Westwoodside, DN9
07924 636063

My Story

Hand Spun Yarns

Spinning Wheels

I currently own 3 working spinning wheels, a further one requires some attention (came free with a 1960s spinning stool), and very small delicate one which was taken apart for packing purposes bought in an antique shop In Thiers, France a few years ago.

My first spinning wheel is called Elizabeth – she is an Ashford Elizabeth 1. Ashford still make Elizabeth 2, but it is different to mine. (Ashford origin New Zealand)
My favourite spinning wheel is a Majacraft Aura, named Kira. She started off by being called Kia as a nod to the KiaOra drink (origin Australia), but became Kira after my Turkish Van pedigree cat, who had a lot of ‘attitude’. (Majacraft origin New Zealand)
My travelling spinning wheel is a Majacraft Little Gem named Letitia (lettuce).

On a day trip to The Hub, National Centre for Design in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, I visited an antique shop. Upstairs, partly hidden by stacked furniture, Richard (my husband) noticed a large wheel and asked if I would like it. I said yes because it would be lovely as a sculpture in our living room. The shopkeeper said it had come from a house clearance where an elderly lady had lived; I noticed it still had wool on one of its bobbins. After a bit of research when we arrived home, we realised it was a top-of-the-range Ashford spinning wheel, probably from the 1960s.

I was studying for a degree at the time (Masters in Curating Visual Culture at Sheffield Hallam University) and did not have any free time to invest in learning how to spin. Once I had finished/passed my Masters, I visited a couple of wool shows: The British Wool Show in York (now known as Yorkshire Yarn Fest and Woolfest at Cockermouth. I had no idea about wool shows and spinning but thought that I could learn – it had to be easier than studying for a Masters! I spent 2 hours with a lovely lady in Friday Thorpe with Elizabeth and she taught me the basics. After this, I joined the Beretun Spinners and Weavers group in Barton on Humber.

Subsequently, a year later, I entered a national competition, set by the national magazine British Fibre Art Magazine to test my spinning accuracy. I achieved a 1st and two 3rds; I was very proud.

However, I wanted to improve further, and arranged to have an advanced lesson with Sue Macniven, spinner extraordinaire in Dumfries. I wanted my yarn to be bespoke and handmade, even, and well-balanced ideal for knitting something special. Whilst in Dumfries, I met Ruth Robinson, owner of the Wheel Ewe and admired her range of spinning wheels in her living room. Ruth is Majacraft’s representative for Scotland for their spinning wheels and equipment. I enrolled on the Wheel Ewe’s first (now annual) spinning retreat in Edinburgh and bought an Aura (with overdrive attachments to be able to spin thick yarns); at the second retreat I bought a Little Gem. The third retreat was near Manchester and I learned all about blending colours together and also because aware of my ‘own’ colours – I’m a muted autumn!

My Favourite Yarn

I came across my favourite yarn by reading an article about knitting in the Guardian newspaper in 2011. The article detailed a hat pattern using wool from Colinette Yarns in mid Powys. I loved the look of the yarn, bought a skein, and made the hat! I had a little wool leftover and used this for a unique pompom on top.
I have a number of these hats currently for sale in my Etsy shop: cuetocomfort, knitted with my cuetocomfort (CTC) wool, which I class as ‘textured, super bulky, thick and thin, slub’ yarn and is best knitted with 9mm needles. I have been told these hats look like the hair of a guest character ‘side-show-Bob’ in the Simpsons sitcom (real name in the cartoon is Robert Underdunk Terwilliger Jr., PhD, voiced by Kelsey Grammar).

Elizabeth is Temporarily Retired

Elizabeth is now temporarily retired and looked wonderful at Christmas time with the fairy lights around the wheel.

I can use this wheel to teach students to spin wool – contact me for more details.
The idea of starting a small business (Cuetocomfort.co.uk) came to me once I had mastered the art of spinning ‘textured, super bulky, thick and thin, slub yarn’, similar to the skein I loved and cherished from Colinette Yarns years before. I love to dye wool in batches and then select further colours and blend these colours of wool together to create my very own textured CTC yarn.
I created my first jumper with Colinette Yarns in a yarn of autumnal colours. I have received three lots of comments from total strangers about this jumper such as: your jumper looks cosy and comfortable!
I have commissioned a friend Alison Casserly, knitting designer, to create a number of bespoke patterns, tailored to fit my CTC wool, starting with a one-size-fits-all, oversized jumper – known as the ‘Amplexus Jumper’ (Amplexus is Latin for ‘hug’ . These will be available as a kit (pattern and CTC wool) and/or as a finished jumper. Each of my Amplexus jumpers are made from the same pattern, (with optional extras such as longer/shorter arms and body for commissions). The difference between each of my Amplexus jumpers is the colour blend of CTC wool I have selected, influenced by my love of birds. The pattern is also available on its own – details of how to purchase this can be found in my Etsy shop.
I am currently spinning wool to build up a stock of yarn for sale via my Etsy shop. I will also be knitting Amplexus jumpers to sell in my shop along with wool kits for the Amplexus jumpers too.
My business will begin trading on 1 September 2021.