BREEDS & COLOURS
We have a range of heritage breeds, each providing wool of various shade, kemp and feel
Our varied flock create an earthy palette of fifteen shades: from a rich chocolate black through browns and greys to a pretty cream and a clean white. They are drawn from our flocks of Dorset Down, Hebridean and Jacob sheep, with greatest variety coming from our Shetlands: a heritage breed with a huge range of natural colours and also our softest and most luxurious wool.
Spun into quality organic yarns in nearby Cornwall by The Natural Fibre Company using their dependable Victorian machinery, our yarns offer a lovely way to relax, to produce cherished garments for family and friends and to exercise your imagination and creativity. We also have gift vouchers for the knitter in your life. All are available from our farm shop or online shop here. Our sheepskins for rugs or throws are available at present only from the farm shop.
Please enjoy browsing the photos of wool and projects on our samplers page. Happy knitting!
Far less common than they use to be, most of our flock is made up of this dependable local breed which perfectly suits our need for hardy sheep which do well on our windswept coastal pastures.
Their wool is a rich cream colour, robust, resilient and very well suited to outdoor clothing. It looks great knitted up in simple patterns perhaps with a bit of interesting texture and it lends itself well to patterns involving cables.
As hardy as their appellation would suggest, they excel at grazing our diverse scrub, where they can be hard to spot under the blackthorn and gorse. Their dark fleeces bleach at the tips over the summer to average a rich Chocolate Black wool.
Because of its coarser fibres, this may not be your first choice for garments to go next to the skin of people with sensitive skins, but is excellent for harder wearing outer garments, socks and gloves. The staple is long, which allows a more relaxed spinning and contributes to its strength. The combination makes a yarn with a pleasant feel which is soft and springy to knit with.
Shetland sheep are lovely to have on the farm because they are pretty, delicate looking sheep with a wide variation in colour. Their luxuriant wool is the finest fibre we have on the farm so it is also more suitable for knitting for babies and people with sensitive skins than our other wools.
We have nine different colours of Shetland wool, all from the natural fleece colours of our Shetlands, sorted, blended and carded to get a good range, from the rich brown of the moorit sheep to soft brown, delicate fawn and silver grey to the clean white, now an uncommon colour for Shetland sheep.
The Jacob sheep give us a pleasant tweedy grey. This is made by carding together the black and the white wool from these smartly spotted and patched sheep. The different fibre colours in the yarn give it depth of texture and a feel of life.
Jacob sheep have a fairly fine wool with a good staple length. As a result, the wool need not be spun so tightly. This gives it a very comfortable feel when knitting. Though the wool is more relaxed than the Shetland wool, the individual fibres are slightly thicker.
We produce four thicknesses of yarn, each suited to differing function, ease or fineness of the resulting garment.
We have this thickness in all five colours of Shetland yarns so there are many combinations available to you, from very subtle to quite striking contrasts. Our finest wool, 4-ply is perfect for sophisticated knitwear with more detailed patterns or lacy delicate fabrics. Traditional Shetland lace shawls were made of a single ply called fingering and were so fine that they could be passed through a wedding ring! This 4ply is not quite as thin but it gives some of the same feeling of delicacy in the fabric and is very warm for its weight. It could be made warmer still by using textured stitches or knitting fairisle patterns that carrying the strands at the back, making for a thicker garment.
Double Knitting (DK) is probably the most all purpose of our yarns in thickness and as we have the largest range of colours. It offers plenty of scope for all knitters so makes a good choice as a gift. You can also make very warm garments using DK wool by knitting fairisle patterns, carrying the strands at the back and therefore making the garment thicker.
The Aran yarn is our second thickest (equivalent to knitting with two strands of the 4-ply), making it quick to knit into warm, thick woollens. Alternatively using smaller needles and a tighter tension it will made a dense hardwearing fabric or using larger needles you can make thinner fabrics with greater drape. Aran is excellent for textured knitting with cables, ribs and simple textures such as moss stitch.
The chunky wool knits up very quickly (equivalent to two strands of DK wool), making it satisfyingly fast to complete a project and makes for a thick, warm garment. It is excellent for textured knitting with cables, ribs and simple textures such as moss stitch, which make the finished garment even thicker and warmer. Though we only have chunky in two colours (Dorset Down Cream and Hebridean Chocolate Black), if you want to use any other colour to go with them, you can simply use two strands of our large range of DK yarns instead.
WHY BUY OUR WOOL?
Who you buy your food and fibre from is one of the strongest voices anyone has for how our natural world is looked after. It's the power to shape landscapes. Here are a few of the reasons you might choose our wool for your next creative project.