Home Farm Wensleydales – at the Farm
Continuing our 2015 emphasis on Small Producers, this evening we hear a bit more from Jayne Dryden of Home Farm Wensleydales about the passions for WOOL and landscape that lie behind her Work with Wool.
Sitting on the site of the Battle of Edgehill, between Oxfordshire and Warwickshire and within the Cotswold Conservation area, there lies a 500-year-old farm. Abandoned and derelict for many years, it eventually became home to our family of four. We restored it from being damp and uninhabitable to our home: a traditional farmhouse with 150 acres of exquisite, working land. Starting out as complete beginners, Home Farm Wensleydales was born. The sprawling countryside soon became a home for another family; over 300 Wensleydale and Bluefaced Leicester sheep!
Home Farm Wensleydales is built on a passion for wool. I learnt to knit before I could write my own name and am committed to ensuring that Home Farm wool is 100% British and I’m proud to say that from the sheep to the spinning and even to the ball band, every element of Home Farm wool is produced in the United Kingdom.
Easily recognised by their distinctive fringe, the Wensleydale breed originated in North Yorkshire in the early 19th century. Developed through hardy rams and hill ewes, the Wensleydale was bred to produce a high quality, valuable fleece. Long, soft and luxurious, Wensleydale wool is fantastic for hand-spinning, knitting, crochet and felting. In the Summer of 2014, our farm welcomed the Bluefaced Leicester breed, a sheep that produces a curly, threadlike wool, adored for its lightweight quality and buttery softness.
When paired together by expert scourers and spinners, the combined fleeces of our sheep result in an entirely unique hand-knitting wool; effortlessly light and soft to the touch, this 100% pure wool is ideal for making luxury garments possessed of softness and lustre.
Home Farm Wensleydales produces wool balls in both big (chunky) wool and double knitting wool in a range of colours that echo the landscape surrounding the farm; from moss green and buttercup yellow to a vibrant purple reminiscent of Cotswold lavender. For budding knitters in need of some inspiration, Home Farm also offers kits that contain everything you need to begin your knitting journey; from tea cosies and hot water bottle covers, to hats and wrist warmers.
Driven by a true love for wool and its vast history, Home Farm Wensleydales offer a desirable high end textile. In spite of growing demand, the ‘home-grown’ ethos of Home Farm will remain at its core so you can be sure every ball of our wool is crafted with love from the sheep of Home Farm Wensleydales, the place where this adventure began.
All images and content © Jane Dryden and Home Farm Wensleydales and used here with kind permission.