Tools + Supplies

Published on March 5th, 2009 | by Kelly Rand


Yearn Worthy Yarn: Homestead Wool

Can great yarn come from pampered sheep? If those sheep are loved, cared for, and are able to graze safely. If they are never separated from their friends and families. If they are never sold, given away or eaten, then for Homestead Wool the answer is yes.

Located in Monroe, Wisconsin, Homestead boasts a healthy and happy flock of 92 sheep and a couple of alpacas and great pyrenees that help protect the sheep. Homestead takes great pride in the care of their flock. Their happiness and good care is their utmost concern.

All of the fiber from the sheep is washed and dyed on the farm. Most of it ends up for sale after being carded. All of their yarn is handspun on the farm and comes in a variety of weights including single-ply and double-ply.

Homestead also offers mill spun yarn as well. This yarn is processed at one of two mills that Homestead has good relationships with. Both of the mills are very unique, small businesses that take great care to be environmentally friendly. They each use soap that is biodegradable and one has water reclamation procedures in place.

The colors seen in their yarns are created with a variety of dying techniques. Chemical dyes are used, along with Easter egg dyes, food coloring, Kool aid and natural dyes when they have time.

Their alpaca yarns come from neighboring farms that are alpaca and llama sanctuaries. All proceeds from their alpaca/llama fiber sales is sent right back to them to help support the flock. Homestead also sells wool from other farms that are small and animal friendly. These farms are visited to ensure that they have animal friendly rules in place.

The other great thing about this yarn are the owners of Homestead Wool. Jim and Sandy are friendly, helpful and the love for their flock is readily seen and greatly appreciated.

[Images from Homestead Wool and Gift Farm]

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About the Author

Kelly covers visual arts in and around Washington, DC for DCist and is editor of Crafting a Green World. Kelly has also been published by Bust Magazine and you can find her byline at Indie Fixx and Etsy’s Storque and has taught in Etsy’s virtual lab on the topic of green crafting. Kelly helps organize Crafty Bastards: Arts and Crafts Fair, one of the largest indie craft fairs on the east coast and has served on the Craft Bastard’s jury since 2007. Kelly is also co-founder of Hello Craft a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the advancement of independent crafters and the handmade movement. Kelly resides in Washington, D.C. and believes that handmade will save the world.

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