About the Sheep and Shepherd

Where It All Began

The boys coming to get petted after a winter storm

Tom Yates is an electrician by trade. He needed a safe and natural alternative to peroleum (gasoline) based materials used to make socks sold in many retial stores. These materials, such as acrylic and nylon will melt and stick to your skin, and thus burn you when ignited by heat, spark, or fire. Natural fibers, on the other hand, will not support combustion. Unlike petroleum based materials, natural fibers do not melt into your skin, which would have to be surgically removed.

Tom created the “sock” yarn with all these elements in mind – natural fibers, safety, comfort, and all season wear.  The socks are made of a perfected mixture of sheep wool, alpaca, and goat mohair. He raises his own sheep and uses the wool in this mixture and sources the alpaca and mohair from local natural fiber farmers.

About The Sheep


Minnesota Woolen Mill is home to a flock of sheep breed called HI-5. The HI-5 breed was developed by Lee McKevely in Caledonia MN, who worked for 30+ years to develop it. This breed is the only pure flock left in the world. Their fiber is a medium to medium fine grade/size.

Wool from our flock is available in raw, washed, or roving. Fleeces can also be pre-ordered before shearing. If you are interested in creating your own mixture of fibers, you can send them in and we will blend and process them into roving. Please contact me for ordering HI-5 wool.