John Arbon Textiles – Ep. 79 – Fruity Knitting

John Arbon Textiles – Ep. 79 – Fruity Knitting


welcome to fruity knitting this is
episode 79 I’m Andrew and I’m Andrea and we’re really pleased to be with you again
this week we think we’ve got another fantastic show lined up yes John Arbon
is a UK national treasure because over the last three years that we’ve been
interviewing key figures in the handling industry we’ve repeatedly heard
knowledgeable people praise John urban for his unique spinning knowledge and
his ability just to create brilliant yarns so John and Juliet who is his wife
have a small-scale spinning mill in Devon in the UK which has been built
from restored vintage milling equipment and some of it’s over a hundred years
old you’ll get to see a lot of this milling equipment it’s really beautiful
actually so what makes John urban textiles so special is the depth of
knowledge and passion that he brings into his work he’s got a ton of degrees
in printing in textiles and apparel majoring in in spinning and knitting and
also fashion textiles he’s had research grants that have taken him to places
like Guatemala for backstrap weaving or to Japan to look at the technology in
creating bespoke knitwear from body scanning which sounds really kind of
crazy so he really holds a unique body of knowledge which makes him heavily
sought-after by designers and sheep farmers to make them they’re perfect
yarn and in our interview John shares some of his amazing yarn making secrets
with us which is super cool but we think you’re really going to enjoy the
interview because apart from all of the knowledge that you’ll learn both John
and Julia are really down to earth funny people and extremely likeable so it is a
really fun interview and then we go to baden-baden which is here in Germany to
meet a bespoke shoemaker in our maker series so Matthias Vickerman
is going to show us that art and fine craftsmanship of hand making a pair of
custom shoes from a piece of tandel right to the final shiny pair of shoes
which actually last the owner upwards of 25 years and we think that’s that’s low
fashion yeah that is amazing he also shows me how I should properly care for
my favorite Australian made leather boots so that’s also a lot of fun we’re
heading to London to meet the talented knitwear designer and teacher
Natalie Warner as our guest in knitter’s of the world we’re going to be
announcing the winners of our Martin story cow but right now we’re going to
give the usual updates on our own hand knitting projects yeah
we’re going to start with me on my project which is the st. lunaire greek’
by jennifer bill here it is here there’s not a lot of work being done on it but
it is knit on very small needles at a gauge of 32 stitches so it is going to
take me quite a while it’s I’m doing it on the with the nature’s luxury yarn
which is 50% wool 30% silk and 20% camel it’s a beautiful yarn blend and I’m very
happy with it and I’m doing I’m alternating skeins as you have to do
with hand dyed yarn which I really don’t like just conscientious of yourself I’m
really impressed well I think if you’re gonna use really
good quality yarn you know that costs a bit you’ve got to you’ve got to do your
best you can’t sort of mess around on that so it I have to say even though
it’s gonna take me a while to knit and it’s knitted on very small needles it is
an easy knit and it’s a simple construction and easy to memorize
patterns so it’s not difficult it’s knitted in the round bottom up so you do
the the body and the sleeves separately to the underarms and then you join it
all together and you work the yoke in one piece there is a hem which is split
at both sides on the body you can see that there so you’re actually going to
knit the front and the back of hem separately in the flat first and then
you join it in the round but I think the real special details about this design
is the patterning that sheet that Jennifer uses all over it so I want to
show you some close-up pictures in so you can really see how beautiful the
patterning is and how it looks really fantastic with this yarn
so you can see that the textured patterning on the hem is very pretty
with the yarn this section is really slow to knit in a way because to create
the texture you purl two stitches together and then before you drop those
stitches off the left-hand needle you knit two together into the same two
stitches so that’s a little bit tedious but it does create is really lovely
bubbly texture which I think looks fantastic with a variegated yarn and
then the main body of the sweater has an all-over variation of a basket weave
pattern with little eyelets and that’s really easy to memorize but the very
special design detail is the twisted stitch cables that run up both sides
from the split hem to the underarm and also down the inside of the sleeves it’s
a really beautiful sort of delicate twisted stitch diamond cable and it’s
done on a background of reverse stocking stitch and what I think is really
interesting is that Jennifer has got those twisted stitch diamond cables to
meet up or match up exactly at the underarm so you’ve got a panel coming up
the inside of the body and the panel coming up the inside of the sleeve and
the little diamond points meet exactly at the underarm and that would take a
lot of effort to grade through multiple sizes I think yes that’s a real
achievement yeah it’s not just mechanical yeah that’s amazing but I
love that little detail and actually if you look at a lot of Jennifer’s designs
you’ll see that she has these beautiful little details hidden in quite intimate
places which gives the garment a bit of mystery I think little surprises yeah
cuz you’re not gonna sort of walk around like this but if you do sort of lift
your arm up and have a bit of a scratch and another knitter looks and thinks oh
my goodness those diamonds are matching yeah something is going to stop you in
the street under here or another you know dressmaker or somebody who knows
that these lovely details yeah cuz that’s that Nina dress making that’s
kind of standard to look at how patterns yeah
meet up on the scenes it’s what makes something beautiful and it doesn’t
to be in an obvious spot having it in a in a unusual spot where you think you
could get away with it but it’s actually really beautiful I think adds value and
mystery to the garments so well done Jennifer I think that I think I really
enjoy those details so jennifer has designed the sweater with about seven
centimeters or three inches of positive ease and I’m playing around with that
the pattern says to start on the sleeves and then do the body and I’m starting on
the body first and the reason why I’m doing that is that I need to know how
much positive ease I’m going to end up with across the chest because that’ll
determine how narrow I do my sleeves and the stitch count of my body chest and my
combined with my upper arms will determine how deep I’ll end up having my
yoke and and how I’ll work the yoke so that’s why I’m starting with with the
body so as I said she’s doing it with quite a lot of positive ease and I
whenever I do it a garment I do try to modify it to suit my body type in the
best way that I know how to and as I’ve mentioned before my hips and bum area is
quite a lot bigger than my upper body so you’re talking about your curves again
if I don’t put in just a slight bit of waist shaping I can look a bit like a
triangle no there is nothing wrong with triangles but triangles are very
important they are very structurally they’re very important but I prefer to
look less like a dramatic triangle so I’m just putting a little bit in now
normally of course I would put it in the side seams but Jennifer has this
stunning cable design down there and I don’t want to mess up that and I also
don’t want to put any decreases in the basket weave patting on either side of
the cable because that would also mess up the look of it I think it wouldn’t
look so neat and pretty so I’m gonna do all my waist shaping well I have done my
waist shaping simply through changing needle sizes so if you can help me you
know I started off with a size three
millimeter down the bottom and that gave me a gauge of about 28 stitches four
foot ten centimeters and then I went down to 2.75 and then to point five and
then 2.25 I’m finally on to millimeter needles which is giving me a gauge of
about 33 or 34 stitches and that’s just giving me a just a very slight gentle
tapering effect but it always amazes me how much a quarter of a millimeter
difference will make a needle size you know over the width when you take the
whole circumference yep it’s it really is an amazing thing isn’t it yep things
that up so you have to do a swatch if you want something to fit you perfectly
it just shows you you really have to swatch yeah but anyway so working on the
body with chat by changing needle sizes has actually given me like a big piece
of material that’s worked as a massive gauge swatch yeah because like I said
I’m bigger around the hip so I’m not going to increase back out to the same
width is what I started on down here but I’ll know exactly the needle size to use
to give me the ease that I want here and that’s also going to help me choose the
needle size for how I’m going to do my sleeves because this that the design has
got three-quarter length sleeves and because Jennifer’s doing it with a with
quite a loose fit she hasn’t put any shaping in her sleeves so the
circumference of the of the cuff of the sleeve is the same as the circumference
of that upper arm I’m not going to do that I’m going to do mine slightly
tapered and I will know how to do that based on what I’ve done on the body so
that that’ll be really helpful for me there and if I show you a picture now of
Jennifer’s design you can see that it has a fare our motive around the yoke
now I may need to shorten the yoke above the patterning because mine’s going to
be all over and more fitted so I’ll have to figure out how to do that and I might
also need to start my decreasing in the ferrule pattern earlier and again I
might have to do that by knitting the top third of the ferrule patterning in a
smaller needle size but I don’t actually need to know any of that yet until I’ve
done my body and my sleeves up to the armhole so that’s the update on my
saintil uno de que very good my current project is the Miura cow by olga maria
calf alien i found it good that you said that your project is a really easy knit
andrea why well because in my world this is a really easy knit it is a very
simple pattern in it it fits my mental capacities and energy right now very
well so i’m enjoying it i’m knitting it out of the leftover yarn from one of
your projects andrea the nightingale which is designed by nora gone the yarn
is the aberdeen 3 ply by Alice d’amour in the Pebble Beach colorway look at
that it is a really beautiful callaway there yeah I’m not sure he’s
gonna get this this product this beautiful cowl when it’s finished I
actually looked up in the dictionary the definition of cowl and that was
interesting it is actually a male garment although generally in the
Knitting well that seems a female thing it is a male gamete well it’s unisex
yeah yeah okay anyway in the dictionary a cowl refers to a thing it has a hood
yeah but then it comes down into a cloak sort of thing that it’s a closed cloak
and traditionally it was worn by monks and also nuns like a poncho it’s kind of
like a poncho with a hood in Wikipedia they have a reference you know see also
and then it goes to hoodie and if you’re looking in those sorts of references
there’s nothing that refers to something like this a garment like this so
essentially the Knitting world has a very own definition of hell yeah so
you’re actually meant to be a religious garment yeah and look completely
different to what I’m making here so I’m not sure he’s gonna get it I’ll show you
a close-up of the the patterning on this olga in the design
