Join us for happy hour as we welcome Rick Boesen and Laura Volkmann from Queso Cabeza Farm. Rick and Laura have been raising Icelandic sheep on their small farm in Olivet, MI, and now they are creating luxurious Lopi yarn from their flock. As Rick notes, "we found the Icelandic sheep breed in 2003. We immediately liked the breed. It is one of the few true triple-purpose breeds of sheep (fiber, milk, and meat) and produces a lot of wool, which makes it ideal for the cold Michigan winters." Whereas sheep raised in Iceland are primarily bred for meat (the fiber is a byproduct), Rick and Laura are focusing on the fiber and raising animals with fleece that is softer to the hand than their Icelandic counterparts.
Our original vision for Spun was to become a recognized source for yarn that is local, sustainable, and minimally processed, and working with Rick and Laura helps us achieve all three of those goals. "As farmers, our primary goal is to be responsible to our livestock in the most humane ways practical," say Rick. After shearing, Queso Cabeza fleece is sent to a small mill in Wisconsin that is one of the only places in the U.S. that creates Lopi yarn. When the milled yarn comes back to the farm, Laura and Rick dye some skeins (in their kitchen!) and leave some their earthy, natural color.
In addition to tending their flock, RIck and Laura are active members of the Icelandic Sheep Breeders of North America (ISBONA) and founders of the Icelandic Sheet Owners Facebook group which brings together over 1,400 owners and enthusiasts from all over the world.
Take some time on a beautiful fall Friday evening to meet Rick and Laura, experience their yarn first-hand and enjoy food and drink in the shop.