Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

Single breed wool in New Zealand

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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% cheviot (I have blogged about swatching this yarn here)

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.

Image courtesy of Anna Gratton

Image courtesy of Anna Gratton

Stansborough – Mithril – 100% Stansborough Grey (Kokako Grey is undyed). This is also available from Holland Road Yarn Company (drop them a note – I have seen it in store this week) and Mynx

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.

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Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

7 thoughts on “Single breed wool in New Zealand

  1. Fabulous post 😃 thanks so much for a great reference list.
    Rosewood wool from the Waikato come to mind too. I think, but am not certain, their wool is local Romney …perhaps one of your other readers might know ?

    • You are welcome! I do know about Rosewood Wool. It looks amazing, and it is Romney. But it is dyed, which is why I excluded them from the list. (my focus was undyed, natural single breed wool – probably didn’t explain that bit very well!)

  2. Perhaps I should immigrate… 😉

  3. Hi – it’s Deborah from Knitnstitch (LYS in Auckland, http://www.knitnstitch.co.nz). Thanks so much for compiling the list above. I have one to add. Naturally have a great yarn called Baby Natural which is 100% wool from a rare breed – Arapawa. Originally a Merino that was confined to Arapawa Island in the Marlborough Sounds. It is not dyed or superwash treated, just 4 natural colours. I have knitted up a baby cardigan Puerperium by Kelly Brooker as a shop sample and it is soft, warm and lovely to knit with.