the patent does recommend that you use needles which are slightly smaller than
the needles which are specified for the yarn that you’re using and the reason
for that is to bring out the the design and the edges a bit stronger and I’ve
done Errol Ella Graham that’s right I’ve done that and it does work and I think
the parallelograms here coming out really beautifully you sort of get the
shadowing around the edges and it looks really cool so I’m really enjoying it
I’m just a bit over halfway there’s meant to be eight repeats of this
vertical pattern here I’ve done five and a bit so I should be finishing this week
and I’m a little bit nervous about that because I think andrey has been nice and
giving me an easy relaxed project in this but I suspect there’s a bigger
challenge coming for me yes you my name’s Natalie
I didn’t so much to get into knitting as Nathan got into me I grew up in a family
of people who very he or just making noodle crafts and tailoring so basically
I had no escape my great-grandma was a machinist for Marks and Spencers when
they used to have UK manufacturing as a girl right from being my mum and grandma
always made clothes for me my grandma did most of the next thing my
mom did most of the sewing and so most of the stuff that was my favorites ware
and things that my mom and grandma had made after a couple of what looked like
wrong turns in retrospect I currently work as a teacher at Moody college
teaching garment construction or clothes making and they also design knitwear for
knitting magazine which is published by and GMC
so what I try to do with both of those is to create a kind of creative escape
for people who come to my classes in the unit or who knit my patterns because
they need a creative outlet or they just want to put their own stamp on things or
create something for their wardrobes that suits them rather than having to
rely on mass market stuff doesn’t fit them very well
I always try to design knitwear will choose sewing projects that fit
seamlessly into people’s lives in my opinion good design should be as
beautiful as it is functional when something is really well designed it
just fits seamlessly into your life you don’t have to think about adjusting it
or configuring it or anything like that it just works for you and you can just
be yourself so first thing they talk to you about is my very first jumper here
I’ve learned to sew before I learn how to knit and this garment was very first
thing I ever knitted miles in my I think late teens and I made this and this was
a bit of a rite of passage because you know need to get that sense of what it
takes to complete something you just need to start somewhere
and just get to the end that you know what you
having you to get something made and so I’m really proud of this he has a few
slightly ropey details my cert my seams obviously have improved a lot since then
I just over cast this because that was all I could really figure out how to do
but it is still in one piece and it just reminds me that you know I’m teaching
beginners that you know this is a big milestone for them and this reminds me
of how I felt at the time when I made my first jumper so this second one is
scenic called little waterfalls and this was one of my earlier designs finishing
magazine which was published in August 2014 I love this one because it has a
good memory for me and designing so I discovered the pattern by accident in a
way I was trying to get that all conveying a sense of movement through
having these quite sharp decreases in the pattern and the dance a bit came
about by accident and I was casting off the swatch because I often boards of
them with gutter but it gave the pattern lift that I needed because I was really
unhappy that it was looking quite flat and one-dimensional wasn’t conveying the
sense of running water that I wanted once I am hit upon that and thought that
striking it would be a really lovely way to go I decided that it was going to be
a garment that was going to have a really simple shape just this you know
dominating and just let the pattern do the talking so this third design of my
love chosen here is one of my most recent for knitting magazine and is
called the nosed a cardigan included this one because this was probably
technically speaking my most challenging design to date you can see here that’s
got a really nice panel of flow is going up the center fronts when I was creating
the pattern those were in particular about where I wanted them to fall for
each size I mean it to be exactly the same because the square neck was really
important the pattern cutting teacher I had was quite other thing about
necklines because they framed clothes and so when I’m designing anything I’d
like to just you know use a neckline that’s really flattering so because of
the own placement it meant that breathing it was bit
and it took a lot of trial and error and mistakes that’s you know I had to go
through in order to get it the way I wanted
however you know some people it might just look like an ordinary vintage style
cardigan but to me it was something really important because it just showed
that you know there’s always a way to get what you want when you’re designing
when you have an idea in mind so this last one I’m gonna hold up he’s my
favorite design for knitting and it was also my very first front cover as well
so this is the bully sweater which was on the cover in I think it was about May
2017 and the brief was for nineteen forties which I really like of the
decade in fashion generally and when I was putting this together and everything
inside told me that it was a good design but nobody was interested at the time so
it had to wait about three years before anyone liked it so once Christine the
others here at nixing in fact yep this is perfect I thought yes finally someone
is interested and then but there was another hurdle when I had to call her
one too literal because the original yarn I wanted which was a double net
wasn’t available so let’s go through another bit of you know more hardship
but difficulty getting trying to find a yarn that would work with good stitch
definition but we got there and it’s on the cover which is this one here
and there they both are so a really proud moment for me and a milestone for
me as far as designing which misses Thank You Natalie for your beautiful
contribution there I can imagine that Natalie would be a really great teacher
patient and encouraging particularly for beginning knitters what I saw there is
that she is still very much in touch with what it’s like to be a beginner I
love the way she pulled out the first government that she hadn’t recognized
what an achievement that is yeah it’s cool it is you need to recognize you
sometimes you get frustrated with you get frustrated and then I have to point
out how beautiful it is actually yeah yeah yeah I also thought she’s got a
really strong basis with the training and the work that she’s done what is it
as a pattern cutter you’re dressmaking as well yeah yep I could imagine her
students totally enjoy her classes and I hope you all saw the lovely way shaping
detail that she had on both of those vintage garments that she designed and
also when you saw the the cable flower not the flower cables that ran straight
up panels yeah straight into the the square collar that was done perfectly to
the stitch if you just go back and have a look at that how exact that was that
would have been really hard to grade yep extremely hard to grade that’s that’s an
amazing achievement actually yeah very cute
so thanks Natalie now we have a year-long crochet along as many of you
know and there’s been fantastic projects entered into that crochet along and
people have been inquiring about my own project how that’s coming along so I
thought I’ll give you the quickest update the new viewers I am actually a
very inexperienced crochet ER in fact I would call myself a beginner and I first
was motivated to learn crochet because of Murray Wallens design she
incorporates crochet in her NetWare designs in a stunning way to a stunning
effect but I didn’t actually get around to doing anything about that idea until
we interviewed Janie crow the the UK crochet designer and then I decided to
tackle probably one of her most challenging heirloom blankets to
teach myself how to crochet so it’s a massive project I want to show you a
picture of it here it’s called bohemian blooms and it uses
a selection of beautiful row and yarns now it is a crazy thing for a beginner
to do but it is technically possible because the way she designs her heirloom
blankets is you start off with the easiest section and then each section
gets progressively harder and builds on the skills that you’ve already learned
until you end up doing extraordinary is beading and baubles and overlay and all
kinds of difficult things and it’s just saying that’s a really stunning looking
blanket so I’ve given myself a ridiculous challenge I do expect it to
take me well over a year but I’ll tell you what I’ve done so far you have seen
these side panels and there were four of them
they were very tedious for me to do not because they’re difficult but because
you’ve got striping and you’ve got all these ends to weave in but I’m I’ve
finished the four of them and that’s great and but they are easy for a
beginner because you’re only starting off with a UK double crochet so any of
the terminology that I’m you saying now is all UK terms just not to confuse you
so this is all just double crochet so you get a ton of practice in double
crochet and then at the end you have this surface stitch in that pink which
is very pretty that’s also very easy to do so for long outside panels is the
first thing you have to do next you have to do out of these tiny little squares
here and they’re going to be corner blocks is eight of them for various
different wider panels so there’s a whole lot of sections in this and that
the most challenging thing with this blanket I’m finding so far is making
sure that each of my pieces are the correct size that they’re meant to be
because you have to think of it like a huge big jigsaw puzzle that they all the
pieces need to be the correct size so when it’s finally put together it lays
flat and even and that’s been a challenge for me I as you know I often
knit at a tight gauge I like the look of a firm fabric and it’s been a challenge
for me too loosen my crochet up because my natural
instinct is to think that it looks too loose or not neat enough I like a look
of a neat stitch so the very first one I did here it hasn’t got the outside ring
on it but it was about 2 centimeters too small so that I my goodness I’m gonna
have to just loosen up here so I have done that now back to showing you one of
the neatest ones so I have to say I am a little bit disappointed with how my
crochet looks I don’t think it’s particularly neat but that’s just part
of being a beginner and I’m just gonna live with it anyway so the stitch is
involved here ok so let me tell you how to do eight of them and in order for me
to try to make sure that the eight are all the same size I started off with
doing the inner circle eight times and I’ve got you know circle in a circle
right yeah see it’s a square and it has an inner circle yeah
so I’ll very quickly tell you the stitches because I am as a beginner
quite proud of learning different stitches it’s basically just using a UK
double crochet and a UK treble crochet and then you do this fancy back post
stitch in the dark pink around the outside so there’s eight of those all
the same size very happy and then you turn those little circles into still
looking for a neat one here you turn those circles into a square by adding
little corners to them and that is you’re just doing progressively longer
stitches so you’ve got the double crochet then the half treble then the
treble and then the double treble and that gives it that that’s sort of
