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My love of crafts started at playgroup. Most of the people in the village tried to get their children into the private nursery. My mother believed in learning through play. I had a wonderful time doing crafts and I became hooked. I spent a lot of time as a child making things and growing plants to sell at the gate to buy tack for my pony. My father has always loved animals, maybe not sheep and my mother was never particularly animals fond but she's had to get used to them over the years especially sheep.
For my 18th birthday I asked to go on a days spinning course and there was a wheel for sale which my parents bought for me and wool entered my life.
I then went off to Durham University to study Geography, Environment & Development. At that time we were living outside Goathland in the old Youth Hostel, Wheeldale Lodge, out on the moors with water from a hydram and electricity by a generator.
After university I volunteered with the National Trust doing fencing, step building, path maintenance, guided walks, school visits, educational activities & demos and lots of grass cutting.
By now I had some sheep. Humbug a Gotland x Polwath, Sophia a large Shetland, Jemima a black north Ronaldsay x Jacobs and three more North Ronaldsays. North Ronaldasy SheepNorth Ronaldsay Sheep
We now have over 100 sheep, a flock of pedigree Shetland sheep, a flock of pedigree Badger Face Welsh Mountain Sheep and a small flock of commercial Charolais Mules.
Around this time (I was 21 now) I was invited to a re enactment day at Rievaulx Abbey demonstrating spinning and natural dyeing. This led me to teaching courses on spinning, natural dyeing, peg loom rug making and felt making. I was also selling fibres and attending local agricultural shows with homemade crafts (the playgroup paid off).
Phillippa with spinning wheel

I worked as a countryside ranger for a year or so, then I taught countryside management at Askham Bryan College before deciding to concentrate on my business full time in 2009. It was around this time we moved from Wheeldale Lodge.
In 2008 I appeared in the Dalesman magazine. My mother and I have been attending all the big woool shows for about 10 years. For many years it felt like we constantly spent the summer on the road as we went to Wooliest, Wonderwool Wales, Fibre Fest, Fibre East, Bristol Wool Fair, Yarndale, Kendal Wool Gathering, Spring into Wool & Masham Sheep Fair. We also go to numerous one day events all over the north of England. In 2013 my business was featured in Landscape magazine.
Since I had Douglas in 2017 I am going out to fewer events. I still sell my products at Staithes Arts & Crafts Centre and I have a range of fibres at Moorjocks Felt & Fleece in Hutton Le Hole and I continue to sell online.
The business has changed direction over the years. I switched fro natural dyes to chemical dyes, which are actually better for the environment and safer, just before we moved from Wheeldale
.Hand Dyed Yarns & Fabricsnaturally dyed yarns
Over the last couple of years as sheep numbers have increased I have been concentrating on processing my own fibres on the big carder and then through the gill box.

2020 has been a busy year for us, the early part of the year we were lambing and busy with online sales, then in August baby Edie arrived. It is now very busy with two little ones but I am training them up to help!