocate


Apologies again!

Louise xx

Episode 114 – be an advocate

Today I’m going to talk about advocating for wool, woolly biz and knitty woolly people. I also have a review of Turned Studio.

Listen below

You can listen via iTunes, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. 

Show notes

| Advocating for wool

As long promised, this is part of my talk, that I did for the NANSWool conference, back in September (see episode 110).

The part of my talk I really wanted to bring you is about being an advocate, but I thought this was a really good opportunity to also introduce myself to new listeners and reintroduce the concept of  what KnitBritish is for me (foremost) and why sharing #LoveLocalWool with listeners is important.

The yarn that sparked KnitBritish was from Uradale

I also talk about the importance of learning together and what can be achieved through that – such as our KALs and, of course, the important fieldwork we are doing with #WoolExploration and how this shared love of local also sees us taking part in wider conversations about wool. Larger campaigns for wool focus on global fashion, flooring and upholstery and seem to only pay lip service to the incredible work happening on the grassroots level.The rest of my talk was dedicated to showing how small wool businesses (can) so artfully and impact-fully tell their own stories.  Read More

Episode 113 – safe space

The above image is (c)  Kerstin Lindström and is part of her art project “Own our own time” and “Uplift” which speak of the human pace. The art work has travelled widely and sees knitter’s unite to knit in a circle. I saw this at SWW a few years ago and it was very powerful. Please visit Kerstin’s website

It’s the first podcast of 2019 – and we are starting as we mean to go on.

Read More

Fieldwork MAL – A Few Woolly Vendors

I’m just emerging after a week away in Shetland, but it is so lovely to see so many people taking part in our Fieldwork make-along, which celebrates 100% wool from vendors at this year’s Edinburgh Yarn Festival. (21st-23rd March). We cast on yesterday and we are making right up until 17th March.

You can read a bit more about this make-along in this post –

It may be that you are wishing to join in, but need a little titivating with wool suggestions so I thought I would pop in with a few for you.

If you don’t need suggestions and you just want to browse your stash for yarn sellers which qualify, you can peruse the exhibitor list over at and also check out the wool exhibitors for the Make:Wool event on Sunday, 24th March . Then jump on over to our Fieldwork thread in Ravelry group and start chatting.

The golden rule to remember (in addition to it being from an vendor at EYF2019) is that the yarn or fabric you use needs to be 100% wool. It can be a blend of different sheep breeds, but it must be 100% sheep wool.

| A few suggestions Read More


AROOGA! AROOGA! AROOGA!   That’s your make-along klaxon, my friends!

As you know, I’ve stood down from my Podcast Lounge hosting job, at Edinburgh Yarn Festival BUT I’m still totally up for a KAL for EYF, if you are?

In previous years there was a PodKAL, which was held in conjunction with the Podcast Lounge sponsors and it was a lovely way to bring together those of us who were going to Edinburgh Yarn Festival and those of us who were watching events from afar. I think that was what was loveliest about that KAL – knitting that time together towards the date on the calendar with like-minded chums.

This year I’ve called it Fieldwork and the focus is on 100% wool.  Read More

What is Wool Exploration?

This is a short-ish episode for those new to Wool Exploration, or need a reminder about our approaches to the exploration challenge.  (I realise I sound a bit sedate in this at the start – its cos I had to re-record this due to tech fail!)

In 2019 we are continuing to explore breed wool together and every other month we will be looking at the following breeds.

January – Shetland 

March – Cheviot

May  – Wensleydale

July – Castlemilk Moorit

September – Norfolk Horn

November – Welsh Mountain Breed Group

| What is Wool Exploration?

In a tiny wool nutshell, we look at sheep breeds in yarn form by swatching and we all follow the same fieldwork notes to create a joint learning experience. The results of this I collate for the podcast so that others can learn about breed wool from our exploration. Read More