ObservatoryHillFarm

Premium nearly VM-free wool for the fiber artist.

ObservatoryHillFarm is taking a short break

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Note from shop owner Hi fiber/fibre lovers,

The shop is closed for the week of April 11-18 in support of the Etsy strike (visit etsystrike.org). Etsy is fast becoming too expensive for me to use, and this fee increase might be the last straw, I'm afraid.

I am working on starting a shop on my website for fleece and yarn sales, so in the future I will be transitioning away from Etsy.

Thanks so much,
Cindy

Note from shop owner

Last updated on Aug 4, 2022

Hi fiber/fibre lovers,

The shop is closed for the week of April 11-18 in support of the Etsy strike (visit etsystrike.org). Etsy is fast becoming too expensive for me to use, and this fee increase might be the last straw, I'm afraid.

I am working on starting a shop on my website for fleece and yarn sales, so in the future I will be transitioning away from Etsy.

Thanks so much,
Cindy

Cindy Mackenzie

Contact shop owner

Cindy Mackenzie

Reviews

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5 out of 5 stars
(84)
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About ObservatoryHillFarm

Sales 219
On Etsy since 2012

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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.

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 May 10, 2022
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

Paypal Visa Mastercard American Express Discover Apple Pay Klarna Giftcard
Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
I gladly accept returns
Contact me within: 14 days of delivery
Ship items back within: 30 days of delivery
I don't accept exchanges or cancellations
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
The following items can't be returned or exchanged
Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:
  • Custom or personalized orders
  • Perishable products (like food or flowers)
  • Digital downloads
  • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
Returns and exchange details
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 one business day 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 I can use. Depending on the size of the fleece, usually that means that I must vacuum at least some of the air out of the wool in order for it to fit in the box.

I've heard spinners call these packages "fleece bombs." :-) The wool sometimes looks a bit strange, but you still get the whole fleece that you have paid for. It will definitely be a better deal for you on shipping for me to vacuum the fleece and use a smaller box.

If you definitely do NOT want your fleece vacuumed, please let me know when you order. I will assume that vacuuming is OK if I don't hear from you.

If you know that your fleece could be sent more cheaply by UPS or FedEx, please let me know when you place your order. Otherwise, I prefer to use the good old U.S. Postal Service. I've found that they almost always have the best rate anyway.

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!