SHEEP TO SHAWL

Discover the traditional craft of wool-making on our Sheep to Shawl one day experiences. Each course is centred around celebrating the natural properties of wool, an eco-friendly, versatile material. In a world filled with synthetic, chemically manufactured materials, we believe it’s increasingly important to make the most of sustainably sourced products. Immersed in the rural tranquillity of the Devonshire countryside, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of your everyday.
Designed for beginners, this hands-on experience will take you through the wool production cycle, including how to prepare and clean a raw fleece. Our ‘spinning’ day will teach you how to card and then spin the fleece into yarn on a drop spindle. Our ‘weaving’ day will teach you how to set up and use a peg loom. The day would not be complete without a personal introduction to our friendly flock!

Details

All materials are provided, and we have a maximum of six participants on a course. The day is not simply a demonstration, and each of you will be working with your own drop spindle or peg loom.

The experience costs £95 per person, including all materials and refreshments throughout the day.

What does the day include?

  • Meeting the sheep
  • Learning about the properties of natural wool
  • Examining a raw fleece and learning how to prepare it for washing or raw processing
  • Washing a small amount of raw fleece
  • After lunch, depending upon the course chosen, you will either learn how to use a drop spindle or a peg loom.

As part of the day, we’ll provide a light lunch sourced almost entirely from our smallholding. Weather permitting, we might even light up the outdoor wood fired pizza oven! Refreshments, including homemade biscuits and freshly baked cake, are provided throughout the day.

Days at the Wool Studio aren’t just about the sheep. This fun, accessible course is as much about learning new skills as it is about embracing the charms of country living, in the peace and quiet of Devon’s rolling hills.

Private bookings

We are very happy to run private groups, whether you’re looking to organise a friends’ day out or a company team building day. Please just let us know.

 

BLANKETS AND THROWS

The Smiling Sheep is delighted to offer a limited number of uniquely designed, hand crafted, items, all entirely from the wool from our flock.

For the latest in feline luxury, we have spent this last summer producing bespoke cat blankets. We hand wash the fleece from each sheep, and then weave it simply on a peg loom. Each blanket varies in size but is approximately 40 x 60 cm, and costs £35.

In recent years we have sent our sheep’s wool to the Natural Fibre Company in Launceston, Cornwall, to be processed into high quality yarn. This is as natural a produce as you could wish for – undyed and unadulterated.

Our luxury blankets have been woven by a small mill in Bristol, with the loom set to create a double-sided pattern, to highlight the best of each variety of fleece. Each blanket measures 195 x 135 cm, and costs £165.

Our throws and shawls have been hand-woven by an amazing craftsman in Bovey Tracey on Dartmoor. He uses a foot powered loom which has been running for decades. The throws/shawls measure 160 x 85 cm, and cost £90.

We can ship throughout the UK and internationally (we can also gift wrap) - please contact us for details and rates.