Posted by: Shanna Germain | 08/14/2009

Pg. 136: The Wool Mill

A video about the restoration of Knockando Wool Mill (not taken by me).


I grew up around wool. Namely thanks to the many creatures that my parents owned (and still own): llamas, sheep, rabbits. All of which produce very different kinds of wool, and thus very different kinds of fibers and yarns and anything else that you can imagine making out of wool. Last time I was home, my mom was spinning wool in the kitchen on her foot-pedaled spinning wheel, the machine whirring and ticking in time to the conversation.

So it was nice to take a visit to the Knockando Wool Mill, a wholly integrated mill that has been producing textiles since 1784. The mill is currently in the process of being restored, with much of original machinery still intact — and still, amazingly, working. And working really well at that — I saw some of the gorgeous blankets that the mill had produced this year and really, really wanted to take one home with me.

Since I couldn’t, I took lots of pictures instead, and watched them work the machines for a while. It was a delightful, rhythmic sound that, not surprisingly, reminded me of the comforts of home.

Far and fast, s.



The outside of the wool mill. I’m not sure who the people in the photo are, but they’re standing right in front of this wall too, which is pretty cool.



The machine that’s used to roll all the independent lengths of spun wool into large rollers/holders so that they can be easily woven together into blankets and rugs.



The actual loom, in the process of making rugs with fringed edges.


“Where does virgin wool come from? The sheep that runs the fastest.” ~Harry F. Banks



  1. When my friend Janet Lee and I lived in the same town, she used to dye, spin and weave alpaca wool from her in-laws farm in VA.

    I am allergic to wool so I would only get to watch – I would be enthralled by her hands moving to work the machinery (she used an antique spinner and loom too)

    Isn’t it funny that no matter how far we are from home, a sound or smell or someother sense can take us back in an instant?

    Thank you for sharing honey.

    ps: I still miss you /snuggles

  2. Yes, so true.

    And I’m allergic to most wool too. Well, not allergic, really. I just can’t wear it against my skin 🙂 It’s fantastic for coats though!!

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