LEYBURN SPINNER: Diana Kirby is spinning wool from her own sheep then turning that into wearables.
LEYBURN SPINNER: Diana Kirby is spinning wool from her own sheep then turning that into wearables. Jonno Colfs

Leyburn spinner works from beast to blanket

LEYBURN local Diana Kirby made the most of the huge influx of visitors to her tiny town.

Her market stall at the Leyburn Sprints not only offered a range of beautiful hand made woollen wearables, but her skill behind the spinning wheel stopped many people for a look.

As a local sheep farmer, Mrs Kirby said she's always had an ample supply of material to feed her passion for spinning and weaving.

"I've been passionate about wool craft all my life,” she said.

"I'm spinning wool here today to show off the craft and a lot of people have been commenting.

"I'm taking the wool from the sheep's back right through to the completed garment, all by hand.”

Mrs Kirby began spinning wool in 1972 and started a craft group in Leyburn shortly after.

"It's my hobby,” she said.

"I can't sit down and do nothing.

"I've got to do something with my hands.

"Getting the internet on has been great for me as well, so many patterns to choose from.”

Mrs Kirby said she moved to Leyburn in 1964 and married a Leyburn farmer in 1971.

"We have about 1200 sheep, Australian merinos,” she said.

"We have a shearing shed and I try to turn some of the product we get into the clothes you see here today.

"I used to have a food stall back in the early days of the sprints, I'd sell cakes and biscuits that I'd made, but I haven't done that for a few years, the wool products get more interest I think.

"And it's a bit chilly today, so it's a great day to be selling woollen jumpers.

"I hope it gets a bit colder.”