progressively longer stitch which makes it into an edge and then we’ve got
double crochet around the outside I’ve done four of them fairly pleased with
them just got four more to go that was actually a nice relief because
it wasn’t as exhausting yet but you can start to see the color it’s gonna be a
very you know beautiful elegant sort of colorway you
four colors yeah yeah yeah it’s gonna be lovely so that’s nearly finished and
what comes after that is a section of wider panels that involve quite a lot of
techniques so you’ve got apparently you’ve got fancy wavy stitches in there
lots of different colors and there’s baubles and there’s also beading so
it’ll be my next challenge show you down yeah let’s go meter but I thought I’d
just pop in there to show you that I haven’t given up it’s still coming and
the cow runs until January until January yeah or longer so you might extend it so
anyone who want this is an opportunity for anyone to just slowly get into
crochet to expand your skills start with an easy project easier than mine if you
want to no problem at all a dishcloth and then eventually get to something
quite bizarre and challenging you my name is Matias I make shoes some of
you all know the expression stick to your knitting meaning stay within your
area of expertise in German the corresponding expression is just applied
by China and Iceland which we can translate as shoemaker stick to your
lasts and this here is a pair of lusts and it’s one of a big collection that we
can see behind me what’s fascinating to me is that this pair of lusts actually
is an exact replica of somebody’s feet so we’re gonna look at the last in a
little bit more detail in a moment but right now Matias can you tell me how you
got interested in the craft of shoemaking the most important thing from
years that you can produce something with your hands from the first step
until the last step and you can leather is a very nice material where I can work
with and the feet is very interesting it’s very it’s not so easy like a hand
the feet is very sensitive and all the biomechanic there are a lot of things
you have to think about it’s not only producing the show you have to think
about the walking and yeah that’s one of the most thing what I prefer off this
job yeah and tell us about the training that you did to become a shoemaker yeah
first of all I want the job for two years and then I decided to do it for my
own in my own business and it’s now 15 years ago and yeah the very funny way
and the first year we produce 17 pairs of shoes and now we are producing one
pair per day something like that okay who are you main customers what sort of
people come in buy shoes from you yeah we’ve got three different types of
customers 20% of the customers have got a problem to find shoes or to pay take
the one leg is a little bit longer or the feet is smaller they’ve got this
kind of problems 10% they want to have individual shoes yellow one yellow boots
I don’t know something like that yeah and the most of the clients and this is
the the important they laughter handcrafted they want to
come every time in some weeks again and I wanted to see how we produce a pair of
shoes and yeah that’s a good way of working with this kind of customer can
you walk us through the process from the piece of tanned leather right up to the
finished pair of shoes so at the beginning we are starting with the
measurement of the lead the client is stepping in a foam and this is where we
can see the rally F of the bottom of the feet for the automatic inside so then
we’re taking a pencil and make the lines around the feet to see what kind of feet
we’ve got in front and we take the measurements around the feet to get it
in the third dimension so this is the measurement at the beginning then we
start producing a pair of last and the last we are using four for the test
shows that’s the next step the test shows is very easy built shoe and the
client can walk with them for two weeks and after the time the sweat is making
an imprint inside we’re getting the usuals back cut them off and we can see
how good was the fitting okay when everything is fine then we start
producing the upper leather and it’s the client can room can choose what kind of
shoe he wants to have and then we are getting and cutting off of the leather
and stitch them and this upper leather is going down here in the workstation
and that we are producing the shoes so the first steps of the shoe production
here downstairs is that we pull the leather over the last that is the
outside lever the inside leather the front cap and the back cap when
everything is pulled over the last we make the frame around and then it will
be hand-stitched all around the shoe then we fill it off
with cork material and the the both leather swords at the end the put on the
the heel and when everything is finished we pull out the the whole last polishing
the shoes and then it will be ready and that’s totally for a pair of shoes two
or three months okay and how many hours work is that in total
thirty five thirty to thirty five okay you’re obviously working a lot with
leather do you get to work with leather ass from the region or where does it
come from and what sort of leather do you actually use so the most of the
leather what we are using is calf leather from the cuff and it’s very good
it’s good for the winter for summer it’s good for cleaning it’s it’s a leather
where you can produce a pair of shoes where people can walk with it for 20-25
years and this is coming here from France from Germany and from Austria
people’s feet change over time they might put on weight or take off weight
or I think even just with aging your feet can change if a customer of yours
has bought a pair of shoes and they should be lasting 20 to 25 years what
can you do if their feet do change in some way okay when a client is calling
us after some years and wants to have another pair of shoes and he says I’ve
got a problem with my small teeth here at the side then we are taking the shoes
change it inside take the inside soil out and put a little bit more cork on it
or walk away and when we change the existing shoe then we are taking the
last and changing the last also when it’s an update and when when your feet
is changing the last is also changing not everyone can afford custom-made
shoes so if what advice would you give somebody who is wanting to buy a pair of
standard shoes for men shoe is it’s very easy I would everytime say that the
people should buy shoes a good year where to choose no because you can
repair it for a long of time for a long of years and you have to pay about 200
250 euros for this kind of shoes and I would go to Auto paddock to buy a pair
of auto panic inside soles okay and this combination I think that
they’ve got a good pair of shoes for a good price and that gives you the
beautiful fit yeah that’s right yeah great so I’ve taken off my boots actually
these are my RM Williams my favorites an old Australian brand I really love them
but I’m not sure that I’m looking after them properly so Matthias can you give
us a few tips yes of course and rocks so the most important thing is to use the
shoe tree yeah yeah the biggest danger for the leather is
the sweat of the feet yeah and so a shoe field shoe tree made of wood and not a
Polish foot because it had to be dry to take all the sweat this is the most
important thing that the shoe has got a long life now and after the whole day
when you walked in the shoes and the evening you put in the shoe tree and
this is the most important thing that the all the sweat what is inside is
getting in the wood then we’ve got leather soles it’s another good tip to
put the shoes at the evening on the side that the sole also can get Drive and
this both things are very important for I think 70 percent of the whole shoe
polishing right that’s the first step then when you want to polish your shoes
this is the frame so the most of the shoe cream you have to put in in this
small area some people use something like this to put a shoe cream on it but
then it’s so difficult to come inside okay and so that’s the reason why we
take something like this not a small brush that’s from the hair of the pig
and this is for you get the type ROM and the dark brown shoe cream that attacks
another important thing is that you use of eggs without silicon because silicon
is making the leather very shiny but it the leather is getting drive because
it’s like glue and then it’s closed and it’s can’t breathe and so it’s very
important to take a shoe cream what doesn’t has
silicon Vincent first of all I start here and put the shoe cream all around
at this area here all around the frame okay so both shoes
you made met that you don’t have any shiny area on the upper leather
yep so and after that step that it’s very important the most of the people
make a big mistake that take the brush and polishing and polishing so yeah but
with polishing it’s getting a little bit more hot and wet and you you only put it
away but at the end it the rest is on the lever so you make another step you
take a small cloth and then and not polishing money to put the leather what
the skin doesn’t need then put it away like this and then you see this black
shoe cream what you see here this is what what it’s what it was too much yeah
and when you make this it’s getting more easy and a better result and when you
take the brush at the end for polishing and so this is a very important step
yeah only to put away the data what the skin doesn’t need and now we’re taking a
brush and this perps is made from the air of a goat okay now you can take the
classical the cheapest one or the East one is this year what the pig then
that’s very typical from the horse and the best one is from the God when you
feel it is so soft and it was it’s very soft and very close then you’ve got a
very good and easy result of the shoe polisher so yeah take this bit and in
the brush and then to polish sorry here we go so I’m sped on my brush and I’m
giving a matte polish what’s this pitfall so this bit for is when we put
the the shoe cream away with the clothes yeah everything is a little bit dry
right so it’s more easy when there is a little bit spit on it to refresh it
again to make a little bit more soft and then you are polishing so long that you
don’t see the spit again on the leather our carrots for better results and it’s
they’re a little bit easier for the polishing looking beautiful here hey yeah I think
so yeah that’s good thanks you might remember around the beginning
of May that we spent a couple of days in baden-baden for our 21st wedding
anniversary which was really lovely yeah we did take the opportunity to get some
extra material for the show and that’s the interview that you’ve just seen I
really enjoyed meeting Matias very passionate and skilled yeah we thought
that it’s Han make us ourselves you’d really appreciate getting to see other
special makers and craftspeople it’s it’s a real privilege to see inside
their world I think yeah and it was very interesting all of the the different
Harry brushes wasn’t it yeah the goats hair or pigs hair yeah yeah totally
unexpected yeah I have to say and now that you’re the official well you know
how to properly care for beautiful leather shoes you should be the official
bit cleaner now now I’m a qualified shoe cleaner yeah I can see there’s a queue
growing dance I’ve got a few pairs of shoes that really do need some loving
care there’s some skills yeah skilled loving care okay so it’s now
time for us to thank our wonderful patrons who through their financial
support are really making the show available for everyone to watch we do
have to remind you that fruity knitting is a business it is now going to be
full-time work for Andrew as well as me and we have decided to stay independent
so we’re not receiving financial support from advertising or from sponsorship and
we also don’t earn an income on the side through selling anything like yarn or
