Just down the road a smidge is a beautiful farm laid out across a large, productive acreage in Hardwick, Vermont. At the helm, Ben and Kelly are consistently following research and adopting modern approaches to nutrient management, paddock grazing and more. Talking to them is always educational for me – we talked for at least 90 minutes about flock management and field health without pause when we visited. The one area of expertise that Kelly and Ben lack seems to be a plan for their wool. Bobolink Yarns to the rescue!
Coopworths are a New Zealand breed developed from a cross between Border Leicesters and Romneys. Ben and Kelly mainly raise beef cattle. They tell me that the sheep are a critical part of their “Flerd” (flock+herd=Flerd) because sheep will eat different plants in the pasture and can help the cattle utilize everything completely.
The sheep at Snug Valley Farm are mostly natural-colored and medium-gray. Their locks are VERY long – they seem to go on forever! The wool isn’t super-soft, but most people will probably find it comfortable for hats, mittens and the like.
Snug Valley Coopworth is a 3ply semi-worsted fingering weight yarn with amazing luster and drape. The yarn itself is all a natural steely gray, so overdyed skeins have rich gray undertones.
Some people will find it acceptable next-to-skin but it may be better suited to light outerwear. It gives great stitch definition but also has a light halo.