These are my absolute favourite sheep. Yes, I know what you're thinking she has a favourite sheep? Strange woman. But you can see why. They are just like huge teddy bears, are very docile natured, and they have the most amazing fleece, which is used for high-quality tweeds, hand-knitting wools and hosiery. Dare I say it they are good for meat as well.
They are probably the oldest recognised British sheep breed, originating over eight hundred years ago, and are among the minority breeds under the umbrella of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
I'm so smitten by them I'm contemplating having my own when we get our next house. As well as the hens, dogs et al.
For the moment though I have to master their fleece.
I deposited some of the fleece in cold water to soak over night, then decanted small amounts into another bowl to wash thoroughly before spinning the water out and popping into the greenhouse to dry.
I realise that my first efforts at spinning will probably create a very uneven yarn but I'm thinking it might be good enough to use to weave a small rug for the bedroom. I already have a smashing chocolate brown sheepskin rug that I bought last year at the Chatsworth Farm shop, but I have space for another rug and these natural colours will work perfectly.
I'd be super pleased if the yarn looks anything like this.
Then I'm in with a chance of creating something like this.
Well that's the theory anyway.