Saturday, 10 November 2012

A Hobbit Yarn

Dressing Bilbo Baggins

Today I met an amazing couple whose wonderful lifestyle has to be admired.  Selwyn and Mary Hall  are sheep farmers, who also spin, dye, weave, felt, and knit and crochet the wool from their sheep into amazing NZ goods. They also produce and sell their own yarn from their lifestyle block with a studio and a fibre shop in Brightwater, a very picturesque part of the South Island, NZ. 

Studio and shop in Brightwater

View from the studio

(Bad pic of) Mary in her studio

Selwyn, the dancing farmer

They were approached during the making of The Hobbit and asked to produce wool to be made into the garments for the films. Mary enthusiastically explained the long and detailed process of choosing the wools, dyes, and spinning of all the natural fleece ready for the production teams to make into the finished clothing and furnishings - and in some cases even the wigs.

Other local crafters were also asked to produce items for the films, (as with The Lord Of The Rings), which is very commendable. A local resident told me "the film company wanted to share the love" : a great idea to give everyone some reason to feel charitable towards the the production teams and film crews, and also for the local community to benefit financially. 

The Hobbit
Via Google

The farm has over six hundred sheep, with eight different breeds, so there was plenty of raw materials available and Selwn got to work providing enough fleece for Mary to work with. The whole process took them over two years and now their finished work can be seen throughout the film, something of which they are both very proud of.

       Some beautifully draped wool garments.

The yarns available in the shop were many and varied and mostly handspun, and the knitwear was beautifully done by Mary and other local craftsmen and women. All kinds of yarns, looms, spinning wheels, drum carders and equipment and accessories were for sale along with a huge amount of books and patterns for all types of wool crafts. A truly amazing spot for any crafter to visit.

This beautiful piece made with solvy, silks and yarns

I do hope you enjoyed this visit as much as I did!


  1. Lovely! We saw the Hobbit trailer at the cinema this afternoon, it looks amazing!

  2. What a fabulous way to give back to the community (she says, trying not to scratch)

  3. Thanks for taking us along with you. My other half is a real fan of all things Hobbit.... He especially likes second breakfast.


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