On a busy homestead in Northport, Maine, you will find a small flock of sheep (primarily Coopworth) among the other animals on Spring Fed Farm. This farm - with natural springs everywhere on the property - is the home of Alessandra and Tom Martinelli.
Coopworth fleece has three qualities that many spinners and knitters/crocheters love: a long fiber length (which tends to produce a knitted fabric less prone to pilling), a defined crimp (the more crimped or wavy the fibers are, the more elastic the yarn), and noticeable luster.
How did Coopworth become the defining sheep breed at Spring Fed Farm? Alessandra tells a story of a sweater knit and worn by Maine indie dyer/spinner/educator Jacki Ottino Graf. Jacki was wearing the sweater one day when Alessandra saw it. The luster of the sweater spoke to Alessandra and she knew she had to have that fiber. She sought out and purchased the bloodline of sheep that produced the beautiful fiber for Jacki’s sweater.
By the Fall, the flock at Spring Fed Farm will be changing a bit. At the moment there are Romney, Cotswold, Coopworth, and Finnsheep at the farm. However, Alessandra is really excited about the cross breeding of Finnsheep (known for its softness) with durability and luster of the Coopworth. Alessandra and Tom are also keeping their flock numbers down for a little while longer for pasture management purposes.
This year’s shearing will be happening later in the summer. We have some yarn from the last shearing which is available here. Growing up as a child whose mother was a fashion designer, Alessandra relocated a lot, and as a result, she does not like to accumulate too many things inside her home. What yarn did not sell immediately she had woven into throw-sized blankets by Farm and Hearth Textiles of Montville, Maine. The warp in these blankets is wool spun at Jaggerspun in Springvale, Maine and the weft is the wool from Spring Fed Farm. If you are interested in these throws, please contact Alessandra at: firstname.lastname@example.org