Photo credit: Benjamin Hole
This is a really fun episode. Ben Hole of Hole & Sons Farm speaks to me about life on the farm on the Isle of Purbeck in beautiful Dorset. We talk about the process of creating their unique, wonderful, and much-coveted yarn, what it’s like to work in a place with so much heritage, and how he has brought the business into the online world with his wildly popular Instagram account. This interview would have been a great fit with April’s yarn theme, but Ben has so many eloquent things to say about creativity and living a life around your passions that it’s perfect for Ben’s love for his animals, the farming life, and photography is infectious and inspiring. It was such a pleasure to bring all that story and to my newest shawl pattern, Whispering Island. I hope you enjoy listening to this conversation as much as I enjoyed having it.
Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their lovely Acadia yarn.
Acadia is named after the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi river, a place of natural beauty where the sea and mountains meet, slopes are densely forested and wild blueberries abound. Acadia National Park is in the state of Maine, The Fibre Co.’s birthplace. The yarn inspired by this beautiful region has a rustic look and a soft hand. A subtle tweed effect is created by the silk noil that is combined with a heathered base made from fine merino wool and brown baby alpaca. The yarn is a classic DK weight and makes a beautiful textured fabric that is perfect for next to the skin accessories as well as garments.
I’ve just finished knitting a shawl sample with Acadia and it more than lives up to its description. This is very special yarn. You can buy Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarns:
Meadow Yarn is an inviting online retailer selling yarn, needles and notions. It’s a small, family business based in rural Suffolk in the UK. Meadow Yarn was born out of a passion for beautiful yarn and knitting accessories and aims to bring you a range of great products. Yarns stocked include madelinetosh, Eden Cottage Yarn, Hazel Knits and many more.
Still a few weeks left in both of our KALs. It really isn’t too late to hop into either! The Pebble Beach KAL can include FOs that you started or finished before the start date, and the Muse Connection KAL is full of lots of lovely little projects like hats and socks that you can finish up in a week or two – I’m still working on mine!
Hole & Sons (lots of in-depth info about the farm and the yarn here which makes for great reading!)
The artisan mill where Hole & Sons yarn is spun: The Natural Fibre Company
My newest shawl pattern, Whispering Island (which was inspired by Hole & Sons wool) is now available on Ravelry!
The two alternate yarns I used for the samples are:
The Isle of Purbeck, home to the Hole & Sons farm. It inspired Enid Blyton’s Whispering Island, which inspired the name of my shawl!
I also mention the wonderful Do What You Love course by last week’s guest Beth Kempton. There’s still a week left to register. As I said last week, this course was really powerful for me and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to invest in their creative life.
If you want to hear more from Ben, he’s speaking this weekend at the Blogtacular conference on June 13th in London. I’ll be there, and it should be a lot of fun!
On Saturday 27 June I will be at YAK in Brighton for a trunk show for Pebble Beach shawl. Hope to see some of you there.