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Granite Haven Story

August 30, 2016

In March this year, I had the very great privilege of visiting Granite Haven, a Gotland sheep and Llama farm in Central Victoria. Cheryl Crosbie shared her story of introducing Gotland sheep to Australia, improving the quality of their fleece over many years and her approach to promoting the health and wellbeing of her sheep and the land they graze on.


Her story and my experiences of spinning this delightful fibre have just been published in the Fall 2016 issue of Spin-Off.


It is available electronically now. Whilst print copies are on sale in the US, they take about a month to get to Australia so I haven’t seen the flesh and blood version yet.


If you enjoy a farm story, you are curious about long wools or Gotland sheep in particular, I hope you will give it a read.



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  1. As the shepherdess of this flock I have been thrilled to read this article written by Rebecca.Rebecca’s ability to use words so eloquently captures the essence of our Gotlands and farm.Thank you for such a tribute to our way of life which we try to share at out Open days during the year

  2. I have a bag full of Gotland fibre that I am looking forward to spinning once current projects are done. Congrats on the article and I look forward to reading it.

    1. Thanks Becca. How lovely to have a bag of Gotland to look forward too. I would interested to hear your thoughts on UK Gotland.

  3. Ah, so, we have another good article to look forward to reading on sheep farming in Australia written by you. I will have to check my mailbox to see if my issue has arrived. Its great to hear about shepherds who improve a breed and care for and improve the ground their flocks graze on, especially in a country who has a rich history of sheep farming. I recently reread your “Lost Sheep of Australia” article and enjoyed its information packed paragraphs on the subject. Perhaps this is a new avenue your life is taking – documenting growers of wool, their history, and current importance to us? Something we all enjoy hearing about. Thank you.

    1. Dear Marilyn, I do like your thoughts on new avenues! Small wool and small fibre producers are so interesting, it would be great to do more articles. Thank you for your kind words about Lost Sheep, I hope you enjoy the Gotland article also.

  4. When my daughter studied part of her junior uni year at LaTrobe, she brought me back several hundred grams of Granite Haven Gotland to spin. It was easy to spin, light and lovely.

    1. Well, Helene, I think your daughter gave you a great Victorian souvenir. What a genius gift on her part! You certainly raised her right!

    1. Thank you Suzette, yes, the publishing of this article was a delightful surprise. How lovely that magazines have such long lead times!

  5. Thank you Suzette it has been such a wonderful journey it is like a cobweb a tiny idea that has grown and just like a web it has taken me in many directions and along the path so many interesting people.Other people now rely on me for their products so I must continue to str
    ive and supply the best Gotland fleece I can.Still learning

    1. Thanks Kate, those Gotlands are mighty handsome, you are right. And very personable too! Cheryl has done a marvellous job with them.

    1. Thanks Simone, I remember you do have a soft spot for Gotland! It seems to give all the joy of long wool but the soft handle of finer breeds and all those colours! Of course we love it!

  6. The colors on the cover of the magazine are just gorgeous! I don’t spin but that photo alone is enough to make me want to start.

  7. Congrats to you both Rebecca and Cheryl. I have just read the article from my esubscription to Spin-Off and loved hearing about Cheryl’s sheep. Last year I bought some of the fleece and was bowled over by its softness compared to other breeds fleece and other gotland (rovings).
    I wholeheartedy agree ‘this flock is as precious to the fibrecraft scene as a Viking treasure hoard’.

    1. Dear Robynne, I think you have rather made my day. You quoted my last sentence in the article!! I am so glad you share the sentiment and so glad you have enjoyed working with Cheryl’s fleece. Best wishes to you.

  8. I have just finished my first drive around checking on Gotlands that may have lambed over night.The weather is warm and mothers and lambs are basking in the sun.It never ceases to amaze me how the natural light catches the range of colour and lustre of the Gotland fleeces.It is pleasing to hear my fleeces bring joy,thank you.

  9. I just read your article in Spin-Off. Great article. Having my own flock of mixed breeds i have plenty of wool to spin. However, always on the lookout for something nice and different, i am eying off some gotland to try.

    Thanks for keeping the international spotlight on Aussie shepherds and their flocks.

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