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Monkstone

Impeccably detailed knits made from sustainably raised Welsh sheep

by Leonora Oppenheim in Style on 01 November 2011

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Just in time for the colder winter months comes the new label, Monkstone Knitwear. Designer Anna Felton spins wool from a flock of sheep on Trevayne Farm in West Wales. Richard Reed, Felton's boyfriend, has been running his family's farm for several years now. Since taking over he has been developing sustainable methods of permaculture to enhance biodiversity on the land. The design process behind the knitwear line reflects the low-impact way the farm is run.

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Felton's designs, which include both men's and women's pieces, as well as home furnishings, are distinctive in their interesting shapes, contrast-knit textures and impeccable detailing. Each season, Felton says, her work is based on the yarns available from the sheep, which includes a combination of Welsh Black Mountain, Coloured Dorset and Natural Dorset breeds. She goes on to explain the importance of carefully choosing wool to support the local industry. "Farmers also donate the fleeces from local flocks, but we do state when we have used these and also we credit the kind farmers who help the Monkstone project. We use the best local shearers, experienced spinners and a great local factory and hand knitters to make the finished garments."

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The locally focused operation follows the cycle of producing wool from the beginning—from animal farming through shearing, washing and spinning to knitting, giving the high-quality pieces a true sense of where the come from no matter where they're sold. All Monkstone collections are available through their online shop.

Photography by Jackson Lynch

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