Riihivilla yarn is 100% wool from Finnsheep, an old landrace from Finland. Wool from Finnsheep is soft an it contains a lot of lanolin which makes it warm. The number of Finnsheep is diminishing year by year and you can read more about the qualities of Finnsheep here. There are white, brown, and black Finnsheep and so also Riihivilla yarn comes in seven different natural shades of sheep, different greys and browns in addition to natural white and dark brownish black.

Riihivilla yarns are processed as little as possible. They still contain natural lanolin which makes them warm and repel dirt, so that you don't have to wash the garments very often. Airing freshens garments made from Riihivilla wool. There is less lanolin left in the dyed yarns.

Riihivilla wool is not superwash treated as we try to avoid chemicals, so you have to wash garments made from Riihivilla wool by hand in lukewarm water. Do not rub, gentle wash is best, as the Finnsheep wool may felt when handled roughly or washed in a machine. Natural yarns are good also for felting, but our dyed yarns are best  for knitted things. Depending on the soap and circumstances, the shade of the dyed yarns may change in rough handling like felting. Use neutral soap or no detergent at all. Dry the washed garment flat and away from direct sunlight.

Riihivilla Aarni is soft sport weight yarn with 2 plys and loose twist. There are 210 - 220 meters in 100grams (little over 4 ounces).
Gauge recommendation is about 23- 25st/10cm(4 inches), depending on what your project is. 
Needle recommendation is 2,5-3,5mm (European) or according to gauge
Handwash in lukewarm water
This yarn is ideal for sweaters, hats, scarves and mittens, especially I like it in stranded knitting, but it is too soft for adult socks.
Riihivilla mitten kits are from this yarn, and I dye mostly Aarni.

Riihivilla Velho is 100% Finnish wool but not solely Finnsheep but there is also wool from mixed breeds and crosses with Finnsheep in it. Velho is made of long combed wool and feels soft.
Velho is 3-ply, light fingering weight yarn and there are about 350 meters (380 ounces)  in 100grams. WPI is 20.
Gauge recommendation is 32sts/10cm.
Needle recommendation is 2mm (European) or according to gauge.
Handwash in lukewarm water, although this yarn does not felt so easily as Aarni.
Velho is a good yarns for scarves or anything youwear close to skin, but I don't recommend it for socks (it may wear out too fast in socks).

There are small variations in the thickness of the yarns, as these are not industrially made yarn. Also skein sizes vary, each skein is weighted by hand before going to the shop and the price goes according to the weight.

Prices of natural sheep colored yarns are 10€/ 100g
Prices of naturally dyed yarns are 17€/100g, and prices of smaller skein in selections are a little higher due to the extra work in reskeining.
You can find all available yarns in my shop. At the market we have all natural colors of the sheep and also naturally dyed colors, but not the exact same skeins as in the online shop. At the market we have also some discount yarns from time to time.


Colors to Riihivilla yarns come from natural sources: plants, mushrooms, barks and even insects, like cochineal. The dyestuff is first extracted from plants or mushrooms by soaking, simmering or boiling and then bound to the fiber which is pre-treated with a so-called mordant. Riihivilla uses only the safest mordants, alum, cream of tartar and iron, which ensure the proper fixation of the dyestuff to the fiber. The dye process is slow, hours, days and sometimes even weeks or months. Fermenting plant material gives time for the natural enzymes in the plants or mushrooms to change or release natural dyestuffs, which then bind strongly to the mordanted fibers. Best results come with time, you can't hurry nature.

Colors that come from plants or mushrooms are always a combination of many different dyestuffs. So many things affect to which dyestuff is bound to the fiber, or in which order they are bound and thus what the final color is: where the plant was grown, when it was harvested, how it was dried or processed before dyeing and how the actual dyeing was done. This is one of the fascinating things about natural dyes and which makes each color unique. Every yarn that comes from my dye pots is one of a kind! Sometimes the colors are close, but never just the same, and sometimes they are very different even with the same dyestuffs. With multi-colored yarns each skein is different, even when the colorway is the same and they come from the same dyepot. Please, keep this uniqueness in mind when you order my yarns. When I run out of a dyelot, it can't be repeated.

With almost 30 years of experience I aim at as fast colors as possible, so many of my colors come from historically proven natural dyes: many reds from madder and cochineal and blues from indigo-bearing plants. All these are grown for dyeing around the world. Finnish nature and forests give also many good dyeplants, tree leaves and barks and of course mushrooms, in which I am especially interested in and which are abundant in Finland. I use a lot of local dye sources and also grow dye plants in my garden.

I do everything by hand, starting by collecting the dyestuffs, preparing them and dyeing my yarns. My dye lots are not big, always less than one kilo, mostly only a few skeins, all one of a kind. I hope that my enthusiasm for colors from nature shows in my yarns and passes on to you who knit with my yarns.
My colors are semi-solid, there is natural variation in the skeins and they are never dull flat colors. I emphasize this by dyeing a lot on natural grey or brown sheep wool and combining different dyestuffs. These colors go well together with each other and also with natural sheep colors. I hope that Riihivilla yarns have their own look.

I value lightfastness very much and try my best that my yarns are as fast as possible in every way, but natural dyes may fade a little in time, especially in strong sunlight. Think about the mellow colors in for instance old rugs, how beautiful they are. Sometimes in strong colors there is little extra dye which may come off in the first wash, or rub to your hands, but it is not harmful and the colors won't mix. If you have allergies to plants, then the best choice for you is our natural sheep colored yarns.


You can read about how I dye with them in my blog.

Japanese indigo leaves give blue

Woad leaves give blue

Madder gives reds and oranges

Cochineal, dried bugs from the Canary Islands. Cochineal gives pinks and purples which are difficult to get from any of my native local plants or mushrooms.

Cortinarius sanguineus and Cortinarius semisanguineus give reds and oranges, even yellows from stems of Cortinarius semisanguineus.

Below the yarns are dyed with Cortinarius sanguineus which is the small mushroom in the left top picture above. In the first bath the darkest reds attach to the yarn and finally in the second afterbath the yellow dyestuffs dominate the color, so it is possible to get different colors from the same mushrooms.

Birch bark can be used for mordanting before dyeing brown/brownish red colors with madder or Cortinarius mushrooms, on it's own birch bark gives beige even though the bath looks dark brown.

I grow goldenrod and tansy in my garden. They give yellows to my yarns, and also greens when used together with blue.

Tree leaves give also yellows and beiges, alder leaves and buckthorn bark leaves in the picture.

Brown knapweed which grows wild here, gives good yellows and also greens when dyed on indigo blue yarn.