An interesting comment was made yesterday in response to the Wovember post that it was hard to know where to buy single breed wool yarn in New Zealand. This is quite true. If you are interested in knitting single breed wool in New Zealand, it is often difficult to know where to find it. As was observed, there are a lot of natural, 100% wool yarns available, but they are often blended yarns, and not of a single breed of sheep.
However, not all is lost! I have put together a list for you below, detailing what I know about where to find undyed, single breed, pure wool in New Zealand that is also not superwash treated. Given our relatively recent place in history as an agricultural nation, we do not have the variety of heritage sheep breeds that you can find in the UK. Many of the single breed wools available here are only sold as fleece due to the very small flock sizes. What I have noted below is a general representation of commercially available single breed yarns in New Zealand:
Maniototo Wool – 100% pure merino crossbred
Skeinz – 100% Polwarth
Skeinz – 100% organic merino
Skeinz – 100% rare breed merino
Anna Gratton – 100% New Zealand Corriedale. Available in several shades of natural, undyed yarn, and in several weights (fingering – chunky), as below. Contact Anna through her Facebook page to obtain. I have written numerous posts about her gorgeous wool. My Bedford sweater is made in this yarn, blogged about here. I have now worn it constantly for three years! And it just gets better and better and better. It is the classic wool story of wool that continues to develop and age like a great wine, into something utterly amazing as time goes on.
Treliske – 100% organic merino
BlackHills – 100% undyed wool yarn, except they don’t say what breed. I am guessing it is Romney or Romney crossbred. Very different to anything I have ever tried knitting before. I’ve mentioned it in the post about swatching Cheviot above.
Briarpatch – 100% organic merino
The Black and Coloured Sheep Breeders’ Association of New Zealand also contains links to other rare breeds in New Zealand, but most of this is fleece.
Hallblacks often has a 100% Romney lambswool (which I am knitting for the Wovember WAL) but they are currently on hiatus.
If you know of any others, I’m all ears! There is also a very interesting website on rare breeds of sheep (and other animals) that is worth a read if you are keen to know more about this area.