What do I mean when I say I use "rescue wool" in my yarns? I could call it by other names, "animal-friendly" for one or maybe "no kill", but that sounds a little dramatic. I like the way the term "rescue wool" rolls off the tongue, plus it seems a little more descriptive and a little less vague.
Specifically, I get the majority of my wool from a place called the Homestead Wool and Gift Farm. Sandy Ryan and her flock of Fruit Loop munching sheep live in Wisconsin and you can get anything from raw wool to batts to yarn from them. I first discovered the Farm after picking up a copy of Intertwined by Lexi Boeger and seeing a write-up on it in there. I prefer the raw fleece because I'm hardcore like that, but Sandy comes up with lots of pretty colorways and there are always several kinds wool plus fun stuff like camel or llama occasionally. The part I really love, though, is that many of the animals are ones that needed a new home and they get plenty of love and care at the Farm. They all have names and as Sandy paints a wonderful picture of their personalities and foibles on the website and on her blog. My daughter likes to ask me which sheep I'm spinning, meaning is it Fender? Or Aina, maybe? It makes me smile just thinking about it. They don't get sold again or eaten, nor are they allowed to become pregnant. The shearing is done carefully and respectfully and all the money they make goes into continuing this process.
I love getting to vote with my work and wallet in this way and I would encourage anyone else who wonders about the origins of their fleece, batts or yarn to do the same.