patterns so we are totally dependent on our patrons support for this show to
continue so if you are watching we do ask you to go to that take the time and
go to the patreon site to become a patreon it’s you can do so for a small
amount and your contribution really makes a difference for us to be able to
continue so thank you very much yep thanks from both of us on that our
Martin story Cal finished at the end of May and that means we’ve locked off the
thread yeah and we’ve selected our three winners it was a really successful Cal I
think heaps of entries there in the main chatter thread and lots of lively
conversations which is great and we have 34 entries in the finished objects
thread which is also terrific we have three prizes three prizes three winners
select before we go on to that we just have to
make some very honorable mentions firstly we wanted to show you these
fantastic pictures of Loulou who is Laban tear on Ravelry Loulou is looking
so happy with her sweater we had to share that with you she needed the
Glacia by martin story in rowan brushed fleece which is a really brilliant yarn
by the way it’s a bulky weight yarn but it’s amazingly light and airy so next we
want to share with you Todd’s excitement because this is the first time he’s
actually finished a cow so Todd who is blunt knitter on Ravelry
finished just in time and he knitted the Cain jumper by Martin story it looks
great on you Todd so a big congratulations from us now before we
announce the actual three winners I want to very quickly tell you a little bit
about the prize so Millie from tribe yarns is donating the three prizes and
it’s three coupon codes to her online store for 25 pounds each and Milius
millie has an online store but she also has a bricks-and-mortar shop in Richmond
upon Thames which is sort of on the outskirts of London so if you do live in
the London area or you’re passing through on holiday I think it would be a
really great place to visit because Richmond upon Thames has got a lot of
other beautiful touristy area things – there’s a poppy factory there there’s a
Hampton Court Palace yeah royal Richmond Park
yeah and Kew Gardens yeah so you could make a really lovely day of it we
actually sometimes drive through that area on the way on our way to whale so
we should stop and answer and pop in say hello sometime could do that so merely
also has a huge online shop and she’s independent and she only stalks things
that she personally really adores so looking through she’s got many of the
top yarn brands and hand-dyed companies but she also has very affordable
favorites like West Yorkshire spinners and coop knits so the winners can look
through and pick exactly what they want as their prizes and each winner gets a
coupon code for 25 pounds our first winner is entry number 11 who is Julie
from Townsville queensland australia and julie is julia
place on Ravelry and she needed this really gorgeous Argyle vest for her
grandson I love the classic colorway that she chose and she knitted it in
drops baby marina I think it looks fantastic on the billiard table
Julie’s photos are really clear so you can see how really beautifully it is
knitted and how neat the finishing is around the neck so that’s a massive well
done from us Julie our second winner is entry number 11 who is Georgie and
Georgie since them on Ravelry and Georgie new to this really cute little
cropped Farrell cardigan called Esprit and she used a mixture of Jameson and
Smith’s to play jump away and hedgehog Firebird skinny singles and if you read
through her project notes Georgie wrote about doing a lot of ripping Andrea
knitting just to get her colorway right and actually long-term viewers might
remember meeting Georgie way back in episode 25 when she was our guest on
leaders of the world I think the cardigan looks super cute on
you Georgie so well done from us the third winner is entry number 12
who is nikkor be on Ravelry so she knitted the D cardigan which is just a
really simple lined classic cardigan and she used Briggs and little Atlantic yarn
which is the woolen spun Canadian yarn and I think it looks fantastic it’s just
really simple and elegant and she’s finished it with some really lovely
vintage buttons and again from what I can see in the photos I think she’s done
just a really a neat finishing job could the three winners send us a personal
message on Ravelry and we’ll get those coupon codes out to you and thank you
very much to everyone who participated there yeah that was the point of the
whole exercise so even if you haven’t finished your project yet doesn’t matter
keep going at it and you can always put your finished project in the Martyn
story thread not the finished objects right so check up on it is our project
in there your project my tiger probably not you better put it in put it in I’m a
little bit slack with putting my photos in yeah
you’re a terrible anyway we’re gonna move on coming up now is the fantastic
interview with John and Juliet Arvin you are gonna love it it’s a lot of fun
they’re great people and we’ll see you in two weeks
yep thanks for being with us today bye-bye
attention all fruity Knitting patrons John and Juliet are offering you a 15%
discount of all their yarns fibre tops and patterns and protic bags and socks
so everything in their online store that’s a really fantastic offer because
as you’re going to soon see the quality of their yarns is really amazing so
thanks a lot to John and Juliet and enjoy the interview welcome to fruity knitting joining me
today are John and Juliet Arbonne John and Juliet are the owners of a
specialist worsted spinning mill in Devon in the UK and over the last two
years that I’ve been interviewing people in the Knitting industry
I’ve kept hearing lots of comments about Jon’s experts spinning knowledge and the
amazing yarns he produces both under their own brand John urban textiles but
also for other knitwear designers and sheep farmers so while John’s expertise
is in the spinning and the machinery Julia is managing it all behind the
scenes many of you will have met John and Juliette at the various yarn shows
around the UK and I am totally thrilled that we’ve finally had them on the show
so we can learn some of John’s spinning secrets and see inside they’re very
interesting mill so thank you so much to both of you for finally coming on fruity
knitting thank you yes finally so because we have viewers from all
around the world can you first describe where you are in Devon what the
countryside is like because I know it’s very beautiful and then tell us about
your meal what kinds of things you’re producing and what your business is us
is we live on Exmoor which is on the coast of North Devon it’s stunning
countryside rolling hills and valleys dotted everywhere the Sheep it’s
absolutely beautiful it’s stunning yes and consequently is
full of sheep and that’s where we source most of our sustainable wall from Varda
wall board and we’re spinning a range of Worcester Jones in our mill Worcester it
being long staple using a various vintage and cobbled together old
machinery to to do it that I’ve sort of developed over the years and John you
did some serious study in textiles before you owned the mill so just tell
us a little bit about that I know you went to Guatemala and Japan for research
and study yep so my background I came into textiles for printing and studied
print at London College of printing I was actually a color matter for a print
innings company and I learned Green printing through that and from
there I went studied textiles in Leicester and I’ve studied textiles and
apparel to a degree level and specialized in spinning and knitting
to that end whilst during the course of one various awards which I was able to
use the finance and look at a side project of mine which was to look at
backstrap weaving in Guatemala and what really caught me there was the different
colors that they use within the different designs which are directly
related to the village that the people are from so you can actually tell where
somebody’s from from the actual Hoople or Garmin they’re actually wearing so
there’s an identity thing going on so I found that amazing in the color
interaction of that also wants Japan looked at whole garment or seamless
knitwear which was in early development at that stage it’s actually a British
development but the Japanese had taken it on and and taken it expanded it much
further and at the time they had a launch which I went to for this type of
machinery and they had a factory boutique there where I went in and was
at a body scan and they actually then produced knitwear to fit me having seen
the body scan I wasn’t sure if it was me or not it didn’t look my shape anyhow
and the idea being that in the future you could go to a factory boutique on
the high streets and be scanned and then have a jumper knitted while you wait
there’s a concept so it was never really gonna take off but I studied that and
looked at that as well and that deformed part of my final dissertation in my
degree as well from there went on and studied in Nottingham and did a diploma
in fashion and textiles and there I was actually looking at the development of
knit stitches from original framework knitted stitches which a lot of the
techniques and stitches they’d used have been lost over the over the time and I
was trying to bring those back into into knitwear well that’s really interesting
no wonder I’ve heard such good comments about your expertise because you really
do have a body of knowledge behind you that’s that’s very interesting to hear
so Juliet what about your role what what do you do behind the scenes I used to
work at record companies so I used to work with pop stars organizing
photoshoots video shoots sleeve design and styling and things like that
I now spend my time channeling John’s creative visions and ideas and and
reining him in and turning them into tops and yarm ranges I also do all the
sales stuff so I look after all the wholesale and the retail and show side
of things so I sort of manage that side of stuff and recently you’ve just
started the annual – haven’t you it’s a new magazine this was your project
wasn’t it I spent the last six months I suppose and the rest developing the
annual we used to do a catalogue every year it has now grown into what we call
the annual this is the first year it’s out it’s 50 pages about us it’s got lots
of photos stuff about our products it’s got some lighthearted things like spot
the difference and beautiful illustrations and it has four exclusive
patterns we we have using our yarn they’re all in the annual and that came
out early this year yes I’ve got a copy I’ve been looking through it you’ve done
a really good job it’s very stylish to look at but it’s also fun it’s like a
fun magazine to read so yeah congratulations I know now Jon you’ve
been collecting and restoring old milling equipment and I don’t know
anything about machinery but I can appreciate that they have a real beauty
about them so is there a piece of machinery that that perhaps has a
particularly interesting story or somehow has a special meaning to you or
is there a machine that you’ve always got a grumpy and moody troublesome
relationship with all the machines have got something special to me in terms of
their nature and where they’ve come from and and the way they operate and
particularly I suppose Butler that the spinning machine holds
quite dear and because it’s named after the last wood stood spinner in Halifax
and it’s quite a new unique machine that it’s a small sample set that was made
for a spinning company where there was only two actually made and I don’t know
where the other one is so it’s probably the only one in existence and this
machine’s pretty bulletproof it can spin absolutely anything in it’s brilliant
and because it’s a small sample set it will go on forever because it’s
basically over engineered so I’ll say that it probably go wrong tomorrow
