October 31, 2016 @ 12:30 pm
Interview with John Arbon from John Arbon Textiles.
Way back in February, we approached John Arbon about interviewing him for The Crochet Circle Podcast. Spool forward a few months and at the back end of July the interview took place at the John Arbon Textiles mill in North Devon.
Lynne was unable to make it because she was off on holiday a few days later and so the interview is just between John and Fay, although Matthew (Fay's husband) was in the background and helped with the Yarn Challenge video
The mill is a wonderful place, full of older machines that help to bring the whole process to life. Walking around with John, cup of tea in hand, the pride and enthusiasm for the work that they do here is palpable. When you look at the job sheets on the machines and tags for the fibres being processed it becomes obvious John and the team spin yarn for a lot of people. John gives a bit of a run down within the interview, but the chances are that if you tend to buy at the higher end of the British wool/yarn market (think Daughter of a Shepherd, Ysolda Teague, The Little Grey Sheep) then you have used/stashed yarn that has been spun by John.
Fay baked the team a cake to say thank you of having us. Cake and mill bits - a winning combination.
These five skeins were used as part of John's Yarn Challenge and
represent a very small fraction of the yarns spun at the mill.
They also have their own amazing yarns for sale, such as their sock ranges, incredible Knit by Numbers range or alpaca ranges to name but a few. Oh, and if you didn't want to crochet or knit your own socks, you can buy them ready made (in the UK), using John Arbon yarn - I have a pair on my feet as I type and they are lush!
We had planned to video the walk around the mill but as you would expect, it is an industrial process and was too noisy to make out the chatting. So, instead here are a few places where you can see exactly what happens at the mill:
This longer video 'A Long Day in the Mill' shows the mill in full swing and the process from start to finish. It is 8 ins 34 seconds long.
This is a shorter version of the above video - 'A Short Day in the Mill', in case you only have a couple of minutes to spare, though I encourage you to watch the longer version when you can. It is 4 minutes long.
This link takes you to an article that Knit Now did for the magazine when they visited the mill and interviewed John back in 2013. They have done a great job of explaining each part of the process and I couldn't see the point in reinventing the wheel.
John and Juliet exhibit at many of the various yarn events across the UK. You can follow them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Ravelry. You can also buy all of their lovely, yarn and goodies on their website.
If you would like to see more photos from the trip, take a look at our YouTube Channel where you can hear the interview and watch a slide show at the same time.
I'll leave you with this photo. We obviously had to go to the pub that John and Juliet frequent. What we didn't know was that the barman is John's son, Harry. I asked Harry whether he was allowed to wear socks that weren't spun by his Dad and he assured me that he only owns socks from his Dad. Here is Harry proudly showing off his pair of John Arbon socks.