TEXTILE designer Sian O'Doherty, who uses fleece from her herd of alpacas in her work, has won a top Welsh award.

Sian, who grew up in Tenby, creates knitted products for people and homely spaces in her studio near Stepaside.

She was recently chosen as Best Maker in Wales out of the 135 makers and artists who exhibited at the country's largest craft event, Made by Hand, in the City Hall in Cardiff.

Judges at the event, which celebrates the best of British designer making, commented: "Sian's stunning knitwear label has gone from strength-to-strength.

"Her colour combinations reflect the Pembrokeshire countryside where she lives, coupled with a passion for the quality and versatility of Welsh wool."

Sian's prize was a free stand at next year's Made by Hand, and she said: "To have been chosen from so many talented makers at the event to receive this award is such an honour and privilege.

"I am truly delighted to be the recipient, and the award motivates me to work harder and to keep moving forward with the business."

This weekend (December 15 and 16), Sian will be welcoming visitors to her festive Open Studio event at Ash Farm, Ivy Chimney Lane, Stepaside SA67 8JU.

The occasion will showcase the superb talent of Sian and several studio guests, whose skills include ceramics, textile art, jewellery design and upholstery. And there will be a chance to meet the friendly Ash Farm alpacas - the inspiration behind Sian's exclusive new alpaca yarn - as well as enjoying refreshments and learning more about her studio's new bespoke craft workshops, launching next year.

For more information, including driving directions, see sianodoherty.co.uk