Our Blog

Welcome to the Brown Sheep blog! We post monthly updates on a wide variety of topics, from our latest products to project inspiration and tutorials.  Our blog covers all kinds of fiber arts – knitting, crochet, weaving, spinning, and more! Be sure to check out our yarns, patterns, and learn more about our company’s story.

Spotlight on Shepherd’s Shades

Have you ever crafted with Shepherd’s Shades before? Now that fall is here it’s a good time to take a closer look at this bulky weight yarn, beloved among knitters and crocheters alike. Shepherd’s Shades is a fabulous yarn for fall/winter crafts—so fabulous, in fact, that its gradient shades feature in our current mystery knit […]

Our Favorite Summer Tops

Summer may be winding down, but knit and crochet summer tops are highly versatile. When crafted in a breathable yarn, summer tops easily layer over and under warmer clothing. They keep you cool during the last of summer’s balmy days, and pair beautifully with cardigans and coats as temperatures drop in the fall. And who […]

Brown Sheep Summer MAL 2022!

We had so much fun last year doing our summer make along that we decided to do it again! Crafting usually slows down in the summer, but with the right yarn, it doesn’t have to! Last year, we tasked crafters with making ANYTHING they wanted using Cotton Fine, Cotton Fleece, or Wildfoote Sock Yarn. We […]

Our Favorite Free Weaving Projects

A point of great pride for Brown Sheep Company is the many beautiful ways creatives use our yarns and fibers. Our yarns are utilized in so many different crafts, from knitting, crocheting, and felting, to weaving and punch needling. It’s always exciting to see imaginations transform our yarns into works of art. It feels like […]

Our Favorite Spring Shawls

Shawls are one of our favorite all-seasons projects. However, there’s something about spring that lends itself to making shawls. Whether it’s about playing with color pairings or deepening our love of lace, a shawl exists to scratch any creative itch. Summer promises warmer weather, but when the sun goes down and the night turns cool, […]

Spotlight on Lanaloft

Brown Sheep crafters know—and love—Lamb’s Pride. It’s an affordable, squishy-soft workhorse yarn with a list of intriguing attributes: it’s available in worsted and bulky weight, it felts beautifully, it comes in a huge palette of colors, and it includes a touch of mohair for that subtle but brilliant halo. But did you know we designed […]

Baby Knits in Brown Sheep Yarns

The spring season officially begins this Sunday. When we think of spring, it conjures visions of fluffy white lambs, chirping chicks, and fresh buds blossoming in the warm sun. Of all the seasons, spring feels the most new.  Maybe that’s why when we think of spring, we often think of babies. And, for crafters, baby […]

Great Scrap Projects for Brown Sheep Yarns

One of the topics we discussed in our previous blog on New Year’s Resolutions for Crafters dealt with using up yarn scraps. If you’ve been working with yarn for a long time, chances are very good you have a huge stash of scraps at your disposal. And since there’s a big overlap between Those Who […]

New Year’s Resolutions for Crafters

There are so many things to love about a new year. A new year feels like a clean slate, and a fresh opportunity to assess our crafting goals. What do we want to make? What do we want to accomplish? Sky-high expectations and unfulfilled promises plague New Year’s resolutions, but that isn’t a necessary outcome […]

MORE Last-Minute Holiday Gifts

It happens every year. The winter holidays creep up on us and before you know it, it’s gift giving season. If you’re still wondering what to make for friends and family, we’d like to help with a list of more last-minute gifts. Why more, you say? Well, if none of the below suggestions appeal to […]

10 Tops to Cast on for Fall + Winter

Sweater season has finally arrived! Time to bring knit woolens out of storage and refresh them for a new season (we wrote some tips on how to do that here). However, it wouldn’t truly be sweater season if we didn’t also start queuing up new knits to cast on now. One can never have too […]

Celebrate Socktober with Brown Sheep

Happy Socktober! ‘Socktober’ is not just the perfect portmanteau of ‘sock’ and ‘October.’ Socktober is perfect because for many of us, this is the time of year when we first start feeling the chill of the coming fall and winter season. And where do we feel it first? In our extremities: our fingers and toes. […]

Can’t Miss These New Colors!

