I'm on a mailing list called GLBT-knit (at queernet). I asked them for suggestions for plain-color wool yarn raised and produced in the US and Canada and dyed in a variety of colors.
I got many suggestions and also other related suggestions for undyed yarn, non-wool yarn, roving, progressive yarn companies, and web-search sites for local products.
Here's a summary of what list members suggested and what I found on my own. More suggestions welcome.
DYED WOOL YARN
- Bartlett Yarns - http://www.bartlettyarns.com/ - based in maine - skeins and cones. They use historic equipment.
- Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mill - http://www.blackberry-ridge.com/ - wisconsin family owned spinnery. Several people recommended them. I e-mailed them asking whether their yarn comes from US/Canada. Their reply:
We buy our wool from a few people near us, but the biggest chunk comes from a farmer in SD who I learned about from one of our customers in ND. We have the wool scoured in TX and then do the spinning here. There are some yarns that we market that we do not spin. The group of machine washable yarns labeled "Mer-made" come from Henry's attic. Our machinery will not spin fibers that have been treated to make them machine washable so we have to purchase that kind of yarn. The same goes for the Fuzzy Mohair and the 100% Silk yarns. I don't know where Henry gets the yarns from, but my guess is that most are imported from South America.
Almost all of the dyeing is done here, even for purchased yarns. The dyes that we use are designed for protein fibers and exhaust well from the dye pot and also have good light fastness.
- Brown Sheep Company - http://www.brownsheep.com/ - Their web site says "Made in the U.S.A." and a list member let me know that they use mostly North American wool.
- Briggs & Little - http://www.briggsandlittle.com/ - yarns made from 100% Canadian domestic wools, milled in York Mills, New Brunswick, Canada. (Can't buy on their web site, one online source is http://weavingrainbow.com/ in Texas)
- Cestari Chester Farms - http://www.cestariltd.com/ - Virginia. Emphasis on wool yarn from their own sheep. Machine-washable yarn. They also sell lamb (meat). Yarn sometimes available for purchase on their web site, but not at the moment.
- Chehalem Mt Wools - http://www.cmwools.com/ - Oregon. Longwool worsted weight yarn from their own sheep, combined with mohair, and spun by Yolo Woolen Mill (CA).
- Green Mountain Spinnery - http://www.spinnery.com/ - Vermont based, all fiber from US.
- Kraemer Yarn - http://www.kraemeryarnshop.com/ - their Naturally Nazareth line of fingering/DK is 100% domestic wool spun in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Some plain shades, some stripes. Web site has lots of decent free patterns, too.
- MacAusland's Woollen Mills Ltd. - http://www.peisland.com/wool - Prince Edward Island, Canada. Wool from Atlantic provinces. 28 colors of 1, 2 or 3 ply yarns.
- Marr Haven Wool Farm - http://www.marrhaven.com/ - Merino Rambouillet Wool Yarn from their own sheep. Based in michigan. Skeins and cones. They don't offer quite as many colors as I'd like.
- Morehouse Farm - http://www.morehousefarm.com/ - Based in New York. Merino Wool grown and processed in the USA. Many colors.
- Philosophers Wool - http://www.philosopherswool.com/ - Company pays farmers premium prices for high quality clean fleeces and processes minimally.
- SweetGrassWool.com - domestic yarns made in montana
OTHER LOCAL/ECO-FRIENDLY/PROGRESSIVE COMPANIES SELLING YARN
(Not a comprehensive list...a sampling of companies that I found or that were recommended that don't sell wool in a variety of plain colors but sell other interesting yarns)
- http://www.theyarngrove.com/misshawklet.html - She purchases "animal friendly" wool and mohair from a small rescue farm in Wisconsin. She also purchases "mill end" wool seconds that would otherwise go to waste.
- Vermont Organic Fiber Co. - http://www.vtorganicfiber.com/ - their organic "O-Wool" comes from "an international network of organic wool producers." They also produce other organic yarns.
- http://yarnsinternational.com - shetland 2000 (from Shetland) comes in 9 traditional colors of pure shetland wool, minimally processed, and either undyed or plant-dyed.
- Harrisville Yarns - http://www.harrisville.com/html/yarns.html - spun in USA, yarns are from New Zealand and Australia.
- Nature's Palette / Hand Jive Knits (can buy at http://www.theyarngrove.com/organic.html) offers organic worsted weight yarn made of 90% organic wool and 10% mohair, processed "without the use of [harmful] chemicals or soaps," from a certified organic herd of Columbia sheep in Montana. Dyed with natural plant dyes. (Note, it doesn't seem to be available in very many colors.)
- PeaceFleece - http://www.peacefleece.com/ - They have worked with shepherds in Russia, Kyrgyzia, Israel and the West Bank, as well as in Montana, Ohio, Texas and Maine. They put a share of their profits towards promoting Middle East peace.
- Wild Geese Fibres - http://wildgeesefibres.com/ - offers a variety of undyed yarns and rovings sourced from Canada.