is it hard to work with machinery can you just give us an idea of vintage
machinery do they is it going to last almost forever the good thing about old
machinery is it’s a lot of its solid cast and solid steel and I really did
make these things to last and also because they had to withstand vibration
I mean modern machinery now is is a lot lighter not so heavy and not so heavy
duty and basically a lot of press steel and things like that and they use a lot
of more electronics and obviously computer controls with the older
machinery it’s more hands-on and more changing gears so in doing that you can
actually see how the machine actually functions and in doing that you can
actually see when something’s going wrong and it’s just a bit more hands-on
but it’s more real and you’re more in tune with it than you are of a modern
machine I think most modern machines that the operators are just machine
minders the pressing buttons and impressing the buttons they don’t
actually see what it is they’re actually doing whereas our machines it’s getting
a spanner out don’t changing a cog setting something
up adjusting a gap and then you can see exactly what it’s doing or not that’s
the case might be yeah so you mentioned one of them’s got a
name called Butler do they all have names
well we rescued and moved and revamped and put back together all our machinery
they’re like members of the family really and they all have characters yeah
you know I sort of yeah you get sort of used to them the way they operate and so
you get quite affectionate they all have name end up having a silly
name some of them are relevant some of her just saw it it’s that name because
it looked like or its but most of them have a name that connects to something
to do with somebody with the machine my favorite machine is called Gillian
she’s the skein winder and she is over 100 years old she’s beautiful all
machine yeah she’s named after a friend of mine so I’ve noticed you’ve got male
and female names to some of the machinery sort of distinctly have a
agenda yeah I crawl underneath and after sexing that’s how we get to find out
where they are so just very quickly is there a reason why you only do worsted
spinning I prefer was to spin him but it came about because initially when I
moved to Devon I had a sort of loose dream in 2000 to set up a mill and I and
I thought I would do about PACA farmers because there’s quite a few in the
southwest so I literally moved down with nothing and spoke to our packer farmers
and it’s long staple when I I started developing processing for our packer
owners and and it sort of sprung from that really and consequently I’m kind of
glad I went down that route because I do prefer the type of fibers are off on
offer it as a long staple so Worcester is my preferred reason you’ve also said
that you’re very happy to have control over every stage of yarn production at
the mill explain why that’s such an advantage to you what stages do you
think are particularly important to have this control over yeah I have to remind
myself there is an advantage I think the main thing is the quality of the top so
you taking the fiber right from after it’s been scab when actually scouring
here but we set our parameters with the scour and get it professionally done and
then once we’ve got control on it we we exactly what we’re going to do to our
fiber and prepare it what we’re going to remove from a five of what we’re going
to act five or in terms of blending or removing
short fibers or vegetable matter if we want to take stuff out and I suppose the
most important machine for me is the comb that’s like the cleaner of the
operation and that turns what would normally be a what’s classes are sliver
into a fiber top and it removes short fibers of vegetable matter and if we do
it properly we get the right staple variation in the tops which if I don’t
do that that can disrupt the way the yarn spins
and cause all sorts of problems so that’s that’s the real key to what we do
combing and also think first of all the fleece quality that you initially get is
really important isn’t it oh god yeah I mean it’s not a magic system you’re not
going to take something poor quality into something good so you cut you’ve
got you’re stuck with what you work with so it’s down to us to specify and select
the fiber and be very careful about how we buying that to that end we don’t just
buy it willy-nilly we have a really good wool agent and we use the wallboard as
well and we get to see the fiber especially down at the wool wall because
we’re really near to them so we can see what’s coming in and we can also get the
fiber tested and evaluated which is all quite important you need to know that
it’s been graded correctly there’s all sorts of issues within the fiber that
could cause problems in the process in order spun yarn and like I say it’s not
a magic system you can’t if it’s bad to start with it’s going to be bad at the
end so it’s that’s key to making sure that what we’ve got is right yeah so
much knowledge really does go into the process of designing a top-quality yarn
so what are some of the decisions that you have to make along this process for
example is there any key principles that you use as guidelines or are you are
there any flaws or weaknesses that you’re consciously trying to look out
for to avoid okay the sort of guiding principle for for making a yarn is it’s
the end basically is what you want how do you
the textile of garment to perform at the end of it and then you work backwards so
if you want a really good stitch definition if you want luster if you
want the squeegee and bouncy yarn a very fully on very tight yarn in the garment
do you want it to be a break a resistance to abrasion for example then
all these factors you have to think about as far as the end in use then you
go back and then you go to the start and then you decide what fibers you’re going
to select and how and how much twist and what’s what fibers going to be performed
better and what sort of blend is going to work and what sort of coloring and
then you how you’re going to dye the tops etc do you want a melange of color
do you want the yarns we die so there’s a whole host of things but it’s the end
if you see what I mean rather than if the start yeah that makes sense is there
anything that you are consciously trying to avoid that you know you want to any
flaws or weaknesses you’re always aware the flaws and weaknesses basically you
could sort of compensate for those or you decide that I can live with that
because it’s it’s say like it’s a very soft line like with merino merino compel
you twist it too hard and it loses all its softness and bounce so do you want
it to be a hard yawn or do you want it to be soft or do you want a monkey with
the fiber which they do have a lot of fiber merino and coat it just just give
it an t pill and things like that so no we want it in a natural state so you
kind of go I want a really good yarn but it’s got to be as natural as possible
when we don’t want to play with the fiber and you know things like that
you’re aware of but you you sort of allow for if you know what I mean in you
yarn so what about your Devon yet yeah and how did you design that okay
well that started on holiday bizarrely because we come across a an exhibition
by an artist a tapestry artist called Jean look at who
that’s poses like the Picasso a tapestry and he was around at the same time fact
they were friends and we’d stumbled across his exhibition and the colors
that this guy used were just incredible and what he did was he had the the the
wall died specifically to his shades and then had all these massive tapestries
produced so we were sort of quite taken by that and I instantly when I could use
his guys colors and make a palette from it and then what we wanted to do was
have a yarn that was basically going to give us a really good definition in the
knit a little bit of luster in it and also a bit bit durable so it’s not going
to be like a soft super soft yarn it’s more of a real robust yarn that’s going
to last and what better than to use the source of our local environment so we
wanted something that is really unique to Exmoor and devon so we used it made
it with purely from fibers that we could use from from our local area so it’s got
Wendy Darling it our local cross which is Exmoor blue face and blue face Lester
which have all been selected from from a local area so that that development came
about initially from a color influence and then wanting it to be like a good
quality robust yarn for another example I could knit by numbers is a great one
to illustrate how we know he produces you’re on and sort of the technical
things that go into it initially we dye the tops and then
Brendan so we get the sort of color effect so it looks quite stripy in the
actual tops and what we do is blend in increments of white so you can see from
a dark one it’s getting lighter so we’ve got set formulas for these to produce
colors so that’s that’s in its own right something that we have to stick to and
be quite stringent about from there we then start making it into a roving so
you can see that the colors are starting to merge a little bit more and from
there we then produce finer roving this is all done on Bartlett by the way my
favorite machine which is ideal for sort of short runs
and all the way through here we’re controlling the amount of twists we put
into the rovings the weights of the rovings and the way that the rovings are
going to perform and the actual color balance that we’re going to get in the
final yarn we could over blend this and it would just look flat but we keep it
so it’s still got a little bit of striping in there so that when it comes
through you get this lovely melange effect in a final yarn when it comes to
the final your honor just so happens it’s sitting behind us red so I was
talking only about keeping merino soft and squidgy and and that that’s what it
does and so to get that balance right and I have to put enough twists into
this yarn so what I feel makes it perform but also gives it such a
beautiful squash and feel to it and if I don’t get that balance right that yarn
will come out wrong come out tight if we haven’t got the balance right within the
fibers in the first place we’ll get uneven yarn as well so you’ll get thick
and thin and yarn so all these things we have to be careful make sure we’ve got
absolutely bang-on and when you produce it in the singles we spin it in singles
we have to then fold it or ply as most spinners would say and that balance has
to be absolutely bang-on as well because if you don’t get your amount of twists
right in the singles before you fold or ply it you can make a very yarn that’s
that’s not balanced at all when we’ll twist in the knitwear so I don’t have
you ever had any knitwear that stuff is spiraling on you because the yarns are
all out of kilter and out of balance and which is one of the reasons I don’t like
single spun yarns because you have to pressure set them etc so it’s all about
that getting a balance right getting a feel right getting the handle right
getting the tops right and then if you done everything right from the start
then you’ve got a good yarn that’s such an interesting answer just a really
quick side note yes is there any way a knitter can pick up a yarn and and tell
from looking at it whether it’s balanced correctly or not yeah if you take a
strand of yarn and just unravel it from your ball or from the skein or whatever
it is and then just hold it straight between your fingers and then let it
back on itself if it starts twisting it still got a little bit of lively twist
in there and if that doesn’t come out then that will that will stay in your
knitwear I mean a certain amount okay but it’s particularly lively or your
knitwear all start wanting to twist and distort so that’s a good test yeah yeah
just do that hold it straight and then let it go on itself and see if it starts
