This time we would like to share a special place with you, a place called 'Tarndie', somewhere all us fiber fanatics would enjoy visiting! Firstly we would like to congratulate them on their 175 years and six generations of the Dennis family, farming in this wonderful part of South West Victoria (Australia). This is how awesome it is, these are the people who, in the 1880's, developed the Polwarth breed of sheep! Australias first unique sheep breed and one of the most desired wool breeds for handspinners today. They achieved this by crossing Saxon Merino sheep from Tasmania, with Victorian Lincoln sheep. They then continued to breed with Merino until they reached a stabilised breed type that we now know as Polwarth. Their sheep are coated, and their top quality fleeces can reach a staple length of 13cm – 17cm, just fantastic for handspinners!
The homestead itself is beautiful, properly named Tarndwarncoort, it is a beautiful old bluestone heritage house which is currently used as a bed and breakfast (see we really CAN all go there too!).
While visiting there you can see the flock they keep, and you can also purchase wool from the Tarndie onsite shop. They process their fleeces into yarns and combed top, Glynis visited Tarndie herself when she took a group over to Australia on a fiber adventure, and she says their fiber is top quality, it is now on my wishlist!
Check out some photos from their website (which you really should take a look around too!)
And their products..
It is wonderful to see such a fantastic heritage in the sheep farming industry, one that has been instrumental in the development of breed and fiber and supporting handspinners for generations. If you can get there at all for a visit, annual shearing is in March and this would be an exciting time to be there, and of course there is the shop.. with supplies for spinning, knitting, weaving, felting, spinning wheels (including Majacraft!) looms and carders.. and anything to promote wool!
Till next time,