We are excited to roll out some new colors for fall 2021 — these fluorescent colors couldn’t be any brighter!Look no further for the ultimate “pop” colors. We’re offering 5 new fluorescent hues that will be available in 4 weights each. These colors do have an interesting backstory (as it turns out, many of our […]

Our Yarn Dyeing Process: Solid Colors

This month, we’re sharing a glimpse into the process of how we dye our yarns — specifically, our solid-colored yarns we dye in batches in our large dye vats. To learn about how our multi-colored yarns are dyed, see this previous blog post: A Sneak Peak Inside our Yarn Hand-Painting Process. If you’ve had the […]

Summertime Knit & Crochet Inspiration

We hope you’ll join us for a summer Make-Along hosted on Spinning Yarns, our new online crafting community! The Make-Along (MAL for short) is simple and easy – just make something summery with Brown Sheep yarn and post pictures of your works in progress and/or finished objects in our Spinning Yarns group! The MAL is […]

Spotlight on Cotton Fleece

As temperatures heat up for summer, it’s the perfect time to highlight our favorite warm-weather yarn: Cotton Fleece! While some crafters take a break from knitting or crocheting during the heat of summer, we know there are plenty of die-hard crafters out there who switch to lighter weight yarns. Hopefully your summer involves some relaxing […]

Introducing Spinning Yarns: Our New Online Crafting Community!

Many of you have noticed or even started to participate in our new online craft community: Spinning Yarns! We’ve launched this exciting new space on the Brown Sheep website with a Mystery Knitalong. Participants are using the group forum to post photos of their progress as they knit, ask and answer questions as they come […]

Join Us for a Mystery Knitalong!

You’re invited to join a special knitalong for spring 2021: the pattern is a mystery! Keep up your knitting momentum with the perfect spring project. Without giving too much away–here are a few specs about the mystery project: it’s an easy-to-wear triangular shawl knit in 3 colors of Prairie Spun DK. Stitches include lots of […]

Celebrate National Craft Month with Wool!

This month, we’re bringing you some fun and unique ideas for crafting “outside the box” of your traditional knitting and crochet projects in celebration of National Craft Month. Maybe you want to use up some odds and ends from your stash, or maybe you just need something new and different to spark your creativity. Latch […]

All-time Favorite Projects to Felt

If you’ve worked with wool, then you probably have at least a little bit of experience with felt… whether on purpose or not! When felting is intentional, it’s an amazing way to create dense, sturdy, warm fabric that can hold up to wear and tear. If you’ve felted something on accident… well, you probably won’t […]

Kick off 2021 with Virtual Craft-Alongs and Brown Sheep Yarn

We are thrilled to see some of our favorite crafting blogs kick off 2021 with craft-alongs featuring Brown Sheep yarns! We want to make sure you’re in the know about these virtual events open to crafters anywhere, from the comfort of your own home. Knitters AND weavers – you’re in for a treat if you […]

Last-Minute Handmade Holiday Gifts

Scrambling to check off all the holiday gifts on your list? Sometimes a handmade knit or crochet gift is the perfect solution for those individuals who are hard to shop for. Plus, something handmade feels so much more authentic and personal than a store-bought item. Many of these gifts take only a few hours to [...]

A Sneak Peek Inside our Yarn Hand-Painting Process

If you’ve ever tried dyeing yarn at home, you know it’s sort of like a combination between baking, chemistry, and painting. Our handpainted yarns are some of our most loved colorways, both for our customers and for us! A quick overview of how we dye our yarns: any of our solid or semi-solid colors are […]

Waverly Wool: Needlepoint yarn of many, many colors!

