Fernhill Fibre

Fine yarns and fibre from the source of the resource

wool

The Fernhill Jacket – layer up in natural wool

New productsMarina Blackburn

With the arrival of frosty mornings and crisp days, we’re wearing wool more and more on the farm and further afield. Over the past few months we’ve been working with local suppliers to create outer wear and accessories using our beautiful naturally coloured wool.

The Fernhill Jacket is one of these items. It’s a partially lined jacket, which is perfect for slinging over a shirt or top to keep the chill out, or for layering over a knitted jumper to keep you toasty on the coldest of days.

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The jacket is made from pure, undyed Fernhill wool, from sheep raised and grazed on our farm on the Mendip Hills. The wool is sent to a mill in Wales to be spun and woven into soft yet durable fabric. This is then sewn into jackets with linen trimming and wooden buttons in a sewing studio near us in Somerset.

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We focused on practicality with the design. The dense weave and resilient properties of wool mean that the jacket is water resistant. There are large pockets for phone, keys, wallet and room to spare. The collar can be worn down, or pulled upright to protect the neck from the wind. The design is unisex and comes in 4 sizes.

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If you’re looking for a new coat this winter, this is the perfect way to stay warm and support local production and regenerative farming methods. Jackets are available in our online shop here.

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Loom knitting for gentle hands – accessible crafting

WorkshopsMarina Blackburn

On the farm and at events we attend, we love to offer a workshop that Jen runs: making a snood on an oversized French knitting loom.
The workshop uses multiple strands of our soft Lopi yarn in various colours, and combines them to make a flexible, versatile accessory that traps in warmth without weighing down.

These sessions were originally designed for adults with special needs. The large pegs and chunky yarn make the workshop friendly and supportive for those who are less dexterous and enjoy a satisfying, quick project. This also makes the craft perfect for children who may not be ready for fiddly, slow work, or people who might have hand and wrist problems that prevent them from spending hours on small-scale traditional knitting. It’s great for those who have no previous experience, or those who have tried the craft before and would like to spend time relaxing and creating something with their hands.

Fernhill Fibre Snood Knitting Workshop

Lopi yarn

The workshop uses our own Lopi yarn that’s completely UK-produced and processed. Our Lopi yarn is based on the traditional Icelandic yarn of the same name, where the wool fibres are very loosely spun into a lofty, airy yarn with little structure and a lot of warmth.
Lopi is usually made from Icelandic wool, which can be quite coarse and not pleasant to wear against the skin. It’s perfect for protecting against harsh weather, though!

The Lopi yarn made from our Fernhill flock, however, is spun from either mostly Shetland or Bluefaced Leicester wool. Through decades of careful breeding, the fibre is soft and still strong, and perfect for items that will be worn against the body for all but the most delicate skin. This means that the resulting garments and accessories benefit from the light, woollen structure to protect from the cold and rain, but are not irritating and scratchy.

Making a snood on a French knitting loom

Using the Lopi in a variety of hand-dyed colours, workshop participants are able to choose their colour combination, wind up a ball of yarn, and then learn how to begin knitting on the loom, work their snood to the desired length, and finish it off. This usually takes only an hour or so, and it’s great to be able to have a finished item by the end of the workshop!

The resulting snood can be worn as a neck-warmer, a short scarf, or a headband, depending how it’s folded. The oversized pegs create a very open fabric that’s immensely flexible and stretchy, making it very comfy to wear. Over time, as the fibres rub against each other, they mesh together a little to trap air perfectly to insulate and provide warmth.

Make your own!

If you have a small group of people who would like to learn this simple, rewarding craft using all local materials, we have workshop tickets available and can arrange a date for you to come to the farm.

We are also soon going to offer the knitting looms and yarn as kits in a slightly reduced range of colours. These will include everything you need to make your own snood at home, with detailed, illustrated instructions. The knitting looms are made by a local woodworker. We’re delighted to be able to team up to bring this craft to people who may not be able to come to the farm or one of the events we attend.