Sunday, September 28, 2014



On our road-trip last month out to the West Coast we not only visited many National and State Parks, but we also stopped at Fiber Noteworthy Locations (FNLs).

Our first such stop was the the Brown Sheep Yarn Co. Mill and Factory Store in western Nebraska. We thought we had the location all mapped out on our iPad, but the app took us to this spot - way out in the corn and bean (as in dried beans to eat) fields on dirt country roads. Nope. No wool processing mill in sight. We drove around a bit feeling quite lost. Finally, we realized that we had a phone (we're still not quite used to that) and the phone number. After a quick call and a confusing conversation (the locals don't call the roads the same names as in the map app), we found Brown Sheep Yarn Co.

The Mill Store sells only "seconds" quality yarns so as not to compete with their retailers. As it is the only yarn store for a hundred miles, they also carry needles, books, and other fiber craft supplies. There was plenty of yarn to purchase and the place was quiet, so I took a deep breath and started fondling.

Jonesy had been worried about how cold it was going to be when we camped up in the high altitudes of the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. He needed a warm hat. Guess what? He's married to a knitter! So the first item we (he) picked out was some washable wool for his new hat. Just one skein of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Superwash in the the color "Purple Haze" was all we needed.

While empoyees of the mill rushed about in a adjoining hallway and office complex, doing their jobs, I sat on the floor and unloaded a couple of bins sorting through small mill ends (they were less expensive than full skeins). People must have wondered what was taking me so long because eventually the owner Peggy Wells came in to chat with me. We had a wonderful conversation about everything from the mill's history to what was growing in the fields and why. She also shared with me how the same 2-ply yarn is sold as lace weight, then plied with more 2-ply yarns and becomes the heavier weight yarns. Very clever indeed! I

After a couple of hours (really!) Peggy came in again to check on me. I allowed her to weigh my selections for payment. All yarns are sold by the pound. What did I buy? Amazingly I purchased mostly bulky and worsted weight yarns including some small skeins of hand-dyed yarns. Why? Because now that I am living in North America again I will have cool enough weather to let me handle thick wools. I've wanted to visit this store for many, many years and it was a dream come true!

So jealous!!!

Was starting to think that you'd been sucked into one of the yarn stores-never to come out- or that you were having just way too much fun to share it with us!!!

Keep those posts coming!

Miss you and Jonesy!!

Jackie (sv Lively Lady)
Always excited to see your updates! Love Jonsey's hat!!!
Travel safe!

Thought you fell off the face of the earth!!! And a trip to Brown Sheep Co - OMG!! I once ordered a 15lb bag of Brown Sheep mill end rovings. Lovely, lovely stuff. I've always wanted to go to the mill itself . . . I hope to get there before I die. You lucky thing.
Lucky you getting to visit the mill! What pattern did you use for Jonesy's hat? Love the color and design. Hope you all have a very safe trip.
We visited Brown Sheep a few years ago on our way home from Yellowstone. It was awesome! Did you get to tour the factory? As much trouble as I got into in the store, the tour was amazing.
Would love the pattern to Jonesy's hat too. Can you post on Ravelry? Very manly.
I discovered your blog this morning and so far have read through 2005. You are my new hero :-)
We went the other way -- retired from corporate-type jobs in NY and moved to a big old house in the rural midwest, where I spend as much time as possible knitting socks in a cornfield, and escaping from time to time in a wee motor home.
I love your socks, I like to knit fair isle but am nervous about keeping enough stretch to make wearable, 2-color socks.
Carry on! -Susa
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