Episode 52 – The Little Grey Sheep

Emma Boyles of The Little Grey Sheep joins us in our feature interview for Episode 52

Emma Boyles from the The Little Grey Sheep is our interview guest in Episode 52. Emma has the largest flock of Gotland sheep in the UK, and we visited Emma on her farm in Hampshire during our Christmas holidays. Emma tells us about her farming philosophy, the sheep, her female shepherdess Susie and the yarns that she produces. Whilst we are in the UK we also visit Dolbadarn Castle in Snowdonia for some Extreme Knitting.

Emma Boyles of The Little Grey Sheep joins us in our feature interview for Episode 52
Emma Boyles of The Little Grey Sheep joins us in our feature interview for Episode 52

We’re going to Canada to meet Jenise Hope, our guest on Knitters of the World. Nailya Plaskey shows us her Big Stitch Beanie in New Releases. Our daughter Madeleine makes a guest appearance to show us her current project, a design by Gudrun Johnston, and there is a short tutorial on a 1×1 Twisted Rib Tubular Cast-On by Andrea.

And we’ve got our own projects, Andrea’s Zweig and my Vest.

Emma Boyles of The Little Grey Sheep

Well Manor Farm dates back to the Tudor times and is a small family farm owned by Emma and her husband Neil. Emma’s yarn is produced from fleece from her own flock as well as neighboring Hampshire flocks. It is then expertly spun by John Arbon Textiles and finally hand dyed and hand painted by Emma.

Every step of the production is very thoughtful and the way Emma runs her farm is strongly focused on conserving the local landscape.

Finding Emma Boyles and The Little Grey Sheep

Jenise Hope – Knitters of the World

Meet Jenise our guest on Knitters of the World. Jenise studied sewing pattern drafting before she learnt to knit, so fairly quickly she could apply those skills to knitwear and start designing her own garments and blankets.

Geo Lace Tee by Jenise Hope
Geo Lace Tee by Jenise Hope

Jenise has a wide range of designs and she pays particular attention to the fit in the larger sizes. For example most of her yokes have different shaping for each size to give a more tailored fit on the upper end sizes. All of her garments have 6 sizes covering XS (28-32 inch bust) to XX (48-52 inch bust).

Patron discount

Jenise is offering a 25% discount on all of her patterns for Fruity Knitting Patrons for a limited time. For details go to Patreon.com/fruityknitting.

Jenise Hope is offering Fruity Knitting Patrons a discount on all her patterns
Jenise Hope is offering Fruity Knitting Patrons a discount on all her patterns

Finding Jenise Hope

Big Stitch Beanie by Nailya Plaskey – New Releases

Nailya and her daughter modeled matching versions of the Big Stitch beanie. Big stitch beanie is a very smart looking design, coming in adult and child sizes. It would be a great first stranded knitting project as it is easy to memorize and the recommended yarn is brilliant for colourwork and very affordable. Nailya’s daughter stole the show with her fantastic smile!

Patron Discount – Big Stitch Beanie

Nailya has offered our patrons a 30% discount on this pattern for a limited time. Find the details at Patreon.

Finding Nailya Plaskey and the Big Stitch Beanie

Twisted Rib Tubular Cast-On Tutorial

We did a 1×1 rib tubular cast on for the hem of Madeleine’s project – Audrey in Unst by Gudrun Johnston. We did this because we wanted it to be stretchy. Andrea also included the twisted rib into the tubular cast on to make it that extra bit neater. In case any of you were interested in how she did this, we made a quick tutorial. For the convenience of our Patrons we also list all the tutorials that Andrea includes in the episodes at patreon.com/fruityknitting. That way when you need them you can find them easily.

Twisted Rib Tubular Cast-On using the Long Tail Method
Twisted Rib Tubular Cast-On using the Long Tail Method

Under Construction

Andrea is working on Zweig by Caitlin Hunter.

Zweig, by Caitlin Hunter
Zweig, by Caitlin Hunter

Unfortunately, not having much experience with speckled yarns, Andrea’s colour combination was a disaster when it came to knitting up the design.  The triangles in the stranded sections weren’t showing well, so a quick trip to our LYS was needed to remedy the situation. The replacement yarn is a great colour choice but a thinner weight, so Andrea has had to experiment with holding it double in some places and single in others. How much ripping will go on before this garment is finished?

Two versions of the Zweig, by Caitlin Hunter
Two versions of the Zweig, by Caitlin Hunter

Madeleine is working on Audrey in Unst by Gudrun Johnston.

Audrey in Unst by Gudrun Johnston
Audrey in Unst by Gudrun Johnston

Madeleine is really enjoying knitting this design with Iona Wool made exclusively from fleeces from the Hebridean Isand of Iona.

Andrew is working on The Vest by Andrea.

Dolbadarn Castle

For our #ExtremeKnitting segment this week we take you to the 13th century Dolbadarn Castle built by Prince Llynwelyn the Great in Snowdonia. We include a small bit of drone footage. We are still learning the fly the thing!

Dolbadarn Castle in Northern Wales
Dolbadarn Castle in Northern Wales

What we are wearing

Andrea is wearing Jayne by Madeline Weston and Rita Taylor.

In the interview with Emma Boyles, Andrea is wearing Daffodil, by Marie Wallin. You can hear more about that design in Episode 38, and you can catch a full interview with Marie Wallin in Episode 17, and another chat about Marie Wallin’s Shetland collection in Episode 42.

Music Credits


7 thoughts on “Episode 52 – The Little Grey Sheep”

  1. Tiferet Valentine

    What a wonderful episode, full of information, art, history, a lesson on sheep breeding and your usual happy humor. I appreciated your tutorial on the 1X1 tubular twisted rib cast on and would love to know if you have found an equally good-looking tubular 2X2 rib cast on.

    I’m very happy to be able to be a patron for such a fine podcast. Thanks for your dedication and excellent work.

  2. Charmaine Erskine

    Hi Andrea!
    I am a patreon & I purchased the Big Stitch Beanie pattern on Ravelry. There wasn’t a spot for the discount code. I’m not sure what happened.

    -Charmaine Erskine

    1. Hi Charmaine,

      I’m sorry you had trouble with that. I’m not sure how you bought it, but I saw in Ravelry that there is a link saying “use a coupon code” just next to the “checkout now” button. When you click on that, you get a chance to enter the code and then click “Apply”.

      The next discount is on its way, so hopefully you’ll be inspired to try again!


  3. Trish Annie Stevens

    My first time viewing your podcast, and I really enjoyed it, especially the interview with Emma of the Little grey Sheep, I have some of her beautiful yarn. I loved the jumper you are wearing knitted in her Hampshire wool. Can you tell me what the pattern is, please?

  4. Particularly loved this episode. Your interview with Emma ‘The Little Grey Sheep’ was so informative. I’m planning to watch it again and also check out her website. Thank you so much for such a professional show, just love it xx

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