The Smiling Sheep
Holly Carter & Andrei Szerard
Living on an idyllic smallholding in the heart of rural Devon, we keep a modest flock of rare breed sheep – Balwens and Shetlands. We have always prized the wool they produce, and in the past we have had the wool processed into knitting wool, and into yarn which has been hand woven into scarves and shawls, and machine woven into blankets. All of our processing has been undertaken by small businesses in the south west.
More recently, we have begun to process the raw fleece ourselves. We wash the fleece by hand, then either card it and spin it into yarn on a drop spindle, or weave the raw fleece on a peg loom to make luxury cat blankets! From May 2020 we will be running The Wool Studio at The Smiling Sheep: a full day experience for beginners who wish to learn about wool production: from a hands on introduction to the sheep, including preparing and washing raw fleece, and learning how to use a drop spindle or a peg loom.
We produce a modest amount of wool products, and sell through our website and through an Etsy shop. The Wool Studio sits alongside our other endeavours on the smallholding, which include running a romantic, thatched B&B, and producing ethical and sustainable food.