spiraling back yeah I mean do it to a point but if it’s really excessive then
you’ve got a problem there that’s a really good tip so another example would
be Exmoor sock is is this is more of a technical yarn I suppose because you’re
starting to put elements in there that are going to give it good wearability
and also allow it to go into a washing machine so the reason these are all
these sort of things have done is because in modern modern garments or
people was knitwear they basically want it to go in the washing machine and they
don’t want to have to darn things so you end up compensating for that so
basically what we’ve done here is with the wall we’ve treated the wall and
we’ve given what’s called a her cassette treatment which is the treatment of the
outer layer of the wall so you partially burn away the outer scales on the fiber
and then it’s coated with a polymer which adheres to the fiber so it
smoothes the fiber off and it removes the outer barbs from the fiber which is
the things that when you wash or agitate your garments in in a hot liquid with
which soap the fibers are able to move and the barbs lock the fiber and then
you felt things yeah whether Barb’s that were removed and that the fibers can
actually relax and go back again so you don’t feel so that’s what super wash or
her corset treatment does and the other thing we do with this is put nylon in
which improves the way again so in terms of abrasion with a sock because this is
a soft key on it that’s the hardest part and on the hill and in the foot that any
any textile is going to go under go on the body and so you need it to have some
sort of strength there and the Nilan gives you that as long as
also with a very sort of rugged wall the other thing you can do as well I mean
we’ve selected fibers in there which are quite durable but is increase the twist
so increase the twist and the singles and the fold to make it more durable
again so it feel a little bit tighter than some of our other yarns and a
little bit crisper and that’s that’s due to the treatment that we’ve given it as
well so what fiber blend have you got in that one so this is our X more blue face
and some kora dial in there the core Adele’s given an extra staple length and
helps the the X more blue face lock in so the fibers don’t come out so much and
also it’s got some swar blurs in there to give it some color so we’ve added
that so you can see it’s not a solid looking color and that comes through
when we over dyed so you get these sort of mottling in New York and then 10%
nylon in there as well to give it its durability so what’s the process of
working then with other small businesses who either as sheep farmers want you to
make yarn from their fleeces or as designers want you to design them a
specialty yarn that suits exactly their needs we do also make some yarns for
some other people we make Commission yarn for Murray Wallen we’ve developed a
yarn for her which is called British breeds and we’ve also make a yarn for
Rachel daughter of a shepherd using her own fiber so it’s people with the same
ethos and thoughts that we’d like to work with there’s a long process that
goes into it before we actually make the yard yeah I mean for instance when
Murray wollen come to us she wanted a specific British breed yarn to work
within her intricate fare our designs and so she had a definite color palette
a definite idea of what she wanted to yarn to be and how to perform so I had
to then work with her and select fibers that we thought were going to work
together and produce what she wanted in terms of
a stitch definition on the type of work she does and also give her that color
effects are sort of slightly Tweedy effect in the in the yarn as well which
again this sort of color blending that we do with tops so we dye the tops and
then merge them together we can do that to create almost like a Tweedy looking
yarn so that was a perfect fit for Marie and the problem was she then came to me
with a scale of colors which then I had to color match which is fine when you’re
mixing paints you’ve got to mix fiber in colors to recreate a yarn so that that’s
quite complex and quite a long process to actually do that and then get them
bang on given that the parameters you’re working with the shades of the Venetian
tops may not be exactly right for the color that you’re trying to get at the
end so we came up with a closest match we could using a specific dyed range of
tops and yeah we’re coming pretty close with that and then we’ve got the year on
absolutely bang-on in terms of the way she wanted to perform in terms of the
type of fibers that we’ve blended together and I think she’s pretty happy
with it I think so much so that it’s selling out very quickly and we’re
struggling at the moment to keep up with we’re getting there so then can you say
what breeds of sheep are in her yarn yeah she’s got Wednesday oh and she’s
got X more blue face she’s got the Warblers and she’s got blue face Lester
but she’s got the Devon double sorted blue face Lester which is its graded
once then graded again it’s like graded grains make finer flowers in it but this
is grading twice as it has improved the quality at the blue face with them I
don’t know if people know but you get a lot of Kemp in blue face and if we take
a lot of that out and when it’s gone for a second time it’s it’s unbelievable
when the starting point for this particular fiber was incredible anyhow
and I thought we should go into something special so Murray was the
perfect when she came knocking on the door thought she needs to have this
fiber in a yarn so and that luster and softness in there superb well she’s a
lucky girl isn’t she but you know I’ve got things like that
all the time and I’m always coming up with ideas and I’ve I’ve got a thousand
yarns bubbling in my head and I know that different characteristics of the
different fibers going to produce different yarns that’s Juliet’s job here
to to rein me in it works with Murray as well she’s got very similar vision to us
yes it really gelled and we only make yarns with people when it it gels it had
that we have to understand where we’re coming from someone comes on board and
nope they’re called the right ideas then you know I’m happy they come to me and
just say make me a yarn you’re coming to go whoa what what’s up what are you
talking about so what do you want it to do you know there’s a lots of questions
yes and Murray’s had a lot of experience being the head designer from Rowan knows
exactly what she wants it’s not it’s not a problem
it’s such a breeze to work with and the same with Rowe Joe Atkinson with
daughter of the shepherd she’s got breed-specific with a heavy burden and
she wanted it to work and it was coming from a farmer a father work so and we
wanted that to work for her as well so a little bit more technical making
that one work because really it’s a little bit on the short side for us and
but we then used swap blurs and it which is a similar color to give it a bit more
staple variation so the spin ability be a lot improved and then the quality of
the yarns a lot better plus it’s quite spongy fibre so it gave
it a bit more fullness to it as well so it’s a good fit what are some of the
other things that you had to do with her yarn like what decisions did you have to
make with the twist or it’s a natural fibre – isn’t it you’ve kept it natural
hey well it doesn’t hold together very well so you’re kind of going we need
something to make this sort of so come together quite quite quite well so yeah
we we’ve just got to be careful the way that we prepped that the tops in the
first place because they can come apart so you’re just just handling it through
the system a lot easier and then the amount of twists you’re putting in the
rovings to keep the thing together as well and making sure it’s not going to
be uneven and then when the actual final spinning and folding again getting that
balance right so we’re not over twisting it where it goes hard but enough to wish
to keep it together and it’s going perform so bitter challenge but then if
you know what you’re doing you can sort of know what parameters you can work to
and get it right so so there must be quite a few challenges in running a
small-scale meal is it hard to keep it at a controllable level we have the
opportunity of sort of expanding our mill not long ago but we we’d like to be
in control and we like to be very hands-on so we have kept it small we’ve
got a small team we’re all very close and very passionate and we like to see
things through and have input from everybody yeah it’s very important for
us I think the important thing is we have a small team as well I can impart
the knowledge that we’ve got and the team can carry on and I think is
important these skills are retained within our meal and not in the army I
think other businesses could be set up I think it’s it’s a struggle it’s not easy
but I think there is a room definitely in the UK and across other countries
where the small specialist meals like ours could be set up you can get the
machinery if we don’t do this sort of thing you know this specialist sort of
skill gets lost and and also sort of the creativity creativity gets lost within
yarns as well yes we definitely want you to pass on your your knowledge before
you both retire it’s coming soon so tell us about the mill membership quickly
well we have a mill membership scheme where you can become a little member
it’s a lifetime membership for us for a one-off fee and you get discount on
every order you buy but we also have a secret page and on the secret pages
which you can only log into you on the website if you’re a male member we have
limited edition yarns we have special things that nobody else has and also
whenever we have a new range coming out we put that on there first so the mill
members get to sample it before anyone else it’s it’s sort of our extended
family our mill membership lifetime membership yeah I just have to mention
that you have this video trailer called a short day at the mill and it’s so well
put together and it’s really exciting to watch and when I watch it I
oh I want to work at your mill – yeah exactly but unfortunately we have to
wrap up the interview now so I’ve just got one last question for you
and that is what is the best thing about being a husband-and-wife team clearly
the room while she answers within there I’ll do the same well we’re both quite
passionate and feisty I suppose but we do give each other space we we work in
different offices which is a which is good every know each other well enough
that we can break each other and have a rid of feisty meeting other sort of some
people have been sitting there and been shocked and then next minute be join a
cup of tea and it’s just forgotten because it’s just work so you know we
were able to switch between our personal life and work life and without it being
a problem we don’t we don’t have bear a grudge with each other do we I think I
let John be John and I let him create and you know and then he lets me rein
him in yeah and then it all seems to come and she forced me into thinking
that I’m making the right decisions and she’s led me down the path we’re quite
fond of each other I think what’s really good is that you probably both have just
as deeper passion for what you’re doing so that ideas you know that you’re both
coming at it from the same level of passion and commitment will you even
breathe it really you live and breathe it so you’ve got to be passionate about
it you’ve got to enjoy it you’ve got to enjoy who you work with and yeah yeah we
haven’t bought the second yacht yeah we’ve only got rubber dinghy really well
it’s been so much fun to talk to you so thank you again for coming on foreign
eating it’s been such an honor and pleasure thanks for having us yeah thank
you thank you for your story that it took so long to get here
okay let’s say goodbye to the audience by

