Jenny Knoll Yarns - how we got here
How we began
Leaving a busy professional life in Essex we moved to Shropshire with our three dogs, three ducks, two cats and half a dozen chickens. Our three daughters had already flown the nest and we were ready for a new adventure.
We had found a stunningly beautiful piece of land near our new home, nestled deep into the South Shropshire hills, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
After talking with a couple of old friends we decided to start a business together called Jenny Knoll Farm Ltd, and so our journey began.
Along came the alpacas and goats
My dream job was to be an alpaca farmer, having always loved these gentle creatures, and from this came the idea of a fibre farm. Angora goats produce mohair and combined with the alpaca these two luxury fibres make soft yarns that dye well and are lovely to work with. This meant that the animals would never be sold for meat, and they would remain pet herds.
Being new to farming meant that there was a steep learning curve, especially when the winter of 2017/8 was the harshest in 30 years. Snow drifted higher than than our heads and it was definitely a challenge to ensure the animals were kept warm, safe and well fed.
The farm grows...
Although challenging, farming is fun and rewarding. Everyone at Jenny Knoll Farm has something they can contribute to the growing business - from barn building to hoof trimming, to hand dyeing the lovely yarns, its all needed to keep the animals happy and healthy, and to develop and grow our business.
Jenny Knoll Yarns grew out of the farm business to focus on yarn production and marketing these beautiful yarns and knitted gifts. It began on Etsy, and there is still a shop there. We also sell at local craft markets and through facebook groups and pages.
Jenny Knoll Yarns continues to grow as we breed a few more goats and alpacas, we'll have more fleece to spin and dye into our luxury yarns.
Jenny Knoll Farm Ltd also has lots of projects on the go to diversify our farm. We have planted two cider apple orchards with the intention of brewing our own cider. We will be growing speciality mushrooms, including truffles and porcini. We also hope that people would like to visit our farm to meet the alpacas and goats, and maybe walk an alpaca.