With a background in archaeology (we met on an archaeological dig) and a keen interest in wool crafts, starting Alfie Purl Yarns and Textiles seemed like a perfect fit for us, given the long history of Cotswold sheep providing fleece for textiles in our area.
Emma is a lifelong knitter and hand spinner, Foz has a more recently developed interest in weaving, and we both love to talk about our passion and to teach others our skills.
You will find details of our upcoming courses on our Events page.
Cotswold sheep have been valued for the quality of their fleeces for at least a thousand years, although their wool is not much used today. We decided to change that!
The majority of our fleeces are sent to a small mill (we use two, one in Cornwall and one in East Sussex) and processed into either top (a continuous length of combed fibre) or yarn. They are hand dyed by us, and either sold as yarn, or made into woven or knitted items. Emma also offers a small range of unique handspun yarns, including her signature Wild Locks yarn.
We are inspired by the natural world, and our dye colourways reflect our interest in our environment. We sell our yarns here on our website, and also in person at local farmers’ markets in the Wiltshire area. We are based in Wroughton, with the sheep on a farm in Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire.
We started with six Cotswold sheep, and now have branched out into breeding both pedigree Cotswolds and Cotswold crosses (using English Mule and Lleyn ewes). Our sheep are treated rather like pets, and they respond to this by being friendly and obliging.
They even have their own Facebook page, where they have their say about what goes on in their lives; fronted by Christopher the bottle fed lamb, a Cotswold/Lleyn cross, they all have strong opinions about the weather, the other animals, and of course their humans. Here, you can visit their very own blog, where they will tell you all about what they’re up to, and even answer your questions or give you advice in their Ask A Sheep series!