High Castle Traditional
Crafts


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Tartan Scarf Black and Silver Bag Pillow Picture of aran Christmas stocking #1 Handspun, Hand Dyed Yarn
Welcome! High Castle Traditional Crafts offers a wide variety of handwoven articles (including bags, wallets, purses, scarves, table runners, rag rugs, placemats, towels, pillows, and stuffed animals), hand knit items, contemporary, traditional, and historical knitting patterns and kits, knitting needles, hemp yarn, handspun yarn, spinning fiber, Cotswold sheep, and books and magazines on textiles and rural living.

Let me introduce myself. High Castle Traditional Crafts is really me, Diane Braun. A native of Arizona, I live in Wilhoit, AZ (about 15 miles southwest of Prescott). I raise white and black Cotswold sheep and create all my handspun, handwoven, and hand knitted pieces in my studio in the Arizona highlands. Visitors to my studio are welcome to meet our sheep!

The past has always captivated me. When I was 12, I pursued archaeology by excavating my backyard with a spoon and an old toothbrush. In high school, my interests shifted from ancient Egypt to medieval Europe, ultimately resulting in a master’s degree and doctoral work in medieval history.

Throughout, I have been drawn to the elemental foundations of living: food, animals, and clothing. I’ve made recipes from classical Rome, medieval England, and colonial America. I raise Cotswold sheep, a breed likely brought to Britain by the Romans 2,000 years ago. And what touches me most deeply, at a level I can’t explain, are textiles and the fiber and yarn from which they are made.

Cloth and its creation form a continuous link with the past, through millennia and across the globe. The Industrial Revolution of the late 18th century marked only a very recent change in how yarn was spun and fabric woven and knitted. But despite its relative newness, industrialization has weakened our connection with the people of our past and of our present, devaluing essential elements of our daily lives.

Textiles were once valued so highly that they were itemized in wills and passed from generation to generation. They had meaning. They gave meaning. They were part of tradition.

Handmade cloth and the items fashioned from it retain that significance and worth. The time, skill, and attention to detail that go into handwoven cloth represent the passion and love it’s imbued with. From me to you.



Spinning fiber is available year round. Cotswolds have long staple lengths of 6" to 10". Take advantage of the Cotswolds' lustrous wavy locks to spin yarns like no others. The wool felts wonderfully, and the locks dye beautifully, retaining their amazing sheen. Their gorgeous ringlets also make wonderful Santa beards and doll hair. Our sheep produce white, silver, gray, and black fleece. Many fleeces contain a combination of colors: silver, gray, black, and, sometimes, bits of brown. Visit my Shearing page to learn how I shear sheep.

What My Customers Think about High Castle Traditional Crafts.

Please feel free to contact me by email or call me at (928) 442-9291, if you would like more information or if you simply want to chat about textiles.


News from High Castle Ranch - Archives (1/1/06 - 1/10/08)

Crafty sheep conquer cattle grid
Hungry sheep on the Yorkshire moors have taught themselves to roll 8ft (3m) across hoof-proof metal cattle grids - and raid villagers' valley gardens. The crafty animals have also perfected the skill of hurdling 5ft (1.5m) fences and squeezing through 8in (20cm) gaps. They have destroyed several gardens and even graze on the village park, bowling green, cricket field and graveyard. The grids were installed 10 years ago after a gardener in Marsden, near Huddersfield, held stray sheep hostage. Dorothy Lindley, a Conservative councillor in the former textile town on the edge of the Pennine uplands in West Yorkshire, said: "They lie down on their side, or sometimes their back, and just roll over and over the grids until they are clear. I've seen them doing it. It is quite clever but they are a big nuisance to villagers. They eat plants, flowers and vegetables in gardens."
From BBC News, 7/30/04.

Heloise
Heloise, one of our first sheep
© 2001-2017 by Diane Braun
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(928) 442-9291, Wilhoit, AZ, email
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