Introducing my new yarn: MIO Columbia Aran!
For years I have looked for a way to buy yarn directly from local farmers, so I can dye and sell it. The difficulty is by the time the farmer charges enough to make a profit there isn't any room for me to make a profit too. Every time someone touches the fiber or yarn they have to be paid. So for me, I'm paying for the farmer who raises the sheep, the mill that processes the fiber first into spinnable fiber then into yarn, then finally I add my cost to dye it. It's really tough to pay all those people and make money on top of it, while selling the yarn at a price consumers will pay. The way that it currently works is I buy yarn and fiber from a distributor who gets their yarn and fibers from mills overseas, mainly the UK and South America. The mills get their fiber from large commercial farms who raise so many fiber animals they are actually able to accept less money per lb of fiber than a small local farm.
So this problem has been on my mind for many years. I love supporting local farms. Then it struck me, Imperial Stock Ranch is located right here in Oregon. So I can make a purely Made in Oregon (MIO) yarn. Raised in Oregon, sheared in Oregon, and dyed in Oregon. Their farm practices are sustainable and practical. They use all parts of the sheep. They live with and raise all the sheep themselves. I love it. If you want to read more about them, please check out their website!
The MIO Columbia Aran is my first yarn to start out the collection. It is named MIO for Made in Oregon, Columbia, because it is from Columbia Wool, and Aran, because it is Aran weight. Aran is on the heavier side of worsted. It is so springy and warm feeling! I just want to squish it all day. I really want to make a sweater or a skirt out of it. I think all this cold weather is getting to me! All I want to do is make warm woolens out of this yarn. I'm so happy I can finally make this dream come true!
I also want to make a note that, currently, I don't have any plans to discontinue any more yarns or fibers. I love the yarns I have and will continue to dye them as long as you, the customer, love them too! I will be adding more to my MIO line over the next few months. My goal is to provide a variety of yarns fibers that meet the needs of many customers. So I will have my local line and my not so local line, so there will be a little bit of something for everyone!