In the fall of 2023, The Future is Wool included a yarn giveaway to 70 interested participants, offering each a free skein of Canadian wool, undyed or naturally dyed for maximum sustainability and beauty. We hoped that participants might enjoy using this yarn to knit-along to the Wool talks we offered every few weeks, both getting the feel of this Canadian wonder and learning more about wool production, dyeing, marketing, and mending here in Canada. We also sent links with free Ravelry-sourced one-skein patterns to make with the yarn. Participants were invited to use their skein in any way they wished – including sending their knitted garment back to TFIW for our pre-holiday distribution to Montrealers in need through the non-profit social service agency, Resilience Montreal.

Canadian wool isn’t as easy to come by as you might think, with the economics of the wool industry not always allowing small wool producers to retail their beautiful products through local yarn stores (LYS) and certainly not through big chain stores. Margins can be so slim and price points so sensitive that selling through retail can be impossible. TFiW was fortunate to be able to access seven exceptional providers (plus an additional dyer) — many through our community partner, the TWIST Fibre Festival and others via Montreal’s 2023 Knit City event. We did find a great stash of Canadian wool at Montreal’s La Bobineuse yarn store, highly recommended for those in town.

Of course, anyone seeking exceptional Canadian wool can order directly from the yarn producers who supplied our stash. To support them and Canadian wool more generally, we’ve listed them here in alphabetical order. Suggestion: buy direct from them – and the next time you’re at your LYS ask about Canadian wool!!

(In addition to selling yarn, many of these producers also offer other products and farm-based events, for those who want some direct contact with sheep!)

Les Brebis du Beaurivage / Cabin Boy Knits / Fermes Leystone Farms / Ferme Sol /

Long Way Homestead / Revolution Wool / Sunflower Knits

Les Brebis du Beaurivage

Les Brebis du beaurivage is a Quebec family farm that offers multiple yarn products, some undyed, some naturally dyed, as well as meat and dairy. TFiW purchased skeins that were a beautiful mix of 50% Friesian wool, 25% mohair, 25% rambouillet wool, naturally dyed for them by habi-habi with Hiimalayan rhubarb, logwood, madder and other plants.

We were also fortunate to have hand-dyer extraordinaire Amélie Bédard of Emilia & Philomène offer to naturally overdye some of Les Brebis’s beautiful naturally grey yarn with onion skins, madder and turmeric. This was E&P’s first foray into natural dyeing and we are so honoured to have been the recipient of their beautiful outcomes!

Cabin Boy Knits

Ontario-based, Christopher Walker and Jamie Godin of Cabin Boy Knits offered TFiW 10 vivid, variegated (hand-painted/dipped) skeins of Canadian rambouillet, dubbed ‘Canada’s merino’ for its fineness and softness next to the skein. This was a much appreciated special order: in addition to their extraordinary, locally foraged colour, CBK is also known for its bespoke wool blends, mixing different varieties and sources (including American wool) to get just the right combination for that special project.

Christopher and Jamie also did a wool talk for TFiW, all about their natural dye practice.

Fermes Leystone Farms

Fermes Leystone Farms offers exceptional undyed wool in a rich deep brown, from their Southdown and Baby Doll sheep, which owners Karri and Trefor Munn-Venn raise (along side their guardian alpaca and ex-city dog) in the Outaouais. They’re also strong proponents of sustainability, slow, ethical/humane wool production, and wool gardening pellets as a excellent use for wool that is not suitable for handwork!

Ferme Sol

Ginger Howell’s Ferme Sol contributed luscious undyed wool to our project, an outcome of their regenerative farm practices that aim to improve the quality of the soil and sequester carbon, while also treating their sheep with love and respect. Ferme Sol’s orientation is aligned with TFiW‘s: “Our mission is to reconnect people to the land, the animals and the products that can support our well-being, contribute to revitalizing our ecosystems and invigorate us with the joy of their beauty. “

Long Way Homestead

Manitoba-based, Long Way Homestead is run by Anna Hunter and her family. Anna is a sheep farmer, mini-mill operator, outspoken wool advocate, and author of an excellent capsule resource about Canadian wool, Sheep, Shepherd & Land: Stories of Sheep Farmers Reinvigorating Canadian Wool. Building from this research and her own experience, Anna also offered one of our fall 2023 wool talks. TFiW circulated skeins of Anna’s beautiful wool dyed with madder, cutch, indigo, cochineal, logwood, and more! and

Revolution Wool

From their farm in southcentral Ontario, Romy Schill and her family practice regenerative farming, encouraging healthy land and healthy sheep. They work with Canadian mills to create blankets, wool products, and yarn – much of which is dyed by Romy using her own local plants . TFiW was very happy to send out skeins of Revolution’s Wool dyed with marigold, rhubarb, sumac, goldenrod, indigo and more.

In 2021, thanks to facilitation by the Upper Canada Fibreshed, Romy collaborated with TFiW on the creation of a Farm to Fibre video that profiles her regenerative, sustainable approach to farming and wool projection.

Sunflower Knits

Ash Alberg is a textile artist, knitter, natural dyer, storyteller, and educator living in Treaty One territory, Winnipeg, MN. They have created Sunflower Knits, whose yarns TFiW was able to source locally in Montreal at La Bobineuse, gifting skeins dyed with osage, foraged tansy, black walnut and more.