Our yarn starts here on the farm in our barn and pastures. We raise Leicestershire Longwool sheep from lambs to maturity, our sheep are responsibly bred and born right here at Hill Farm. We take pride in ensuring that our sheep, and other animals, are given the best quality life possible. They are fed high quality and nutritious food and allowed to safely free range to their liking.
We only use trusted expert shearers and spinners as close to home when possible to ensure we can remain as sustainable and truly local as possible.
Hill Farm commissions several local wool shearers each year to shear and groom our sheep. The process by which the woolen fleece is cut off the sheep is done typically once each year and takes place in our barn. This trade dates back to the bronze age and believe it or not, though the tools may have changed slightly, we still use the same practice.
Our shearers are masters of their crafts and shear our sheep in about 2-5 minutes, expertly removing the wool for the next step in our process.
Our Longwool sheep are an English breed of sheep that date back to the 1700's and are known for their dense lustrous wool. Our sheep come in four breeds: Lester Longwool, Wensleydale, Teeswater, and Gotland. The wool comes in many colors but typically has a crimp or slight wave and a high shine.
Because our sheep are so well cared for; we feel the wool they produce is some of the highest quality local wool available. Each sheep produces a unique wool texture and color, therefore each year our yarn products are unique and one-of-a-kind.
FROM DRAFTING TO SPINNING
Once our wool is removed from our sheep it is bundled at sent to one of many local Pennsylvania mills to be spun. A spinning wheel may seem romantic to you like from out of a fairy tale, but for us it's just another tool of our trade. We still use these machines, made from wood, to hand-spin some of our yarn in house.
OUR DYING PROCESS
We hand dye our wool in small batches using some of the techniques that have not changed much, even in 2020!
Together, Gwen and local dyers, dye Hill Farm's yarns with a variety of dyes which give the most freedom to play with the colors. it is important to Hill Farm to produce a large variety of vibrant and exciting colors to allow Gwen and other makers to create something beautiful and colorful.
We believe that our process produces the best quality yarn, and in turn the best quality products for our customers.
OUR YARN PRODUCTS
Once our yarn is ready to magically transform into what nature had intended it to become you can find it here in the studio on the farm, on our online store, or at a local maker event. All of our products are made by hand, either on needles or one of our beautiful looms. Each item can take hours to craft and are carefully planned out and created using a blend of our wools, silks, chenille, and Rayon.
When you purchase from Hill Farm we encourage you to envision the complete journey that your product has taken. From its time on one of our friendly sheep, to the dying pot, and from our very own hands, the love and care that we put into our lifestyle and farm is a tradition we hope can be passed down and appreciate by you: our community.