February 2022



The Discrete Unicorn!


Our February meeting was well attended with over thirty members and visitors present and everybody had an enjoyable time. I was very pleased that Miriam was able to step in at the last minute to give us a very entertaining talk on her business “Discrete Unicorn”. Discrete in the corporate world refers to a unique piece of data and adding the unicorn as well makes it doubly unique!

Miriam owns a Hattersley Domestic Loom which is currently in her garage. She liaised with a company in Colne who dyed rainbow warps in twelve colourways so that she could weave two metre lengths for wraps, but struggled to sell her products as a weaver; so she now sells her own hand-dyed yarns and tops as well. She concentrates on colours that she would wear herself, so we were treated to a feast of colour, with a bit of sparkle added here and there.

During March 2020, she was furloughed from The Black Sheep and found solace in knitting. She did test knitting for the Black Sheep and now test-knits for designers, with perhaps the most bizarre piece being a “shrug” with a neck band and two sleeves attached which is supposed to be worn with a boob tube!

Miriam’s yarns have evocative names such as Knobbly Bobbly (a lovely textured yarn) Starfish, Sea Dragon, Magic Potion and Pixelated Unicorn to name a few. Her dyeing is done under a barbecue pagoda, but she’s looking forward to moving into a studio in Leigh Spinners Mill, which she signed up for in November 2020. She and her very supportive husband, Richard, have been working as volunteers to piece together textile machinery which has been donated to the mill, and Miriam also volunteers at Quarry Bank Mill where she used to work. Her main focus there will be on restoring a machine to produce coloured bobbins for stripes in tea towels.

She spoke about the steep learning curve of setting up a business and the support that she has from the community of knitting folk and Indie dyers, and about collaborating with Lily Kate Makes- have a look at the following links.



words and picture: Liz Carrington