Jenny Robertson

Jenny is a spinner/knitter based on the Isle of Eigg, Scotland. She is the designer maker behind the An Nead Hand Knitwear brand.

There she spins cobweb yarn before transforming it into knitwear, primarily into unique cobweb shawls, stoles, wraps, scarves and fingerless gloves, etc. For ethical reasons, she uses kid mohair instead of silk which comes from New Forest Mohair and adds a lovely lustre to the finished product.

Jenny’s wool comes from South Yeo Farm East which is a rare-breeds farm with high standards of animal husbandry. Jenny hand-dyes the fleece and kid mohair using natural dyes. She also produces cobweb and lace weight yarn for knitters who enjoy her colours.

Jenny grew up in South Africa and first saw examples of cobweb lace in a craft shop in Pitlochry when she was visiting the UK as a tourist in the mid-1970s.

She trained as a horticulturist in South Africa and worked there until 1983 when she was accepted as a voluntary student at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.

Eventually, she ended up on the Isle of Eigg, moving there fulltime with her two dogs in 2009. She built her dream home and began to build a business selling hand knitwear.

The business has changed from being very general in product to specialising in the cobweb lace which is her real passion. She decided to try her hand at spinning in 2011 and was lucky enough to get assistance from Creative Scotland to buy a hand-crafted spinning wheel from Rod Grant.

This development has made an enormous difference to her products as well as to her enjoyment of her work. Jenny now can blend and spin different types of fleece and colours which means that every article is unique.

The beautiful scenery around her is a constant source of inspiration for her colours, and walks with her dog, Harry, are the times she develops her ideas for new projects. Environmental issues are very important to her, so she tries to source her fleece as locally as possible.

Because she spins yarn especially for each piece of work, they are all unique.