Imagine the possibilities of having more than 400 colors to choose from in vibrant, sturdy wool yarn. Waverly Wool, our line of needlepoint yarn, is one of our most versatile products.  Waverly wool is ideal for any project that requires a wide range of hues (such as needlepoint!) or, a very specific color match. Every […]

Time to Refresh Handknits for Fall

Finally… it’s officially fall.  I hope you’re indulging in everything pumpkin spice, taking long walks in the crisp air, and most importantly – getting your handknit (or crochet or handwoven) items out of storage and ready to wear for cooler days. Wool is an amazing natural fiber: warm, vibrant, and cozy. However, it does take […]

Celebrate Granny Square Day with Brown Sheep Yarns

When I found out about the existence of Granny Square Day, it brought back some warm and fuzzy memories of projects past. Have you crocheted granny squares before? If so, you know they are just about the most relaxing, simple, and addictive little projects to make with yarn. I’ve decided Granny Squares are basically the […]

Just for Fun: Unique Knits to Cast On Now

Sometimes we all get stuck in a rut, making the same kinds of projects over and over… this month, we’re sharing some unique ideas for fun, out of the box, possibly even tiny and adorable projects to try knitting or crocheting. Small projects made with lightweight yarn are perfect for late summer, when you’re not […]

Weaving Inspiration: Bringing the North Woods Home

As it turns out, this is not the year for grand travels and adventures away, but for finding peace at home. Those of us who enjoy handcrafting are more thankful than ever to keep our hands busy– just like a great novel, diving into a project can transport us to another place and time. Sometimes […]

Spotlight on Synchrony Yarn

Every great yarn has a story — our unique yarn called Synchrony is no exception. It’s time to spin a yarn about spinning yarn. Many wonderful things have been invented by mistake — or, a mistake that turns into something unexpectedly better than planned. I believe chocolate chip cookies fall into this category. About a […]

Learn to Knit from Home

As we settle into a rhythm of life that requires spending lots of time at home (whether it’s a quarantine or any other life event such as an illness, injury, or caring for a loved one), there’s nothing more helpful than having a handcraft like knitting to keep your hands and mind busy. Knitting provides […]

A Handy Guide: Sub a Brown Sheep Yarn for any Pattern

What to do when you’ve found a pattern you love, but it calls for a yarn you don’t have? Here at Brown Sheep, we spin a variety of yarn weights to cover just about any knit or crochet pattern. That way, you can use quality U.S. made natural fiber yarn for any project (of course)! […]

A Nebraska Inspired Weaving Project

A Nebraska-Inspired Weaving Project This month, I’m sharing about a weaving project that is near & dear to my heart. This project basically combines all my favorite things: weaving (just complicated enough to be interesting but simple enough to be enjoyable), nature, nature-inspired colors, and of course: wool yarn. When Handwoven magazine asked if I […]

Looking Back on 40 Years of Yarn

Looking Back on 40 Years of Yarn The turning of the new year marks our 40th anniversary as a spinning mill — making it a good time to look back and reflect on our journey as a company over the past 40 years. I had the opportunity to look through Brown Sheep Company’s scrapbook from […]

Exploring Boundweave with Brown Sheep yarns

Exploring Boundweave with Brown Sheep yarns There’s a lot to love about Lamb’s Pride yarn – especially how versatile it is. Not only is Lamb’s Pride perfect for knitting and crocheting, it also makes an excellent weaving yarn. I decided to explore a new technique in weaving called Boundweave. The key feature of Boundweave is […]

Brown Sheep Yarn and Fiber Inspiration

Brown Sheep Yarn and Fiber Inspiration We’re happy to see our wool making the rounds both online and in print this season. In case you haven’t had time to browse your favorite blogs, podcasts, and magazines, here’s a round-up of what crafters are making with our yarn lately. We know many knitters and crocheters are […]

How to Piece Together a Sweater

Finishing work gets a bad rap among knitters, sometimes – but it’s actually the most satisfying step! You get to see your project transformed from 2-dimensional pieces to a 3-D finished object. In this tutorial, we will walk through the process of piecing together a sweater consisting of components that have been knit flat: a […]

Have you any wool (roving)?

