This Yarn Show, founded by Maria Benjamin in 2021, is now a collaboration with Zoe Fletcher. They also work together as the newly formed yarn business The Wool Library.
Maria Benjamin is an artist, farmer and farm diversification business owner in The Lake District.
Zoe Fletcher lives in Bolton and has a background in knitwear design and academic research focussing on knit experimentation using natural fibres.
The Farmer’s Yarns is a yarn show with a firm basis on farmers who run their own yarn businesses.
After a frustrating year of COVID and seeing farmers burning wool because the raw material is so devalued, this yarn show with a very clear focus on ‘farm to yarn’ is a positive counter position. There were a lot of wool lovers missing going to yarn shows so a covered outdoor event meant we could host the show while still adhering to COVID guidelines. In total we had twelve farm business stalls and eight businesses that directly support farmers. We also had four demonstration and workshop stalls and shearing demonstrations and Q&A from a female shearer who works Internationally. The event concluded with a discussion event titled ‘How to Grow a Wool Business’ with a panel of four female-led wool businesses and hosted by renowned textile podcaster Jo Andrews.
Farmers were encouraged to attend and to meet the stallholders so they might be inspired to do more with their wool or connect with the wool businesses that support farmers.
In 2022, we plan to hold the event over two days. Day 1 would be workshops and talks and Day 2 would be the yarn show. This allows stallholders to properly participate in workshops and be part of discussions and talks.