71 Replies to “John Arbon Textiles – Ep. 79 – Fruity Knitting”

  1. Fruity Knitters, you make my heart happy. Another beaut podcast, with lots to absorb and mull over. Thank you!

  2. Great episode. I really liked the handmade shoe feature and the interview with The Arbon's was so interesting.

  3. Fantastic interview with John and Juliet. Their mill is not far in the next county from me and was disappointed to see that they had an open day last weekend. Oh well next time. Loved the whole episode thank you.

  4. Absolutely delightful, loved every single second……had to watch it twice, probably three times, maybe even more

  5. Thank you so much, thoroughly loved the episode, interview with John and Juliet Arbon. I hope that you can get an interview with Kim Hargreaves another one of my favourite designers.

  6. Great episode! I really like your new ‘makers’ section
    , very interesting and fun. Can you lend me Andrew for some shoe cleaning please? Your podcast is an inspiration. Julia.

  7. How can you not love this episode! How great it is to see other people who craft and create. Keep going with that crochet, you are doing fabulous! Andrew needs to give it a go as well. Love to you both. Thank you so much for making the crafting world beautiful.

  8. Loving this episode! I just had to pause it to say that the mill montage was just pure perfection! It must have taken ages to edit. And how did you make it fit the music that well? I laughed out loud at the little bell that went ”ding” like it was a part of the orchestra. Beautiful work!

  9. What a fantastic episode!! Andrea, you have such meticulous attention to detail in your garment adjustments. The interview was so informative; such a cute couple. And what a talented designer Natalie is! So good to see someone that looks like me on your show! Thank so much!

  10. As always fantastic enlightening video!! I always looking forward to seeing the next video. I'm hoping that someday I will be in a situation where I can become a patreon for you. I will love to do that!!!! thank so much!!!!

  11. Andrea, your crochet blocks look quite excellent! Not sure if you have blocked them yet.I will tell you that crochet needs a proper wet block to look properly finished. (Steam blocking doesn’t do as well) It really evens out the stitches and opens up the holes. I would recommend soaking and pinning all your pieces to size as you make them. It will make piecing things together so much easier.

  12. Wow what a fantastic episode! Loved the insight into hand shoe making and the editing at the John Arbon textile mill was so cool and delightful to watch.

  13. Such an interesting episode. I have also been dying to try John Arbon yarn so took the plunge with the generous discount. Even if I get dinged at customs (I’m in Canada) I’ll consider it worth it! Tuesday Fruity Knitting is my favourite day.

