We source our yarns from South America and Great Britain. We find them to be very true to the breeds and spun just the way that we like.
We’re not avoiding Australia solely because of the museling issue, but that did serve a useful purpose in the industry.
“Museling” is “the removal of strips of wool-bearing skin from around the breech (buttocks) of a sheep to prevent flystrike (myiasis). The wool around the buttocks can retain feces and urine, which attracts flies.” (Read more here.) Like all aspects of animal husbandry, procedures can be done with respect to the animal or without. It seems that PETA uncovered some of the latter in Australia. Their work was very helpful at the time. Australia has promised to stop the practice, but are several years past their promised date. There’s a new Australian product coined “NewMerino” (one word) that claims to trace the wool back to the specific farm ad verifies that mulesing is not employed. The other shot at Australia was their routine shipping of raw wool to China for processing. The working conditions in China can harbor their own problems. Whew! Why is an industry that begins with such lovable sheep surrounded by politics?
As a result, the door opened for other sources of fiber – enter South America and an expansion of the wonderful industry in Great Britain.
Our biggest criteria when selecting wool is how it knits. We can work out the colors with our custom dyes, and ensure that the wool has a soft feel, but if it doesn’t knit well – including wear – it’s just eye candy. Our selection process is, then, quite long … although, to be honest, with Christa’s over 40 years of knitting and lots of customers with years and years of touching yarn, a dyed or undyed yarn tells you a lot just by holding a skein. Regardless, all of our prospective yarns are balled, knitted, and worn.
Mentioning dyes, no one can purchase the dyes we use on the open market. We hooked up very early with a wool person that happened to also be a chemist. She created what became our dyes for her fabric work. We feel very blessed to have her as our exclusive supplier.
With our show schedule burgeoning now that Christa has retired and can devote full time to Aisling, we’ve got a robust inventory of dyed yarns for ordering online. April and September are tough on inventory because of multiple shows in each, but we’ll meet your needs.
If you have a desire or idea for a new colorway and don’t see one that works for you, email us and we’ll discuss it with you.