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Before the release of our first yarn, Shelter, we challenged ourselves to answer a few humble curiosities. With such a rich textile history and an exciting variety of wool resources amidst a booming U.S. community of knitters and makers, why was it challenging to source and develop traceable American yarns? Would it be possible to develop from scratch a 100% American-sourced, designed, and spun yarn in a way that reflects the values of an intentional maker? These questions, and our continued seeking for their answers, have come to shape the heart of our mission here at Brooklyn Tweed. We are proud to have grown our core yarn offerings over the years — five versatile, breed-specific yarns developed with an eye to traceability, reproducibility, supporting domestic mills, reinvesting in the textile industry, and more importantly, providing a meaningful experience to the handknitter.

Now, we are going a step further with our Ranch Project. In our desire to continue to explore the possibilities for domestic yarn production, for this series we are partnering with single ranches to source limited, single clips, quantities too limited to use in a core yarn line but for which we are able to highlight their unique and special qualities. Our aim is to also highlight the exceptional stories of these ranches and the noteworthy work they are doing in reimagining ranching practices in the U.S.

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For Ranch 01, our first offering in this ranch-specific, single-batch series, we sourced Climate Beneficial American Rambouillet wool from Bare Ranch in Surprise Valley, California. We are inspired by the work that Bare Ranch is doing, in partnership with Fibershed, to implement carbon farm planning to support hearty sheep, quality wool, and, ultimately, a healthier planet. To take the project a step further, we also worked with the Green Matters Natural Dye Company in Pennsylvania to achieve a naturally-dyed color palette that will further remind you of how close this yarn is to the earth.

Over the next few weeks leading up to launch day on April 20, we will dive deeper into the stories of the people whose dedicated work supported this very special yarn. We hope you will join us on the journey of Ranch 01’s story.

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17 responses to “Introducing Ranch 01”

  1. BT, this is terrific! I am looking forward to supporting you supporting these farmers and the environment. Kudos to you all.

    ps: I love Rambouillet. BT Vale has already converted me with its springy body…so much nicer than even Merino. So I can’t wait to try something from Bare Ranch. I just wish I was a fast knitter.

  2. I am looking forward to giving this yarn a try. My LYS – the best one in the world – Wool & Honey in Cedar, MI is the MI source for BT. I plan to order a sweater quantity of Ranch 01. Right now I am knitting Veronika from Shelter (Faded Quilt). I have another sweater quantity of Shelter (Narwhal ) waiting in the wings for your pattern, Koto. I enjoy knitting with BT yarns and thoroughly appreciate your attention to US farms, ranches, sheep, mills, natural dyes, etc.

  3. What a wonderful initiative, I look forward to trying this yarn, Brooklyn Tweed and Bare Ranch farmers. Rambouillet wool is a cushy delight!

  4. I love that these new yarns are so close to the sheep and the earth. Looking forward to the natural dyes. Brooklyn Tweed continues to be a progressive company but does not sacrifice quantity for quality. Thank you!

  5. Thank you so much for these articles and videos! Making the connections with the people who make the yarn enriches my experience of knitting and wearing the garment. And knowing more about the materials and the sheep…and the people who raise the sheep with the environment in mind…all together just makes me smile. Thanks for the information!

  6. Lovely, but it would have been nice to see the word “humane” in there somewhere.

  7. I honestly have no real objection to imported wool, especially Canadian. I do worry about the extensive transportation of the raw product all over a large country in order to do the various processing. I know scouring takes a lot of water, but why is this so often done in Texas?

    I try to buy most of my yarn right here in Wisconsin (where I live), especially if the entire process is done here. Local, local, local. I also spin some of my yarn myself from local sources.

    I also second the comment of Rebeca McDonough, above about the “humane” aspect. The smaller the operation, in general, the more humane treatment of the source creatures can be expected. Wool is a precious gift from lovely sheep–gentle creatures who deserve as little stress as possible involved in obtaining their precious wool.

    I’m not totally vegan, nor do I support PETA, but I do feel responsible to all creatures, especially those who have been domesticated to serve humans.

  8. I commend you on your path and purpose. And as a knitter/crocheter, I will enjoy using your projects. But I have two requests. One, can you branch out into plant-based fibers? And, two, my passion is weaving. It is so hard to find yarn sources for that fiber art. Could you consider branching out into my passion?
    Thank you!

  9. The wool and colours look lovely, but don’t sheep need a colder climate to produce good quality wool? I don’t see how it is climate friendly to raise sheep in a dry region, requiring irrigation to grow their food. I also don’t see how it is climate friendly to ship the wool all the way To Pennsylvania for dyeing. I love the BT aesthetic, but there seems to be an awful lot of shipping all over the country. I will still want to try it.

  10. This is kind of amazing. Thank you so much. I hope that others in the industry are inspired to follow your lead. I can hardly imagine how much work and resources it takes for a small company to pull this off. Congratulations to the whole team.

  11. Hello Millie,

    Thank you for your question! Not all sheep require colder climates to produce quality wool. In fact, the Targhee-Columbia sheep breed we use for our woolen-spun yarns was created by the USDA in the early 20th century and was bred specifically to live and thrive in the arid region in which it lives. The Navajo Churro sheep as well as the Gulf Coast Native sheep are two other examples of sheep breeds that thrive in hot climates.

