Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Where the Woolly Things Are

The Te Kowhai Cheviot's being bought down for shearing

When you are in your Skeinz shop fondling all the luscious yarns we have its easy to forget that it wasn't that long ago the fibre was running about a paddock on the back of a hooved animal of one kind or another.

My old Man - Ross with Tui - his 'wool truck' dog
We have relationships with some incredible wool brokers who help us source all the amazing fibre that make our yarns and one such man who helps us out is my old man, Ross.  I have mentioned in previous posts about being raised on a sheep and cattle station & my pop was a farmer from his late teens until giving up the high country for 'town' in the 90's.  But you can't pull the wool over an old farmers eyes and it wasn't long before he started working for local wool merchants in his home town of Gisborne (just 3 hours north of the Skeinz Mill in Napier).

Shearing time at Te Kowhai - the fibre from that sheep is spun into the Naked Cheviot here at Skeinz
If you have attended the Knit August Nights yarn retreat in Napier you most likely have met my dad, he loves the retreat and spends hours talking to "all those hard case girls" as he calls the KANnannites and last year he drove the Skeinz shuttle between the retreat and the shop.

It's a joy to spin - it was this Cheviot that got me back into hand spinning
What he doesn't know about wool and what farm grows what fibre and where on the East Coast is very little indeed & it was Ross who found the Cheviot flock on Te Kowhai Station where we source our Naked Cheviot from. It's wonderful for us to be able track the fibre from farm to yarn and it is just as satisfying for Ross and Art from Te Kowhai as well to know that his wool is being made into such a beautiful thing.

Skeinz Naked Cheviot - all spun and ready to go.

We have deliberately kept the spinning of the Naked Cheviot as close to 'hand spinning' as we can.  It's just a two fold twist and constructed as you would if you were spinning for the classical Aran jumper.  Cheviot is lively, strong and warm and has a beautiful pearl like lustre.  It also wears very well, so if you would like to take the yarn full circle and something that would be worn on the farm - then the Naked Cheviot is the yarn to knit it in!

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