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 Talk about yarns reviewed in Knitter's Review
 Yarns from specific sheep breeds
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New Pal

14 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2010 :  10:32:51 AM  Show Profile Send Danemom a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have been reading Clara's books: The Knitter's Book of Yarns and The Knitter's Book of Wool. In the second book, Clara spends quite a bit of time discussing the characteristics of wools and yarns from various sheep breeds and refers to seeing these for oneself at sheep and wool festivals, but she does not offer much help in finding breed-specific yarns from manufacturers. Does anyone have any experience shopping for breed-specific yarns?

The following are yarns I have been able to locate.
Naturally Perendale is available from Paradise Fibers.
Undyed Blue-Faced Leicester is available at this time from
Ashford Tekapo is Corriedale yarn and is available from Pacific Yarn & Fibers.
Wool Pak from New Zealand is Perendale/Romney blend available from The Elegant Knitter.

Clara does give good reviews of the Cormo yarns available from the Elsa Wool Company and the Rambouillet/Merino blend available from Marr Haven.

What have you found?

Permanent Resident

6331 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2010 :  11:39:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That is such an interesting post. I agree that I'd like to be able to match up the breeds to the yarns of the LYS.

Looking at Danemom's list I realized that I knit the Highland Triangle Shawl and a set of golf club covers from WoolPak. That yarn at one time was available in three weights in high end LYS under the name Baabajoe’s but has now disappeared. It's recommended for several patterns in Folk Shawls. I liked the yarn a lot and would use it again if I came across the worsted weight in a store. I sold my stash of it to someone who needed it on Ravelry.

Right now I'm finishing up a sweater in Beaverslide Worsted which is a merino/mohair blend. The company is in Montana and the merino is from the Rambouillet sheep of the American West, as explained on p.47 in Clara's second book. I love the yarn but dislike the knots in each skein. Nevertheless, I would buy more of this yarn and would recommend it with a knot caveat. It is available on the internet directly from the ranch, and buying a color card first is worth the extra step.

Blue Faced Leicester seems to be readily available. has it in sock yarn from three vendors: Black Bunny Fibers, Yarn Pirate, and Fleece Artist.

my knitting photos on Flickr or Ravelry
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Gabber Extraordinaire

583 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2010 :  12:23:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit NutmegOwl's Homepage Send NutmegOwl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
BFL is also in String Theory's new sock yarn, Blue Stocking, through Loopy Ewe. Briar Rose Fibers ( Glory Days, a really nice DK-weight with very generous yardage. Fleece Artist also has BFL in aran-weight that is absolutely delicious.

In my experience anything from Foxfire Fiber ( is also lovely. See the Cormo mixes and Border Leicester.

Nutmeg Owl
Quaecumque sunt vera
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queen bee

4414 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2010 :  5:17:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit Clara's Homepage Send Clara a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ah, some very good recommendations are here!

The issue is that it's still very, very, very, very hard to match breed to yarn on a commercial scale. The supply chain just isn't that transparent and well-documented yet. It is on a smaller "farmy" scale, but it gets dramatically harder the higher you scale. Even Rowan's Purelife British Sheep Breeds had to take some marketing liberties - not with malicious intent, mind you.

The closer you get to the farm, the higher the likelihood of the breed staying intact. The larger commercial wool world still works on the grade system, not the breed system. So it's very tricky. (I feel like a broken record. Have I mentioned how tricky it is?)

Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher
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Permanent Resident

1438 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2010 :  07:35:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Of course, you could always start spinning your own - wool for spinning is generally designed by breed...
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Seriously Hooked

600 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2010 :  07:42:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As I mentioned under the topic on the Nine Wonderful Wools (I think that was the one!), I have used the cormo wool from Elsa Wool Company and loved it. I used the woolen-spun worsted weight in two colors and also have the worsted-spun sport weight for the Guernsey socks (haven't gotten to those yet). I think I have looked at and bookmarked every one of the "farm yarn" sources in Clara's books.

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time.
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Permanent Resident

6331 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2010 :  08:52:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Lisa Souza is another source for BFL worsted

She also has BFL sock yarn.

I've ordered online from Lisa Souza and knit socks with her yarn. A+ recommendation.

my knitting photos on Flickr or Ravelry
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One Stitch at a Time
Chatty Knitter

300 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2010 :  09:45:17 AM  Show Profile Send One Stitch at a Time a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Check out this website for BFL .

Also, Clara has a thread, on KR, inviting folks to join the Ravelry KBOW Woolalong, which exposes us to new breeds/yarns (of her choosing) on a monthly basis.
You can join and/or discover new sources for yarns there as well.

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