You never know where your journey into the world of fiber arts might take you. We all know the fiber arts are addictive – something about working with wool in its many different forms tends to draw us in. How many of us begin with one craft (say, knitting) and then get swept into spinning […]

A Quick Guide to Weaving with Brown Sheep Yarns

We are excited to see weaving take off in popularity this year. Many crafters are branching out and expanding their repertoires into some form of weaving – rigid heddle, floor loom, or tapestry. Brown Sheep yarns have been used for weaving since our company’s beginning and continue to be a great choice for a wide […]

Rolling Out New Yarn Colors for 2019

The process of creating new yarn colors is always an adventure. We begin with a review of the previous year’s colors — we take a look at which hues, shades, and color families were most popular. Then, we take a close look at color predictions for the upcoming year and decide which up-and-coming colors might […]

Crafting for a Cause

We love knowing that our yarn goes toward making the world a better place! Knitters, crocheters, and handcrafters of all kinds are so generous with their time and talents. Today we’re sharing some tips for crocheting or knitting for charity causes. The possibilities are unlimited — a crafter can get involved in anything from a […]

Bus Tours to Brown Sheep Company!

What happens when you combine a group of 50+ knitters/crocheters, a tour bus, and a yarn mill? This kind of trip combines education and shopping with sight-seeing and camaraderie. The result is a whole lot of fun and happiness. We have enjoyed welcoming a group from the wonderful ImagiKnit yarn shop in Omaha, Nebraska. They […]

Week-long Weaving Workshop at the Brown Sheep Fiber Arts Schoolhouse

We are very excited to announce our first week-long workshop at Brown Sheep Fiber Arts Schoolhouse. We hope this will be a wonderful opportunity for weavers to relax, learn, and be immersed in new techniques for an entire week in peaceful Western Nebraska. Ilene Naegle of Ganado, Arizona is our highly talented instructor who will […]

Welcoming a New Baby, Brown Sheep style!

When a new baby is born into a family that owns and operates a yarn spinning mill, he is showered with handmade hats, blankets, sweaters, socks, and more! Something about a new baby brings out the best in people – especially those who love to make things. We welcomed Walter Lewis Wells into the family […]

Review Round-Up: Stratosphere Yarn

Curious about our newest superwash yarn, Stratosphere? We’ve asked some of our favorite bloggers and podcasters to test drive this yarn & share their reviews with us! This is a great way to see how this yarn works up in a variety of stitch patterns (both knit and crochet) – we hope this inspires you to start something […]

Finishing Handmade Holiday Gifts + Free Printable Gift Tags

If you’ve spent the last few months crafting holiday projects, it’s time to put the finishing touches on those gorgeous gifts! Today, we share some of our favorite tips (plus FREE printable gift tags!) to make your handmade gifts shine this holiday season.   Blocking No hand-knit (or crocheted) gift is finished without a good blocking. […]

Gifts to Knit and Crochet for the Holidays

Christmas is less than 2 months away – that means gift knitting and crocheting is in full swing! We’ve rounded up some great new patterns that use Brown Sheep yarns and a few older favorites that we keep coming back to. We hope this provides you with a bit of inspiration as you craft for […]

Free Tutorial: How to Square Off a Circular Crochet Motif

If you love making crocheted motif blankets, you probably know that it is difficult to join circular motifs together without leaving gaps. In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to square off a circular crochet motif. This works best if the number of stitches in your circle is divisible by four because we will […]

Easy DIY Fringe Wall Hanging with Pom Poms

The fall fringe trend doesn’t have to be limited to garments and accessories! Today, we’ll show you how to make a modern wall hanging to add a handmade touch to any room using a few skeins of Lamb’s Pride bulky and worsted yarn – no knitting or crocheting required! You’ll need just a few supplies […]