  14. When Andrea, and other expert knitters, hold up an exquisite project and say "This is a really easy knit." and then spend many minutes explaining complex patterns along with changes they have made, I want to stop watching and sometimes I do. Because those "easy" knits are anything but and are deflating, yes I mean deflating, to listen to. It makes my first sock that I am knitting seem like it should be really easy, and there must be something wrong with me and my fellow simpletons out here who are sometimes struggling. My confidence flies right out the window. I have knit triangular scarves, multidirectional rectangular scarves using short rows, have become comfortable with hats, have done a bit of lace…Anyway thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Your sweater, Andrea is exquisite! And your podcast is one of the best and I really do appreciate all of the work you and Andrew put into them.

  15. I wrote and sent the previous message as you were discussing the sweater construction and then you did address beginners when Andrew showed his lovely cowl and your efforts at learning how to crochet. The previous comment was in no way meant to sound harsh and I hope it did not. I just needed a moment to vent. Your afghan is going to be gorgeous! Thanks again!

  16. They had an open weekend and I was there on Sunday! Loved every minute and I could have spent a fortune, well I did but don’t tell everyone 😂

  17. So many things to get your fingers caught up in, in a mill. Great film of mill and interview.

  18. What an interesting pod. I truly enjoyed the shoes segment and the yarn segment was fascinating. Love the old machinery.

  19. I am in awe of both John Arbon and Mathias as craftsmen of the highest order. Thank you for sharing their skills with us. In our modern world we need to know about these skills. I am really interested in your needle size experiment as you shape without decreasing or increasing. Andrew, I remember polishing my mom's white work shoes in the late 50"s but I didn't know anything about the spit <laughing>; perhaps just as well because I was a pre-teen at the time! I'm also going to check out Natalie because I glimpsed one of her designs that intrigues me. Thanks for another great show!

  20. Another wonderful episode. I loved the spinning factory. The machines are all very interesting. My dad was from Germany. At night we would leave our shoes on the steps. In the morning he left them beautifully polished. He used all those techniques seen. Thank you for this so I can remember this cherished time from my childhood!

  21. The opening manufacturing sequence for the John Arbon interview was masterful! The music accompanying it was perfect! Well done!

  22. We would love to claim credit for the brilliant video showing the John Arbon Mill, but it was produced independently and we were given permission to use it.

  23. Loved everything! Your new projects, the crochet, the shoemaker, Matthias & the lovely detailed patterns by Natalie, And especially The John & Juliet Arbon interview.

  24. Thankyou for this episode. Really love the music you’ve introduced me to – I’d never appreciated classical musical until I started watching your shows.

  25. Hallo liebe Andrea und lieber Andrew,
    danke für diesen wunderbaren Podcast rund ums Stricken.
    Leider lässt sich in dieser Folge die Übersetzung nicht aktivieren. Ist dies zu ändern?
    Liebe Grüße aus der schönen Kaiserstadt Aachen
    Iris Requard

  26. P.S
    Die Vorstellung anderer Handwerker finde ich sehr interessant. Gerne mehr davon.
    Nochmal liebe Grüße Iris Requard

  27. Great episode! I was especially interested in the spinning insights – as you can imagine. Their video was awesome. It looks like a great place to work!

    The shoe segment was also amazing. I noticed that they didn't mention what a pair of shoes like that would cost. However, you would have to take into consideration that the beautiful shoe lasts 25 years. I have a quality made pair of brogues for piping and they are actually more than 25 years old. Trouble now is trying to find a good shoe maker that can actually do the maintenance on them!

    Thanks for producing such great episodes!

  28. Thank you Andrea & Andrew for "Under Construction." I learn so much from that segment, especially about gauge and sizing. I always need help in deciding if a pattern is right for me or not and then how to change it if not–so many factors to consider. You give me lots to think about in that regard! Well done!

  29. Very much enjoyed the Makers section – a modern day Hans Sachs! I thought that Andrew might launch into Wach Auf at any minute.😎

  30. Thank you for another informative show. I have been considering subscribing to arbor mill textiles. Also appreciated your other guess as well.

  31. Brilliant episode! Love the new Makers section, very interesting to see how shoes are made and how they should be cared for. John and Juliet are a phenomenal pair. So much information on yarn production and it brought back the teachings my mother gave me, when she first taught me to spin. I am always chuffed when my spin has just the very slightest twist when held out to check. When I first started spinning the twist went halfway up my skeins and the fabric reflected this. It was fascinating listening to all John's fibre knowledge!!!! Just brilliant!!

  32. For me this episode was thrilling to watch, the craftsman, their joy, their pride, their commitment. Thank you so much for the thoughtful choices and interviews to you do Andrew and Andrea. My grandfather who was born in 1900 was a shoemaker. So incredible to watch your interview and imagine my grandfather being as passionate about his craft.

  33. Fascinating to see how John Arbon Mill works. My textile Science degree involved a great deal of time working in the Uni machine hall with fabulous old knitting, weaving, carding, etc… machines where I had to learn the history and basics of yarn and fabric production from fibre upwards. This brought back very fond memories :). I'd love to work for them too! Great programme 🙂

  34. Like all your episodes fantastic, desperately making notes . Thank you there should be an Oscars for the quality of this tutorial .

  35. Have you considered a drawing when you get to 50,000 subscribers on YouTube? The winner could get something that you two have knitted together!

    Regarding the crochet: you could always add additional borders of you wanted to have your squares tighter.

  36. Andrew & Andrea thanks so much for fruity knitting. I love watching all the shows. So glad I became a patron. I found the interviews about the mill & shoe making very interesting. Just wanted to say I've learned so much more about yarn & knitting from watching fruity knitting thanks for opening the whole world of wool to us knitters. Keep going.

  37. Thanks for another great episode! I so look forward to each one. You guys do such a great job. I’m happy to support as a patron.

  38. Wow, wow, wow! What a fabulous episode! My husband loved the custom shoe segment (he loves polishing our shoes!) And the John Argon segment was breathtaking. I'm definitely getting some of their yarn! Thank you so much for all you give us with every episode.

  39. Really enjoyed this episode! Great fun and really interesting! Loved the shoe making and the Arbon’s were fantastic!

  40. What a delightful episode. I really enjoyed getting a glimpse into the world of Mattias. The Makers section is great. The intro for John Arbon was really well done. Good work!

  41. Oh my, this John and Julia Arbon segment was better than Prosac. My heart is all a flutter. LOVED, Loved, loved it! Fruity Knitting, you are the best!

  42. Could you get the shoemaker to offer a discount. I sure could use a perfectly comfortable pair. Wonderful episode and I love the sweater you are working on.

  43. What a wonderful interview, I really enjoyed that ! The shoemaker as well was very interesting, quite a good episode all round ! Thank you !

  44. I'm really loving this series 🙂

    The nightingale sweater is divine, as is the little cowl. ~ And dear Natalie; such incredible talent, humility & inspiration. Her concept of #CreativeEscapes is much needed in our world today; a calm reprieve from the din of inequalities, violence & governmental bigotry.

    Your channel truly deserves more views because any knitter from beginner to advanced can benefit from exposure to creative ideas, different perspectives on garments + crafts, etc.
    And yes, I will be adapting needle sizes for sweaters from now.

    Thank you both for your dedication. You bring much joy & sunshine to us all.
    I wish you the very best. xxxx

  45. An especially good episode among so many – well done. I loved the "'Maker"' segment and look forward to some of the varied topics I suspect you have lined up for us.

  46. Another fantastic episode! I really enjoyed seeing the behind the scenes of both the shoemaker and textile mill. I find it so fascinating and definitely see the value in these thoughtfully created items. I also adore that beautiful cardigan sweater with the square neckline and flowers from your makers of the world segment she has some lovely designs.

  47. Please could you put close captions on the video. It makes a BIG difference for me to enjoy your podcast, thank you.

  48. I loved the Makers episode! You are so right that it is so interesting to see some of the details of other makers’ expertise. I look forward to future episodes.

  49. Absolutely fascinating segment on shoemaking! You two put so much effort into your episodes. I need to increase my patreon donation. It is such a treat and a privilege to be able to view your episodes. 💚 Love from usa.

  50. Thank you so much for interviewing John Arbon! I've been dying to learn more about the mill, and the interview was fascinating!

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