Article on the blog: With Sincere Sheep, Change Begins One Skein at a Time
Sincere Sheep offers high quality breed-specific wool in a truly stunning palette of natural color.
“My inspiration, in a word, is connection. I love that through natural dyes, fiber, and crafting I have a connection to the past, to other cultures, to farmers, to community, to fiber mills, and to the land.” – Brooke Sinnes
In 2003 Brooke moved back to the Napa Valley, a place she remembers fondly from her childhood and summers spent visiting her grandparents. She founded Sincere Sheep based on principles she translated from the slow food movement, a concept that was gaining regional momentum. Applying the ideas of traditional and regionally sourced ingredients to textiles, her early products were made from wool from bay area family farms and processed at a local mill into carded roving and yarn. They were initially labeled with both the name of the farm and animal.
Now, still located in the wine-growing region of Napa, CA, Sincere Sheep continues to be inspired and guided by the concept of terroir. Both wool and natural dyes are agricultural products that depend upon the environment and reflect its variable seasons. Throughout the year, water, grass, weather, and stewardship all gradually change the wool clip and plant harvest. You will see the effects in the subtle variation of colors and textures of our yarn from year to year.
Our primary focus remains single-source, breed-specific and custom-made yarns and fibers. The name of the ranch, location and breed is still identified on our label when it is traceable. We offer a diverse selection of custom made products from relationships with California and US wool growers, and small businesses. Brooke strongly believes in “voting with your dollars” and uses that as a philosophy to make business decisions. We buy our products from producers and companies who follow high standards and work in a sustainable way to support the local economy.
All Sincere Sheep yarn and fiber is dyed using color extracted from plants (and periodically from insects). Dyes are responsibly sourced; some dyestuffs are locally gathered leaves and flowers, as well as agricultural and food “waste” that can be used a second time for their dye properties.
Brooke finds it continually rewarding that through naturally dyed textiles we have an intrinsic link to our past and future. Like a thread throughout human history, dyes, colors, and textiles have created a connection around the world to culture, geography, commerce and family. Hardly a week goes by without a discussion of ideas or collaboration with other artists and business people, which means we’re always learning and growing. As an extension of that process, Brooke enjoys teaching a variety of natural dyeing workshops. She is also a fiber arts guest instructor at local yarn stores and select events in the bay area.
Our yarn and fiber is made to last, and we hope your favorite items are passed on to the next generation. We invite you to share your own creative experiences to continue this tradition. Join in the conversation and follow Sincere Sheep on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Ravelry: @sinceresheep