Ordering goods from our online shop for delivery abroad.
We’re pleased that you’d like to buy yarn, knitting packs or pelts from us. Unfortunately we can’t sell outside of Norway through our online shop,
as the country’s rules on taxation and customs present technical difficulties.
But you can still buy from us! If you’d like to place an order, or if you have questions, you can write us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org (or
get in touch via the webform). We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have, and complete your order.
We sell: yarn in bundles of 100 grams (you can see the colours in the pictures in the online shop); knitting packages
that contain yarn + instructions (in Norwegian!); large lamb pelts.
Postage: within Norway NOK 150. Abroad: 350 NOK, or registered shipment NOK 500.
Our website in english
At our farm Bjørnerud, located in Tessungdalen, we have sheep of the breed Grå Trønder - the Grey Troender. We are producers with a strong focus on creating high quality wool. The knowledge of how to select the right animals was
vital in the days when wool was used for all textiles. Grey Troender has a fantastically fine fibre influenced by the Norwegian climate. The breed is believed to stem back to the Middle Ages, and it has merino wool features. We work to increase our own knowledge
as producers, and then share what we know with consumers.
If you buy yarn and wool from our herd, you are playing a part in helping to preserve an old Norwegian sheep breed!
HulderUll is our brand name! Why?
Our sheep have an otherworldly appearance, as they camouflage themselves between the rocks on Hardangervidda, and amongst the short trees of the mountain forest. We get the feeling they’re watching us, as they have a white drop under each
eye that seem to shine brightly. They’re the beasts of the Hulder people - the mythical, tricksy forest creatures of Scandinavia.
When the animals sense danger, they instinctively flock together with the weakest individuals
at the centre. The flock stands in a circle with the skulls facing outward, only the dark eyes moving and observing. This way, those white drops under their eyes become a means of natural protection - many animals use their eyes to signal strength. In the
twilight, the white drops glow.
In the 1950s, a farmer brought with him the first Gray Troender sheep from Trøndelag to Telemark. His fellow sheep farmers named these fast and camouflage-like sheep "tussesauen" - the goblin sheep. They would blend with their surroundings:
one moment you could see them and in the next they were gone. It wasn’t just us who’d made the observation: these are the sheep of the netherworld.
The generation before us at our farm started keeping white sheep around 1980. As active sheep farmers with herding dogs, their experience came in handy when we took over the farm in 2000. Until 2011 we ran the farm with a focus on weight at time
of slaughter and the number of lambs. This led to bigger offspring and difficult births, and a trend of breeding taking us in a direction where we realised we didn’t want to go. We decided to empty the barn.
Quiet spaces and empty
fields meant that when our neighbour decided to give up his Grey Troenders, we decided to try hosting a few animals of this breed. Little did we know that this would bring us to a new era of sheep farming. We didn't know we’d become hooked on wool! The
sheep’s colours have many shades, but towards the skin the fibre should be grey. The name HulderUll became a natural choice for us when we were looking for a brand name for the wool from our farm, Bjørnerud.
What is special about the wool fibre from the Grey Troender sheep?
The Grå Trøndersau - the Gray Troender sheep - has perhaps Norway's finest wool fibre. The wool is similar to that of the crossbreed (Norway’s main sheep breed, a mix of the Cheviot, Dala and Steigar breeds), but is finer than
Norwegian white sheep. Because the breed originates from the Norwegian Tauter sheep, an extinct merino sheep, it has a particularly good curly, fine-grained wool, but at the same time it’s robust and resistant to heavy use.
fibre retains more of its natural structure because we don’t subject the wool to chemical treatments or additives to develop specific yarn properties. Each pelt has many shades of gray, and by sorting the wool we get bundles of yarn in several colours
Everything takes place at a small Norwegian spinning mill. The wool is gently washed using minimal detergent, thus retaining much of the lanolin. Production takes place using small machines, meaning the fibre is subjected to
very little mechanical wear and thus retains its natural tension. We get lots of feedback that mittens made from our yarn are particularly soft and warm - maybe this is why.
“HulderUll - Grå Trøndersau” is
the trademark of the wool that we produce on our farm Bjørnerud. We are located in Tessungdalen, in Tinn in the county of Telemark in Norway, and we’re passionate about how we can produce the best possible wool (and not the most in terms of volume).
We have great respect for the old farm ladies who were responsible for wool-producing animals and the farm’s textile production. They followed the wool from sheep to textile, and the knowledge lived in their fingers. They knew which animals to keep for
breeding, which gave wool to use for hard-wearing clothes, and which gave wool to be used for the innermost part of the body. That knowledge was lost with them - our goal is to get it back!
The history of the Gray Troender sheep
The breed has roots back to the Middle Ages. It’s said that the monks at the Tautra monastery in Trøndelag brought sheep from abroad, and developed a special breed of merino sheep which was called the Tauter sheep (see picture). This sheep went extinct in 1959. Gray Troender emerged as a mixture of Old Norwegian sheep and the Tauter sheep.
Loyt Johnsen described the Gray Troender in his master's thesis at the Norwegian College of Agriculture in 1941: “From many years ago we know of flocks of sheep from Trøndelag which are distinguished by having particularly fine wool". Johnsen also quotes J. Sæland from 1922: "The distinctive colour and body, and the very fine wool, clearly distinguish these sheep from the common gray or black sheep which are spread across the land". In the 1930-40s the breed numbered 18,000 animals in Trøndelag. Throughout the war years, when colours were rationed, the breed was popular due to its numerous shades of gray. But when white wool could again be dyed, the opposite trend was seen. Industrial concerns became dominant, and coloured sheep breeds lost the battle to white, meat-rich breeds.
Today, there’s growing interest in using naturally coloured wool.
In the nick of time … a rescue operation.
Everybody thought the Gray Troender sheep was extinct when a small flock, on the way to the slaughterhouse, was discovered here in Telemark in 1992. The animals were picked up from the slaughterhouse’s lorry, and a conservation herd was established in our village by Ole Hans Lien. A painstaking breeding effort began, working to regain the old characteristics for which the breed was known. There are currently around 2000 breeding animals in Norway (mostly in Trøndelag), but the number is rising. Most people keep the animals because of their particularly fine wool and the fantastic pelts. The meat is also lovely, as the fine-grained texture makes it extra tender. Still, the pure breed continues to be considered endangered.
For us at HulderUll it’s important to preserve the original look and breed typical of Grey Troender. Through a national network we’re focusing on the conservation of the breed, and the special quality of the wool.
HulderUll is a short-drawn wool and yarn colour-sorted by hand, washed and spun in Norway.