At River Colors Studio, the yarns come from all around the globe, because fiber animals and plants are raised all over the world. We are very interested, however, in carrying American-raised and American-spun yarns to support the American wool industry, which has a rich and deep heritage.
|Shop Imperial Stock Ranch Yarn|
Columbia Dusty Rose
Columbia Juniper Green
Thatís why it was an easy decision to become a retailer for the yarns of Imperial Stock Ranch in Maupin, Oregon. Imperial Stock Ranch is a family-owned business that has worked the same land for 140 years. Their commitment to sustainability has allowed this ranch, whose mixture of crops and livestock create a full circle to supply the businessí needs, to preserve a way of life on the high desert plateau of eastern Oregon. Even some of the buildings still in use date back to the original settlement of the land.
But Imperial Stock Ranch is not a living history museum. It is a working sheep ranch and wool-processing facility. The wool from Imperial Stock Ranch sheep is processed without the use of chemicals or high heat, leaving the wool soft to the touch. You may run into stray bits of vegetable matter (VM) as you work with the yarns and roving because it has been treated so gently. Flick it out and knit on, knowing that youíre knitting with a yarn that can prove it came from a living animal.
Imperial Yarns are dyed "in the lock", which means before carding and spinning. Dyeing wool at this point in the process allows for custom blending of colors, which, by nature, will be soft and heathered rather than bright primaries. Itís like mixing paint to make your own colors, rather than using it straight from the tube. The yarns range from a sportweight 2-ply yarn to bulky 2-strand pencil roving. At River Colors Studio we currently carry Columbia 2-Ply Yarn, a bouncy woolen-spun heavy worsted/aran weight yarn; Native Twist, a bulky singles, whose loft creates wonderful insulating outer garments and is also good for felted projects; and the Bulky 2-Strand Pencil Roving. It knits or crochets up quickly in simple patterns and can be used in spinning and weaving as well. Its unspun texture, however, is not suited to complex cabling or patterns calling for 3 stitches to be worked together.
Imperial Yarns also publishes patterns specifically written for their range of yarns, and River Colors Studio carries a wide selection. Stop in to experience this authentic American yarn, or shop online for it here.