I'm Rachel Simpson (Ra) and I have lived in Cumbria all my life. I was brought up on a farm in the Eden valley with my parents, sister and brother. I have loved working with sheep from an early age and have always been a helping hand on the farm with the sheep, cattle, horses and hens. Jobs are done at certain time on the farm and Spring has always been my favourite time of the year. This is when the ewes start to lamb, end of March and throughout April. This is a one of the busiest times and needs a lot of helping hands!
My love of working with wool came from my Mother-in-Law who passed me her peg loom and a bag of Jacob cross wool to make a rug for the house. I washed and dried the wool and wove the wool straight from the fleece. Ending up with a gorgeous grey and black striped rug. It was so soft and is now my bedroom rug. That was September 2014 and I haven't stopped making them since. I love experimenting with different colours, breeds and patterns. I have grown to love Herdwick wool, it has strong, thick fibres on the outside but has a beautifully soft underlayer. It is great to work with and I adore the natural fleece colours which ranges from black, brown, grey and white.
I now have a hand-cranked drum carder which is so useful when processing the wool for weaving. It detangles and aligns the fibres making weaving more efficient.
I currently have a small flock of three Jacob ewes - Bella, Beatrix and Bridget. I'm hoping to expand with last years lambs and in the future have a mixture of different breeds within my flock.