How Hinterland came to be:
After attending college in Vancouver, I moved and starting working as a freelance photographer in Brooklyn. I also landed a job as an assistant to the Sartorialist and the wonderful architectural photographer, Catherine Tighe. After deciding to leave Brooklyn and come back BC, my husband I joined forces and started a design studio called Caste Projects. Together we designed many restaurants and cafes, as well as worked with a number of product designers for over six years.
In 2011 it hit me… I had a need to get away from the computer screen and work with my hands. As knitting became a larger part of my life, I learned to spin, and started becoming more interested in where my fleeces came from and what kind of farming practices were used in raising the sheep. As I became more interested and made more connections in the farming community, I started to think about owning my own flock, and what that could look like. As I researched animals, sheep breeds, and fibre animals, my mind was opened up to all sorts of possibilities! I settled on alpacas after viewing a massive herd downsize sale, where all of the yearlings - all bred for supreme fibre - were in need of homes. The absolutely adorable beasts stood before me with their big doey eyes just staring into my soul, whisking me away. Before I knew it I was part of a team of people rescuing these creatures on a fairly regular basis. My small herd has grown every year as a result of rescuing from a range of situations. Walking blindly at first, navigating on intuition and sympathy for animals in need, my alpacas would direct me to a new calling: Hinterland.
With this project, Hinterland is committed to supporting the Canadian wool farmers, and supporting Canadian mills, as well as continued rescue and support of animals in need. Thank you for being here as it grows and evolves.
The Hinterland yarn is made from Canadian born and raised alpaca, Rambouillet, and Corriedale sheep. The Rambouillet and Corriedale come from central BC, and Alberta, while the alpaca comes from my farm here on Vancouver Island. All of the Hinterland yarn is woollen spun, which means the wool is loosely spun right after carding, as opposed to worsted spinning where the carded wool is combed and then pin-drafted. The woollen process results in yarn that is squishy, bouncy, and airy with a gentle twist.
Rambouillet is a French Merino type sheep that was brought over to North America in the late 1800's. Their wool is has a more irregular crimp so lends itself to having a bit more character while maintaining the softness and bounce that you'll find with Merino wool. Rambouillet is one of my absolute favourite wool yarns, it's perfect for knitted garments for adults and babies that will be against the skin keeping us all toasty warm.
Range, Ravine, and Watershed all contain 50% Rambouillet blended with 50% home grown alpaca creating yarns that have the squishy softness from the Rambouillet and the sheen, strength, and added warmth from the alpaca. The names of each yarn were inspired by environmental elements of Vancouver Island.
Corriedale sheep were developed by crossing Merino ewes with Lincoln or Leicester rams. Their wool has even crimp, with a little more bulk and loftiness than a Merino so yarn made from their wool will have a more durability while maintaining the soft supple feeling against the skin.
Alpine, Glade, and Snowdrift are all Corriedale wool yarns, sourced from a ranch in Northern BC. The names of each yarn was inspired by the environment in which the sheep roam.