My name is Carol Page and this my blog Bramble & Yarn.
I hope you enjoy my seasonal posts of all aspects of life on my mini-smallholding in rural Norfolk.
Following a passion and learning new skills have always been important to me, which is how my path to Bramble & Yarn came about.
I have always had a strong leaning towards horticulture, growing fruit and vegetables at home and cooking fresh food for my three children as they grew up. This led me to study for a degree in Floriculture nearly twenty years ago, graduating in 2006. Living in Lincolnshire at the time, as well as working part-time, I began to grow flowers and plants for sale and wrote articles about gardening for a local gazette.
At the end of 2012, we were drawn to Norfolk and moved to Bramble Cottage. With an acre and a half to play with I had the chance to grow flowers on a serious basis and to create a garden with some of the land for visitors to enjoy. For the last few years I have run Bramble Flowers selling beautiful locally grown bouquets and buckets of flowers as well as working with florists on weddings and events.
Alongside the business, I and my husband Andrew set up a productive fruit and vegetable garden. We planted an orchard, soft fruits, put up a polytunnel and set out a large vegetable plot. I have a flock of hens with their resident boyfriend Clarence so fresh eggs are available to us most of the year. I make jam and pickles; my husband makes cider and wine and I love trying new recipes and using produce from the garden throughout the year.
When the pandemic hit last year, weddings and events were cancelled, and flower sales were hit as a result. It gave me time to do some thinking about where I wanted to concentrate my efforts. I knew I was keen to keep growing flowers, albeit on a smaller scale, and open the garden again to visitors when safe to do so. But alongside this I wanted to expand a new pastime that I had become increasingly passionate about and that is where the Yarn in Bramble and Yarn originates.
I want to promote the natural fibres I work with and share the new opportunities I’ve had since being here in Norfolk, my experimentation with natural dyes and my journey into the craft of weaving.
I’ve always been a bit of a nut for wool since I was very young and had learnt how to spin many years ago and dabbled in some natural dyeing but time was always limited with work and family commitments.
My new neighbour here in Congham had a flock of Jacobs sheep and when she discovered I loved wool and spinning she bought three Romney Kent sheep to add to her flock and to give me the large cream fleeces at shearing time. Heaven!
With such a lot of wool to process I needed some help and decided to take a load to a mill in East Sussex where it was spun into a beautiful lustrous cream yarn. It was then that I began to dye yarn in earnest and discovered so many natural colours available growing in the garden and hedgerow and I began to amass lots of skeins of dyed wool, gorgeous colours, but there was no way I could possibly knit them all!
Learning to weave had been floating in my mind for a number of years and I was so lucky to find a very experienced weaver living in Thornham on the north Norfolk coast. She has taught me so much and continues to help and advise me as there is such a lot to learn, and so now weaving is part of my life too.
So, this has all led to Bramble & Yarn where you can read about all apects of my life here on my mini-smallholding in Norfolk. I hope to make my blog informative and interesting, whether you are already doing something similar, considering following a new passion, or maybe just curious about the ups and downs of life in the countryside.
I’ll be posting about failures as well as successes and hope to entertain and perhaps inspire you to try something new.
Interested in finding out more? Feel free to send me a message for more information.