Hello weekenders! I’m so pleased to be featuring Kami Noyes of Ranching Tradition Fiber! I interviewed Kami a few years ago and then featured her upcoming Copper K Fiber Festival as well; she is always up to something new! Of late, I know she has remade her website, has been working to offer even more variety of fiber (raw and prepped), and has been busy with festival preparations. Read on for more info from Kami–she’s a storehouse of knowledge! And, Kami has generously offered to sponsor the next podcast with a GIVEAWAY! She is offering one of her amazing raw wool sample packs to a lucky reader/viewer!! I’ll talk more about the raw wool in next week’s episode . . . but let’s get the party started right away–at the end of her interview, I’ve posted the info for the giveaway. You can enter HERE, in our Ravelry group, or via Episode 16 of the YouTube cast 🙂 So many options!
I first featured Ranching Tradition Fiber in 2015; what’s new?
Thanks for featuring Ranching Tradition Fiber then and again now. I am still raising sheep and selling their wool from Raw to finished items and everything in between. I sell my yarns and fibers in a couple local shops, one is Stix Yarn Shop in Bozeman Montana so if you are ever in the area make sure to stop by and take a look. Ranching Tradition Fiber is a family ran business with myself (Kami) being the main fiber person, my husband and 2 kids help a lot with the sheep, at shearing time, and even with shipping during our busier seasons. Our busiest season is a few weeks after shearing, when my raw wool sale opens. Opening morning is crazy makes us all feel very blessed. I always try to have fleeces that will cover a wide variety of budgets and needs. I also try to offer all types of fiber if you don’t like processing from raw I sell processed Top or True Roving, handspun yarns, all dyed or natural mostly wool raised on the ranch or by other Montana ranchers. I am also a wool buyer in my area. I will go to shearings and buy rare wool right from the ranchers. A couple of my latest adventures are trying to become a better dyer by reproducing the same colors over and over on different bases. I have always just offered one of a kinds, it is a process but I love trying new things that keep me growing as a fiber artist.
What breeds of sheep have you raised and how did you settle on your current flock?
I started my herd by buying area rancher bum lambs (lambs ewes couldn’t care for and have to be raised on a bottle). The basic breed I have now is what I started with Targhee Rambouillet crosses. I did have a few bums that were Suffolk crosses but not many left. I tried Polypay rams one year because Polypay is known to produce multiple lambs, I didn’t find that the case. I am always watching and researching other breeds but always come back to my Targhee Rambouillet. I have some pure Targhee now and hope to be able to get some pure Rambouillet sheep someday. Targhee sheep are a dual purpose sheep. “The Targhee was developed at the Dubois, Idaho experimental station starting in 1926 in response to a demand for a western range sheep with improved meat characteristics. The Targhee is an easy keeper, long lived, lambs on pasture and produces an excellent fleece”. Targhee is a cross of a Rambouillet, Lincoln, and Corriedale. Targhee fiber is known for its loft and elasticity. You can find more about my sheep breeds on my blog
What is the Copper K Fiber Festival?
Copper K Fiber Festival was created by me. It all started with my sister renovating our old barn up into an event venue. She started the project in 2015 and her first opening season was 2016 she rents it mostly for weddings and family reunions. As we would be out helping her I would dream of it being a great location for a fiber festival because of it has great history and the sheep connection. The barn was built in the late 1800’s throughout the years it has been used for many things equipment storage, cattle, horses, and sheep. I have a lot of great memories helping my dad during lambing as kid. Last summer my sister and husband gave me a push to “just do it”. So I put a post out on Facebook wondering if there would be interest in a festival the response was YES! I then recruited Betty Kujawa with Snowdrift Alpacas to help me with the planning. We are so excited for our first festival to be held July 22 and 23rd of this year. We have vendors, teachers, food, wine, camping and just pure fiber fun in the country. We are expecting people from all across Montana, Idaho, Washington, Utah, Ohio, Indiana, Colorado, and Connecticut. It is looking to be a very fun event. We still have a few spaces opened in our classes and outdoor vendor’s spaces available for anyone interested.
What are fiber sample packs?
Like I said before I always love to try some new fiber or technique. So I offer different types of sample packs from time to time for other fiber artists to try. I have a true roving sample pack with 1 oz. of Targhee 1oz Targhee Rambouillet 1oz of Blue Faced Leicester X 1 oz. of Bond right now. The next one I will have is a raw wool sample pack which will include a few samples of raw wool Targhee and Targhee Rambouillet cross are just a couple.
What can spinners learn from them?
They can learn the different characteristics of the different breeds plus learn about the different types of processes (True roving vs True Top for example, Understanding what the different micron / spin count of a fleeces means)
What are you most looking forward to this summer/next year?
Of course the Festival.
How can folks find your shop or info about the Copper K festival?
You can find more about Ranching Tradition Fiber on my website or you can find me on Facebook and Instagram. The Copper K Fiber Festival is also on my website and is also on Facebook.
One lucky reader/viewer will win this amazing sample pack of raw wool and scour! All you have to do is leave a comment HERE, in our Ravelry group, or via Episode 16 of the YouTube cast 🙂 So many options! **The Question: Tell us a little bit about how you wash your fleece? OR Why you want to try raw fleece for the first time!
The giveaway will close on June 9th–so comment away! Share your fiber know-how!
Thanks so much, Kami!
I love farm visits and meeting new people (and sheep!): if you are a hand spinner, a shepherdess, a small flock owner, a dyer, a mill operator, or a wool trader, I would love to feature your work on this site. Please get in touch via email or Ravelry by clicking the “About” tab (above)