Meet the Heart and Soul of Brown Sheep Yarns

By Adrienne Martini and Ann Shayne
December 12, 2016

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  • I have loved Brown Sheep Wool since the day I found it! The colors are perfection and they have every kind yarn I need to make just about any project.

  • I have loved Brown Sheep for years, but it has become harder to find, even in my community with an abundance of LYS. More than 20 years ago I made a blanket from Brown Sheep yarn (square by square, its not a bad summer project), and it still graces the bed of the daughter who “stole” it. I hope the changes of the new generation make it easier to find in the local shops!

  • I love to visit their outlet store. Cotton fleece makes a fine, soft dishcloth and is easier on the hands to knit than regular dishcloth yarn. Thanks for telling their story.

  • Oh, Peggy Jo is so gracious, we stopped by Brown Sheep a few years ago and she had a long conversation with us. Long live Brown Sheep!

  • This is so interesting–I thought they had been around forever, and ever. I became a fan when the only LYS near me when I moved to CT in 1984 was dominated by their brand. It is long gone but I am still a fan.

  • I made a special stop in Mitchell, NE in a cross country drive a few years ago. After I was done picking out my yarn, I got to have a peek onto their factory floor! It was exciting to see where my yarn came from. Good people and great yarn. (Their Wildfoot sock yarn is a particular favorite in this house.)

  • I love what Peggy said about rebuilding the mill – that’s the kind of deep-down, money-where-your-mouth-is, behind-the-scenes commitment and investment consumers rarely see or hear about. I hope Brown Sheep will be spinning for many years to come! And since I didn’t notice a link in the article (apologies if I missed it), may I stick one into this comment? In case, you know, anyone wants to peruse the Brown Sheep blog or just look at lots and lots and lots of fiber…

    • Yes! Brown Sheep was the first yarn I bought when I returned to knitting about ten years ago. It is wonderful to learn that they care about their workers’ safety. I work in occupational safety and health and it’s good to know I can support a company that provides safer jobs.

  • I just made a hat with some of their wool and really enjoyed the feel as I was working. The finished product came out looking splendid!

  • Lamb’s Pride was one of the first “nice” yarns I knit with when I started knitting. In fact, it may have been the first non-acrylic yarn I used! My former LYS had it in just about every color, but it’s harder to fine where I am now. I’m going to have to go look for it, I believe!

  • I first saw Brown Sheep wool about 1990. I lived in a ski area and it was perfect for hats, mittens, even sweaters. I love the Lambs Pride. Love. My LYS is an internet colossus, but fortunately they carry Brown Sheep.

  • Not long after I returned to knitting, felting became all the rage. Remember all those great Noni and Nicky Epstein bags and flowers? I was in Denver and my LYS owner stocked tons of Lamb’s Pride that was perfect for felting. The shop owner even organized a day trip for a group of us to drive to Mitchell to visit Brown Sheep. Thus I learned about all the yarns and how perfect they are for everything. I still love them and don’t know what I’d do without a stash of Lamb’s Pride.

  • I love super bulky yarn, and in my opinion their Burly Spun is best in class. Gorgeous colors, gorgeous hand feel, and the joy of a super-bulky “instant gratification”.

  • I have the great good fortune to live less than 10 miles from Brown Sheep Co. and have loved buying their yarn going back to when Harlan Brown first started producing it. I feel privileged to consider Peggy Jo a friend and am delighted to see her son and daughter-in-law join the business. Monthly Knit Night at the Mill and the Scotts Bluff County Fiber Arts Fair are the best….Everyone at Brown Sheep pours hours of hard work into the Fair and it is pure pleasure to see all the fiber artists in our little corner of western Nebraska. Brown Sheep yarn and the family are truly a treasure!

  • My mom and I drove into the driveway over in Mitchell one morning and an older gentleman asked if he could help us. Yes, I said, could we have a look around? I’m a knitter and have used your yarn. My husband’s from Kimball and my mother-in-law lives in Scottsbluff. Sure, he said. Harlan gave us a lovely tour of the plant. How’d you get started with this business, I asked. I’m just an old sheep farmer and bought a hundred-thousand dollars worth of yarn-making machinery. Oh, I said. That’s a leap of faith.
    I’m faithful to Brown Sheep because I’m a Nebraskan, but, probably, more because it’s just the real deal. Naturespun felts better than anything. Brown Sheep was the original hometown made-in-the-USA brand.

  • I am in the process of making Christmas stockings– 5 socks for 5 very special puppies– out of Brown Sheep Lambs’ Pride Super Wash Bulky. I just finished #4 and started the toe on #5. Love the yarn, and I’m glad to know they are American made and so conscientious about the environment and the safety of their employees!

  • I have used Brown Sheep for years. I do craft shows and it’s my go-to yarn. It is consistently good quality at a reasonable price. It felts like a dream. The mohair makes a nice halo. Also, ITS MADE IN AMERICA. That’s something to really be proud of. And when I have a weird question they will talk to me on the phone or answer my emails. I love working with this company and it’s yarn!
    I’ve started using Lanaloft sport and worsted weights. Another incredible yarn. Without the mohair, it has a smoother finish. I’ll stop now or end up babbling for a very long time!!

  • Loved the piece! Brown sheep was the wool that I used for my first real knitting project.

  • I love this! When I first caught the knitting bug, my then-local yarn store had both worsted and bulky Lamb’s Pride in many colors! (I moved, and the yarn store closed a few years later. Coincidence?) It was the perfect yarn for so many of my early projects, and I still have a special place in my heart for it. I have been contemplating a Station Wagon Blanket, but had thought to use my stash yarn for it. (Many yards of my partner’s beautiful handspun, also in many colors, to be specific.) This is giving me a hankering (skein-ering?) for Brown Sheep again, though…

  • My husband’s boss — the president of WBGO-FM — was once the president of Brown Sheep. Isn’t that funny? She has told me that it was an absolutely wonderful place to work, and she looks back on her time there with great fondness.

  • We stopped in at Brown Sheep on our way through Mitchell a couple of years ago. Its fifteen hours from my house, which seems like a short hop when I remember how warm and welcoming everyone was at the mill. Thank you for sharing this story! They are a business well worth supporting!

  • Yay, Brown Sheep! 😀 xoA

  • Never have knitted one but am learning to knit 🙂

  • I am searching for a pattern using Lamb’s Pride Worsted yarn. The pattern is from the early 2000’s and it has a heart within a heart pattern around the bottom. I had the book but can not find it. Can anyone help me out? Thank you. LuLu Hudson, [email protected]

  • I am a proud Nebraska knitter. I have been to Brown Sheep twice and will be back again. Wonderful family producing wonderful yarn.