Choose the Perfect Yarn and Needles for Any Pattern

One of my favorite things about Brown Sheep yarn is the versatility of all the different weights and fibers.  When knitters walk into our mill yarn shop with a pattern in hand, we are always able to find a Brown Sheep yarn that can “sub in” for any yarn the pattern may be written for. […]

Knitting Color Work: Tips & Tricks

Wanting to try stranded color work or Fair Isle knitting, but feeling a little intimidated? We’ve got some handy tips on making this dream a reality. What exactly is color work? Basically, this is multi-colored knitting that’s done by carrying two colors at a time across a row. The pattern can have a million different […]

Now Introducing: Brown Sheep Fiber Arts Schoolhouse

We are excited to finally share with Brown Sheep fans about our new project. Those who have visited our mill may have noticed the rural schoolhouse just across the highway from us. This schoolhouse, formerly known as Haig school, has a long history with the Brown family.  In fact, the land for the school was […]

Shawl Knitting Pattern Round-up

Shawls are wonderful to knit for so many reasons.  You can play with a new technique, use any weight of yarn, and have fun styling the shawl in all sorts of different ways. Shawls are a great “low pressure” project because the gauge usually doesn’t have to be super precise! Perfect for summertime de-stress knitting. […]

New Innovations in Dye Water Recycling

In honor of Earth Day (and Arbor Day) this month, we wanted to share with you some new developments in our water treatment system here at the Brown Sheep mill. You may have read our blog post about How We Recycle Our Dye Water. Since then we’ve continued to improve this system for re-using our dye […]

10 Reasons to Switch from Box Store Yarns to Natural Fiber Yarns

Everyone’s knitting or crocheting journey has to start somewhere — for many of us, it began in the aisles of a big box craft store with a skein of acrylic yarn. There’s nothing wrong with these humble beginnings, but as your craft progresses there’s a process of becoming more thoughtful about the supplies you choose […]

Insider Secrets to Selecting Colors: Nature Spun Yarn

With more than 80 colors to choose from, selecting color palettes can get a little overwhelming.  Today, we’re diving into Nature Spun because it’s so versatile: if you find a color combination that appeals to you, we make Nature Spun in fingering, sport, worsted, and chunky weights so that any project you can imagine can […]

Knitting for the Stars

Sometimes it’s pretty mind-blowing to realize where Brown Sheep yarns end up… from Nebraska to Hollywood. Today we’re featuring Judy Graham, a professional knitter for films, TV Shows, theme parks, and celebrities. Judy has knit for some seriously big-time movies and celebs. Check this out: Lenny’s sweater on the Big Bang Theory is knit with […]

Holiday Felted Basket: Project Idea + Felting Tutorial

Felting is a great choice if you’re looking for a quick and easy project.  The magical thing about felting is that your knitting doesn’t have to be perfect – once it’s felted, everything blends together and any “flaws” are disguised! Plus, felting is usually done with thick yarn and big needles. A knitting friend showed […]

Journey to Sievers School of Fiber Arts

As we ship yarn across the U.S. and around the world, it’s fun to imagine where it will land and who will give it a home. One destination, in particular, made me want to jump in the box and travel along with the yarn – to Sievers School on Washington Island, in Northern Wisconsin.  This […]

A Year of Handwoven Baby Blankets

If you subscribe to Handwoven magazine, you probably noticed Brown Sheep yarn taking center stage on the front cover! They featured a “Yarn Lab” article experimenting with our Cotton Fleece and Cotton Fine yarns (both blends of 80% cotton and 20% merino; Cotton Fleece is a DK weight and Cotton Fine is a fingering weight […]

Visit Us in Western Nebraska

Summer 2021 update: We welcome travelers this summer! Our outlet shop is open for business on weekdays and mill tours are available on a limited basis by request.   Our outlet store is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  In our outlet store, you can browse our “seconds”; that is, any yarn […]

A Quick History Lesson on Knitting

Knitting is a long practiced art that involves interlocking a series of loops and knots with yarn in order to make fabric. Like crocheting, knitting is a very old practice that has always maintained its popularity. Over the years our relationship with knitting may have changed, but it’s always played an important role in our […]

Woven Blanket Cape: a project collaboration with Schacht Spindle Co.

