Last fall, at a local fiber festival, I fell in love with Clun Forest sheep and their gorgeous, springy wool. I hoped that I might be able to purchase enough to dye and share with all of you in the future. Late in March, Jonny and I made a trip to Timberwood Farm (about an hour drive). We spent some time learning about the farm, photographing the sheep, and at the end of our visit, we drove away with a bag of yarn. This is a first for me, being able to offer yarn from sheep whose farm I visited. The farm was beautiful, and everything incredibly well maintained. We were lucky to be visiting during lambing season, so there were babies! Clun Forest sheep are known for their mothering abilities, and that was obvious. Those mamas didn’t like me even looking at their babies! One mama kept stamping her foot at me as I tried to take a few pictures (She’s stomping in that last photo!) These are sheep that demand respect. I loved them!
As far as this batch of yarn goes, I want to describe it well to you because it’s different than the yarn that I usually offer. This yarn has a rustic character and lacks some of the softness that you are used to if you have purchased yarn from me in the past. I would not describe it as scratchy, though you might not find it next to skin soft depending on your particular sensitivity. This is a wool lover’s yarn. It’s sturdy with plenty of loft. I noticed that it dried quickly after the dyeing and washing process, and I would attribute that to the loft. It will make lovely, warm, winter accessories. This breed produces particularly springy wool, which is one reason why I love it. Knitting with yarn with good spring to it is easier on my hands. My suggestions for project ideas for this yarn given its character and the limited availability are mittens, fingerless gloves, hats, and maybe small cowls. I think you could probably knit a toddler-sized vest from one skein as well, and that would be another good use for it. The yarn came from the mill labeled as sport weight. I have knit several swatches with it and for me it is knitting up more like a dk or even light worsted. My best advice is that you swatch before deciding on a specific project.
There is something very special about single breed yarn from sheep you’ve seen and walked with (though not too close as this breed is very independent and a bit standoffish-I used my zoom lens.) I worked hard on these colorways wanting to do justice to the yarn, and the sheep it came from! Because Timberwood is a small farm, this yarn has limited availability and I won’t be able to get more for many months. I really hope that those of you who want to are able to purchase a skein, and I will do my best to source more when I can if this is something that you would like to see me offer again in the future.
The shop update will go live at 11 a.m. ET.
p.s. I’ll be listing a few new scarves today as well, just in time for Mother’s Day!