Today I am excited to write about the first month in our Aussie Farmers Yarn Tasting. We start our yarn tasting in February this year.
As you may already know, each month we offer a limited number of hand dyed skeins of a special yarn that we don't usually carry as a regular yarn base. Last year we tried some exotic and different fibres and this year we've decided to change things up a little and promote our local Australian wool growers. We have some amazing farmers in Australia that are leading the way in ethical wool production.
In Australia we have nearly completely lost the ability to 100% grow and fully process our wool here with many of the mills closing over the years. The superwash process has been completely taken off shore now and our two main mills that are still operating, whilst using Australian wool still have part of the processing of the fibre done in China and then sent back to Australia for spinning. Of course it is still important to support these mills as the wool is bought through the Australian wool industry however in our yarn tasting for this year we are going to try to focus on local farmers who grow ethically and sustainable, high quality wool and who also have it fully processed here in Australia, often by smaller boutique mills. We are seeing more and more of these boutique mills popping up.
(We may have to allow the processing part to include our close neighbours New Zealand as many of our small herd farmers send their wool to mills there to be spun.)
Run by Ronelle and James, Cloverleaf Stud is a Corriedale Sheep breed and farm-stay property in Baccus Marsh, less than an hours drive from Melbourne, Victoria. Get to know more about the farmers here
Alongside their sheep breeding and wool growing, Ronelle and James have a Bed and Breakfast farm-stay on the property called 'Rooks Edge' where you can spend time getting to know the sheep and take in the views of the beautiful Macedon Ranges. The accommodation looks fantastic and how much fun would it be to wake up and see these gorgeous sheep roaming nearby. See more info here
The Corriedale was developed in Australia and New Zealand around 1863 by crossing Spanish fine wool Merino sheep and English heritage breeds the Lincoln and English Leicester. These Merino crosses (½ bred) were named Corriedales with the benefit of the lustre and staple length of the English heritage breeds and the fine Merino to decrease the micron.
Their wool can withstand cold winters and high rainfall that was not possible with the finer merino fleeces. Together with the animals sturdy constitution, good mothering abilities and strong structure meant they could traverse steep countryside and prosper on poor ground.
The domestic animals on the Cloverleaf property play an integral role just as the people themselves and being a small property in size, just 80 acres, will remain a small boutique stud. The stud is registered with the Australian Corriedale Association (flock no. 2422).
Pasture and sheep management is maintained by rotating the sheep from paddock to paddock in line with permaculture principles. The sheep graze predominantly on a rotating pasture basis and they have the opportunity to ad lib minerals as these are provided for them. They also follow organic practices where-ever possible and do not use any organophosphate fertilisers or chemcials on the farm or sheep and the sheep are not mulesed.
Ronelle knows every sheep on the property, currently over 70 of them, by name! They don't use dogs or vehicles to move the flock as they have been trained to come when called. Every sheep is like a home pet and loved and cared for as such.
We love these guys, their passion for Australian wool production, their dedication to breeding great Corriedale sheep here in Australia and their determination for producing an ethical wool product that is not only high quality but the sheep are loved and cared for every step of the way. We hope you will get to know them, support them and you will love them too!
100% Corriedale grown in Baccus Marsh Victoria and and spun at the Wangaratta Wool Mills here in Australia.We have a limited number of skeins in a small selection of colourways available until sold out.
The yarn is sold in 100 gram cakes as per the photo, approximately 395m per cake. We received it in balls and then after dyeing and drying it was wound into cakes ready for you to use. There are 4 colourways, Tangerine, Magenta, Tartan and Bluey on a non superwash base. Care - gentle handwash in cool water. Lay flat to dry. Do not machine wash or spin dry.