    Jamie Maccarthy | BT Customer Service

  12. Sadly the name and the wool and the whole story closely copies another product already on the market, very disappointing in such a small community to see this.

  13. Hello,

    Thank you for expressing your concerns! It’s very exciting to hear that another company has partnered with Fibershed and the Bare Ranch to produce a Climate Beneficial wool yarn. Ranch 01 was in development for over a year, so it’s always a treat to learn of other yarns that are released with similar intentions. We know of the great work done by our friend Brooke at Sincere Sheep with her Eureka Worsted line, and would love to hear about other Climate Beneficial yarn lines – would you mind sharing more with us about the yarn you’ve mentioned?

    As supporters of breed-specific wools and rebuilding our domestic textile manufacturing systems, we believe in the power of community and hope that more manufacturers and knitters will bring awareness to the amazing potential of wool in making our planet healthier for all creatures.

    Jamie Maccarthy | BT Customer Service

  14. Interesting….In response to the comment above, I believed the yarn mentioned previously started back in 2015, same wool, spec, farm, climate beneficial wool, natural dyes, etc, and they have been doing this long before you did. But I just don’t understand, with all your resources and creative energies, why do you come so close to step someone else’s shoes?! even the name you chose for this yarn is only two letters different from the one that comes way before you. In such a small community, shouldn’t we give more respect to one another? It is disheartening to see the other brand who took this initiative decided to discontinue its yarn because of this duplication of BT.

  15. Hello,

    Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us with your questions and concerns. We truly value this opportunity to talk to you about our Ranch series, as we clearly share the same passion for supporting everyone working within the fiber industry.

    The impetus to create a ranch-specific yarn line derived from our long-held desire to take our existing focus on breed-specific yarns one step further to ranch-specific yarns. Our Ranch series is a way for us to work with ranchers, mills, and dye houses across the United States who are doing incredible work producing breed-specific fiber but who have smaller operations that do not allow for a consistent supply chain over time. This yarn series also provides us the opportunity to share with the knitting community the stories of the particular ranches from which our wool is sourced. We chose to name the series “Ranch [number in the series]” as this encapsulates the core idea of the series, that the wool is being sourced from a specific, identifiable ranch.

    Future Ranch offerings will vary in fiber source, fiber content, processing mills and dye houses both large and small, while always remaining transparent about our supply chain and highlighting the stories of our working partners.

    Regarding Ranch 01 specifically, our work on Ranch 01 began in 2016 when Lani Estill from The Bare Ranch reached out to us regarding the Rambouillet fleece she was looking to sell at a premium to further support her work with Fibershed. As we learned more about the fiber she is producing on her integrated farmland, we were especially excited to help share her story which includes connections to Fibershed and the making of Climate Beneficial Wool.

    Ranch 01 provided us with the opportunity to develop our first worsted-weight, worsted-spun yarn. We decided to work with the Jagger Brothers mill in Maine, as they had spun our other worsted-spun yarns.

    In the interest of keeping this particular yarn close to the earth, and inspired by Fibershed’s vision of what our textile industry could be, we chose to naturally dye Ranch 01. In its color development we spoke with a handful of natural dye experts in the community and each was extremely helpful in helping us to think about how to naturally dye our wool at a scale larger than typically done with natural dyes. We were then fortunate to connect with Green Matters Natural Dye Company, who created a unique palette for Ranch 01.

    Our efforts are in the interest of bringing awareness to the need to support our shared domestic textile industries. And we believe that this work cannot be done alone, nor should it be. Only by working together can those of us in the industry collectively help to support ranchers, mills and dye partners and bring their respective work forward to the handmaking community. Ranch 01 has shown us that there is continued demand for thoughtfully processed fiber with known origins, so it is in all of our best interests that we and others continue to provide handmakers with products that are in line with our shared values. We hope there will continue to be increased demand from the marketplace for yarn of this sort that will benefit the industry at large.

    If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to email us at info@brooklyntweed.com and we will be more than happy to continue the conversation. We also invite you to read more about Ranch 01’s story on our blog, https://www.brooklyntweed.com/news/.

    All our best,
    the Brooklyn Tweed team

  16. In regards to what Finsheep and Islandspinner said, correct me if I’m wrong but the other producer who is upset was selling a DK-weight yarn, not a Worsted. I find it very strange that they say the market is too crowded for them to keep producing their line – it’s an entirely different weight, the colors are more centric to where they are dyeing it (a very limited color palette), and Bare Ranch is the first and so far only climate beneficial certified wool producer under Fibershed, so it’s not like BT even has the option to get this kind of wool elsewhere yet, and heaven forbid more than one company tries to celebrate an awesome farmer.
    I really feel like the other producer should be celebrating that their ideas are gaining traction – shouldn’t it be a big win to bring products like this to a larger market, to raise awareness about eco wool producers and natural dyes? I know they’re only one small studio with a devoted following, and I’m sure the existence of this new yarn with a similar ethos wouldn’t hurt them at all, in fact it would probably help, as BT is trendy and is making eco-chic more trendy by making this yarn. Personally I feel like they’re taking a holier-than-thou stance about their natural dye work, wanting to be the one who looks like they care so much more about it than anyone else, otherwise they wouldn’t be boo-hooing about the release of a similar yarn, calling it identical and cancelling their next run seems rather gradeschool.
    P.S. this yarn is lovely, Bare Ranch is awesome, and the color palette here is beautiful. Haters gonna hate and need to grow up.

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