Bellwether Wool Company’s fiber is raised on our two small western Oregon farms, Dayspring Farm and Blakesley Creek Farm.
Our farm is tucked in a wooded valley not far from Philomath and Corvallis, Oregon, where we raise Cormo, Border Leicester and Blue Faced Leicester sheep as well as some select fine-wool crossbreds. It’s a little extra effort to keep separate flocks, but they have such different and wonderful characteristics that we’ve never been able to decide on one above the other!
The Cormo sheep grow fine (17-22 microns) bright white wool suitable for “next-to-the-skin” projects whether knitted, crocheted, woven or felted. We’ve selectively bred a few of these ewes to Romeldale or Ramboulliet to produce that lovely fine wool in colors. Our fine wool sheep are coated year round and sheared once a year.
The Leicester sheep grow a long, lustrous fleece that holds its sheen through dyeing and spinning. It produces a more “drapey” end product and is coarser than the Cormo. Their waves and curls come in white and in shades of black, brown and gray. They are uncoated, and are sheared thrice in two years (nine month cycle).
As well as shepherding, I’ve been involved in fiber arts for many years as a spinner, weaver, knitter and quilter. I teach spinning. Like Lois, I’m passionate about my fiber interests and love sharing: just get me started!
We host spin-ins, dyeing days and other events here at Dayspring Farm. Visitors are welcome at these or at shearing or lambing season, or just to visit and have a cup of tea. Let us hear from you.
Snuggled on the edge of the Oregon coastal range, Blakesley Creek Farm raises Wensleydale sheep and a variety of other fiber animals to supply Bellwether Wool Company.
Blakesley Creek Farm was ‘born’ on an old tree farm in 1980. It started with a small well-used manufactured home, a few bottle lambs and a young couple with big dreams. 40 years later, those dreams have evolved into a hand-built house, a fruit and fiber farm to be proud of and an older, wiser, couple with a few grown kids.
Along the way, Bellwether Wool Company was hatched, more animals were added, and a classroom for teaching fiber arts became a reality. A sheepherder wagon Farm Stay/Airbnb has been the most recent endeavor and it’s great fun to meet new folks from around the world and introduce them to fiber arts.
Bellwether Wool Company came along 26 years ago as we realized that we did a great job of producing spinning fiber and decided to share this love with others. As well as producing and selling roving and yarn from our own flock and locally sourced natural fibers, Blakesley Creek Farm loves to offer small workshops, classes, mentoring and farm stays. Join us in celebrating this historical craft looking at it with fresh eyes.