ObservatoryHillFarm

Premium wool fleeces for the fiber artist.

Belleville, Wisconsin | 124 Sales

ObservatoryHillFarm

Premium wool fleeces for the fiber artist.

Belleville, Wisconsin 124 Sales On Etsy since 2012

5 out of 5 stars (65)
Cindy Mackenzie

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Cindy Mackenzie

Announcement    I'm still (yes, still) re-skirting the 2017 fleeces ... as you know, it always takes me a while to get them as clean as I can. The first batch will be posted soon!

Announcement

Last updated on Feb 21, 2019

I'm still (yes, still) re-skirting the 2017 fleeces ... as you know, it always takes me a while to get them as clean as I can. The first batch will be posted soon!

Reviews

Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
(65)
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quality 5 shipping 12 customer service 13
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About

We found our farm dream and the sheep found us.

Observatory Hill Farm is the culmination of 25 years of dreaming, working, saving, planning, working, researching, and working. We are working harder than ever on the farm, but liking it much better than working in an office!

At some point during those 25 years, we (Cindy and Mark Mackenzie) found each other. It happened when I (Cindy) was a Peace Corps Volunteer, and Mark was sent on an overseas assignment by his job at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Not long after that, I learned to spin wool, and think about having sheep of my own. Mark already had experience when he was a kid in Australia with his family's small flock of colored sheep.

Everything came together by some miracle, and we began the farm of our dreams outside Madison, Wisconsin, where we now pamper our flock of natural colored and white Corriedale sheep.

Our passion is caring for the sheep, who grow beautiful soft wool that is a handspinner's joy. Our raw fleeces are nearly VM-free, so you can love every minute of the time you spend working and playing with the wool.

To be notified when new fleeces are posted for sale, please send me a message with your personal (outside Etsy) email address. I promise to never share your email with anyone else, and that I won't send you too much spam! For more about our sheep, their wool, and our farm, please visit us at our website.

Around the web

Shop members

  • Cindy Mackenzie (?)

    Owner, Shepherd And Sheep Flunky

    Although I looked for a better photo, it turns out that I'm almost always behind the camera, not in front of it. Anyway, it's better to show Zena and her one-day-old lamb, with me in the back, since it's the sheep who really do run the farm!

Shop policies

Last updated on August 10, 2017
More information about fleeces from Observatory Hill Farm:

All of the fleeces for sale are unwashed, raw fleece, shorn by a professional shearer. All fleeces are sold whole and undivided, so that you get all the good wool, not a small portion that someone else has selected for you. Why pay $20 for a few ounces of fiber when you can pay the same amount of money for a pound of beautiful soft wool? First-shearing lamb fleeces are usually three to four pounds, and adult sheep fleeces are typically five to six pounds. Remember that with Corriedale fleeces, up to half the weight of a raw fleece is lanolin and not wool. But even after washing, you will almost always have enough wool for any project you choose with a whole fleece.

As with all raw fleeces, there will be a few second cuts in the wool, but I've done my best to remove all that I could find so you will only pay for fiber that you can spin. Every fleece passes checks in multiple locations for soundness and tenderness. I would never sell a fleece that I would not be willing to spin myself. If there are any deficiencies in the fleece, I have done my best to describe them and I've discounted the price accordingly.

My prices are based on the qualities of each fleece, taking into account the color, handle, staple length, crimp definition and consistency, and whether there is any VM in the fleece that I've been unable to pick out. My base price for a good quality fleece is $20/lb. Prices above this amount reflect a fleece that is exceptional in some way -- for example a rare color, a longer than usual staple or some other quality that makes a fleece better than most. Lamb fleeces are almost always exceptional, and are usually priced at $23/lb. A fleece that has some drawback from my quality standard is priced below $20/lb, and I will explain why it is priced at a discount.

Accepted payment methods

Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
Above all, I want you to be delighted with your purchase, so if you are unhappy with the quality of your fleece, please contact me. If we can't make things right, I will gladly accept your return and refund your payment (minus the shipping cost, of course).
Payment
I accept PayPal, Etsy direct payment, credit cards, and checks. If you prefer to pay by check, please understand that I will wait until your check has cleared before sending your fleece.
Shipping
Almost all orders will be shipped within 24 hours of receiving your confirmed payment.

Shipping raw fleeces can be expensive, because of the "fluff factor." The box is large, but the weight is relatively small. Etsy's calculated shipping for the US Postal Service reflects the price for shipping a fleece in the smallest possible box, usually without vacuuming the fleece at all.

If I vacuum the air from the fleece, it can fit into a smaller box. I've heard spinners call these packages "fleece bombs." :-) The wool looks a bit strange, but you still get the whole fleece that you have paid for. Even with a larger box, sometimes I'm forced to remove some of the air to get the fleece to fit. If you definitely prefer that I vacuum your fleece, or that you don't want it vacuumed, please let me know either way. If we can save money on your shipping by vacuuming the fleece, I'll refund you the difference.

If you know that your fleece could be sent more cheaply by UPS or FedEx, please let me know when you place your order. I'll use whatever shipping method you prefer, and again refund you the difference.

I'm happy to ship orders internationally, but please make sure before you order that the customs service in your country will accept unwashed raw wool imports. I would hate for you to have your fleece confiscated at the border! Contact me and we'll figure out the best method to ship your fleece to you.
Additional policies and FAQs
Washing your fleece:

The flock at Observatory Hill Farm is jacketed year-round, so their fleeces are clean enough that you could spin them "in the grease" as spinners in the UK, New Zealand, and Australia generally prefer to do. If you'd rather wash your fleece before spinning, do so with care since fine wool fleeces will felt much more easily than coarser wool.

There are many excellent websites with information on how to wash a raw fleece. I recommend having a look at the instructions on these sites:

http://www.hjsstudio.com/washwool.html
https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2015/05/tips-washing-raw-wool/
http://www.joyofhandspinning.com/washing-fleece.shtml

Have fun and enjoy your fleece!