We’ve teamed up with our neighbors from Colorado to bring you this pattern, made with our Nature Spun Sport on either a Schacht rigid heddle loom or a floor loom.  This would be a great starter project for diving into weaving.  Enjoy! Blanket Cape By Melissa Lunden Hankens This is a simple and fabulous project […]

Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Right Knitting Yarn and Needles

Many people are under the impression that knitting is generally a hobby for the older generation, but that’s a common misconception. In fact, the number of women knitters in the U.S. ages 25–35 increased nearly 150% between 2002 and 2004. And that was before Etsy turned an entire generation onto the joys of crafting. If […]

Yarn and Knitting Facts You Probably Never Knew

Those who have never tried to knit or crochet might not realize that the fiber arts have quite an interesting history. Even experienced crafters might not know that there are tons of fun facts about cotton yarn and the practice of knitting. If you’re looking to impress your friends or fellow knitters, here are some […]

Knitting is For Kids, Too! How Knitting Fosters Positive Childhood Development

When you think of children’s arts and crafts, you might not automatically picture knitting with wool yarn. But fiber arts can be a lot of fun for kids — and it will help their development in more ways than you might realize. Knitting helps with physical development There are many physical effects of knitting for […]

A Glossary of Common Knitting Terms

Every field has its own set of jargon. Even if knitting is just your hobby, you should still be familiar with the most basic terms and phrases. Here are a few of the most commonly used terms in knitting, crochet, and other forms of fiber arts. Bind off: To finish the final row of stitching […]

STASHability Month

We’re offering something unprecedented at Brown Sheep Company: direct-to-customer sales for a limited time only. We will be selling BURLY SPUN right here on our website for a limited time only, from November 15th until the end of 2016. We want to be up front with you about why we’ve decided to open up our […]

New Color Development

There’s almost always something new going on at the Brown Sheep Co. mill.  I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged–finally our new site is up and running! It’s so great to have a website that can be edited again! Not only do we have a new website, this summer we have a new […]

How We Recycle Our Dye Water

For Earth Day, I wanted to share some information about our environmentally-friendly system for treating waste water. The system was implemented by Robert Wells, company VP, who used skills from his first career as a research scientist in radiation biology to develop a unique method for water treatment. Since we currently dye about 600-800 pounds […]

Weaving Hand Towels with Cotton Fine

I’m really excited about my latest weaving project. I intended for these hand towels to turn out bright, bold, and cheery. They did turn out that way, but so far everyone I’ve shown them to also describes them as “psychedelic”. I chose 7 pastel colors in Cotton Fine for the warp, and decided to weft […]

New Color Line-Up for Cotton and Serendipity

New color development is an ongoing process here at Brown Sheep. Our latest round of new colors are for our “spring and summer” yarns: Cotton Fleece, Cotton Fine (a blend of 80% cotton and 20% wool) and Serendipity Tweed (a newer line of yarn made with 60% cotton and 40% wool). Although I don’t want to […]

Have you discovered Nature Spun?

I’ve noticed that most Brown Sheep fans are all about Lamb’s Pride. . . in fact, many knitters out there only think of Lamb’s Pride when they think of Brown Sheep yarn! Don’t get me wrong, I think Lamb’s Pride is awesome but. . .  Nature Spun deserves more attention that it has been getting. […]

Brown Sheep Yarn

The Story of Jimmy Beans Wool Our latest yarn shop highlight is Jimmy Beans Wool. Chances are, you’ve probably heard of this store before as they’ve done a great job bridging the gap between traditional yarn shop and online sales. Jimmy Beans Wool began in 2002 as a teensy little yarn shop in the mountain […]