Spinner, knitter and sheepbreader
My name is Jackie Broughton.
I make hand-knitted woollen hats and sheepskins.
I live on a sheep; beef and deer farm northwest of Kamo, Whangarei.
Fifteen years ago two coloured ewes were born into the flock of white Romney. That was the beginning of my life-long interest in coloured sheep.
I started spinning 10 years ago with the help of a small neighbourhood spinning group. I spin at night while watching T.V and find it relaxing and creative. My mother has always knitted so I had a good teacher close at hand.
We run approximately 55 coloured ewes, which are a mixture of commercial Romney, Pole Dorsets and Polwarths (Merino Lincoln cross), Perendales and Corriedales. I have bred the Poll Dorset out to the Polwarths, which produce a more garment friendly type of wool.
Over the years I have selected the finer Romneys aimed at clothing rather than the strong carpet Romney. All of my wools are aimed at craft or soft apparel type use.
The sheepskins came about because I loved the unique patterns that came out of the spotted Polwarths. I send the skins away and get them commercially tanned, because I want a quality product. All of the patterns are natural and unique, and are farmed under natural conditions.
This is my passion. I love my sheep.