Brown Sheep


How I fell in love with yarn

I started working with yarn in childhood. My mom taught me how to crochet when I was maybe 6 or 8. She tried teaching me to knit, but I struggled with it. I tried several times to teach myself before I finally figured it out. But that’s not what this story is about.

See, I was working with yarn before I fell in love with it. Maybe this is because I grew up in the 1980s, when practically all you could find was acrylic. I knew there was yarn beyond Red Heart Super Saver, but I didn’t know much. And what I knew was still acrylic, I believe.

My involvement in fiber arts ebbed and flowed over the years. I picked it back up in earnest in college.

And then, after getting married, we happened upon a small yarn shop. I went in and was inexorably drawn to the wall of luscious color. That wall contained Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride yarns. Skeins of worsted and bulky weight singles that were incredibly soft to the touch and with a lovely halo. Wool, with a bit of mohair. So soft! So warm.

Yarn from Brown Sheep

Part of my stash of Brown Sheep yarn.

That was it. I was in love.

I bought a few skeins, made a scarf or two. And then three and four and more.

I didn’t hurt that this yarn is milled right here in Nebraska, purchased from shepherds, mostly in the United States. They even reuse 70-90 percent of their daily waste water (dyeing is a water-intensive endeavor).

As I’ve spent more time knitting and crocheting, I’ve come to love the Brown Sheep yarns even more. I’m a huge fan of Lanaloft (the same type of singles yarn but without the mohair) and Nature Spun (which is 100 percent wool, plied yarn).

Brown Sheep yarns are reliable and soft, yes. I also really love the luminous quality of the dyeing, too. The yarn has life, vitality. They make other yarn look flat, dull and boring.

Some day I’ll get out to Mitchell and tour the mill.

Have you worked with Brown Sheep yarn and fiber? Do you have a local-to-you yarn company?


12 responses to “Brown Sheep

  1. My love of fiber started at a very early age. I can’t even remember when it started. I avoided wool because I thought it was all scratchy. Then I found merino!!!!! So, for 11 years I have been in love with wool. Good thing I only was knitting 1 year prior. But I actually crocheted for 30 years prior. And could never understand why I hated it so much. It was acrylic yarn!!! Yes, I am a fiber snob.

  2. I haven’t knitted for years and years but this wool sounds luscious. There is a local sheep farm here that has a wool shop attached, but I’m not sure the source is that farm, (I know they import their sheepskins & pass them off as their own.) Anyway – these colours are wonderful – indeed luminous, as you say.

  3. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    I know nothing about any of this!

  4. I always wanted to learn to knit or crochet, but I do not have the patience to learn. I did try a couple of times, but as a lefty I always had trouble translating the teachers movements to my own hands. So, when I want something, I bug a crafty friend or hit Etsy! 🙂

    I found you through NaBloPoMo, and even thought I don’t crochet or knit, I am glad I stopped by. Your love of yarn comes through clearly, I like the way you write. I will have to stop back by soon to see what else you have to say!

  5. I love the colors in your stash! Keep posting, with each one I feel more inspired to give it a try. I started to teach myself a few years ago, but put it down and have forgotten everything I knew.

  6. My experiences with yarn are very similar to yours. I also learned and knitted and crocheted with only acrylic for a very long time; it’s the only thing I knew, and hadn’t the foggiest notion there was anything else out there. Until I saw a sidewalk sign with an arrow pointing up to the second floor that said “yarn store.” And oh the wonderful fibers.

    I haven’t worked with Brown Sheep, but it’s now on the list of “yarns to try when the stash has been reduced a bit”!

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