Folksy Ltd

Any other smallholders?

(Helen Dale) #1

Feeling very excited today. Normally such excitement would be reserved for a new fabric delivery - but this time it’s a little bit different. Mr HbyH and I are collecting our own small flock of rare breed sheep tomorrow. So excited! Have read up on how to wash fleeces - not sure what i’ll do with them then though. Also not sure how i’ll feel when the time comes to convert them into something for the freezer - but I guess i don’t need to worry about any of that until next year.
Any other smallholders out there??

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(Christine Shephard) #2

Ooohh, that sounds exciting Helen - I love sheep! Maybe something to do with my name :smile:

If you get the fleeces washed and carded, you’ll be able to sell them as wool tops for felt-making or needlefelting. I’m not sure how much profit there would be in it, but worth checking out.

Good luck!

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(Sasha Garrett) #3

What sort of sheep are they? Spinners might want the fleeces to make their own yarn if they are a suitable breed (some breeds as a bit scratchy but some are wonderfully lustreous and soft). And I’m a fan of rare/ heritage breed meat - our local butcher gets it when he can and it tastes good. Just name them things like ‘chops’ and ‘shanks’ so you don’t loose sight of what they will become…
I’ve always fancied a goat or two but the OH says no and they would eat everything I don’t want them to.
Sasha

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(Helen Dale) #4

We’ve gone for a primitive type breed - something a but roughty toughty - seems easiest for beginners. So we’ve gone for a breed called Castlemilk Moorits. The fleeces are supposed to be quite good from what i’ve read - i’m leaving the shearing to Mr HbyH!

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(Helen Dale) #5

Thanks Christine. The more i read - the more i relaise how little i know. Am feeling a bit unprepared.
I’m hoping to do the washing and carding myself - at least that’s the plan for year 1 - but we’ll see how long that enthusiasm lasts :smile:
Be interesting to know if there’s anyone on here who specifically use rare breed fleece/wool?

(Christine Shephard) #6

I bought some Exmoor Horn fleece when I was down in Cornwall this summer, which I intend to use for felting. It’s a bit coarser than my usual fleece but I’m hoping it will felt well. The lady who sells it has a few sheep (and llamas) and she sends the fleece away to be washed and carded, then sells it in 100g bags to people like me!

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(Sasha Garrett) #7

I’ve knitted up some moorit yarn to go in a knitted patchwork blanket - it went in the side borders as was robust enough to hold its shape and support the other softer yarn squares. Wasn’t the softest of the single breed yarns in the blanket but not the roughest either, I wouldn’t want a jumper in it though as I have delicate skin but it would suit the OH. I deliberately went looking for wool made from single britsh breeds, can’t remember why, which formed stripes and borders in amongst other hand dyed yarns in what ever took my fancy (I think I was trying to get as many types of fibre in there as possible). Most of the single breed yarns came from http://www.sheepfold.co.uk/wools/natural-wools-breed/ (who look like they have changed their breeds on offer) but some did come from other sources. I’ve still got all the ball bands somewhere…
Sasha

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(Helen Dale) #8

fab thanks Sasha. Your blanket sounds fab - love the idea of using a mix. I’ll go check out the link now!

(Sasha Garrett) #9

Knitting is not my strong point - my tensioning went a bit awry and instead of being a double sized blanket it ended up massive but it does mean in the winter there are no gaps for the cold air to get in…


There is suffolk, wensleydale (lovely and silky), swaledale (sheds like mad), ronaldsay, manx loaghtan, hebridean, torrdu, blue faced leicester (soft and strokey), shetland, the afore mentioned morrit plus quite obviously others. The moorit is the mid brown band on the right I think.
Sasha

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(Helen Dale) #10

that’s fab! Love it

(Leathermeister) #11

Hubby had one look at the photo and said ‘oh’ if these are a wild breed you wont be able to catch them and they won’t flock but scatter. He thinks they may shed their wool rather then need shearing. What type of breed are they? is there any sowa in them he hopes not.
We had a small flock a few years back and called them foody names Rosemary and Garlic were are first pair then Balti for the ram we also had Donna and Kebab, Minty you get the drift.
these were rosie and garlic german merino the fleece and wool were beautiful but virtually no meat.

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(Helen Dale) #12

Lovely photo @leathermeister
The breeder we’re buying them from says they’ll need shearing in June. They are a primitive breed and we have a bit of a dilemma - we’re having them as lambs, so we could get them used to a bucket. But on the other hand I don’t want them as pets. They are Castlemilk Moorit - but look remarkably similar to Soays. A cross between shetland, mouflon and manx loghtan (the latter being poosibly the coolest looking sheep!)!
In spring we hope to be adding pigs to the field we’re renting - Mr HbyH is a dab hand at butchering and curing/smoking. But I really want cows. Raising the best tasting steak is the ultimate aim. But we’ll start with sheep and see how we go. I’m sure it will be interesting whatever happens!

(Leathermeister) #13

My favourite time of year was lambing, always seemed to end up with at least a couple in the house. Bottle fed them for about 6 weeks then weaned for several more but they would keep forgetting they were sheep and want to follow me everywhere.
Hope you get as much pleasure from keeping them as we did.

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(Helen Dale) #14

Enjoying my breakfast time. Although this is largely to indulge me - they really should be eating grass!

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(Emma Turner) #15

Yes! We have a 30-strong mixed flock, half pedigree Cotswolds, the other half a mixture of Cotswold crosses, the mums of those crosses (Lleyn and one English Mule) and four black Lincoln Longwools. I absolutely LOVE my sheep, who are rathe adept at social media and have many, many Facebook friends (loads more than I do, anyway!) We use their fleece in our shop, and also do wool craft courses. These two cheeky boys are Caleb (on the left) and Dash. Caleb’s a Cotswold, Dash is a Cotswold x English Mule.

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(Helen Dale) #16

They look very cool sheep! We’re hoping to buy some more castle milks this weekend, but Mr HbyH is hankering for some proper meat production sheep, so we may get a few Shripshires too - and they are our local breed! Next spring it’ll be Tamowrth pigs. Gonna have to talk to my landlord about more land I think!!! It’s a bit addictive this livestock malarkey!

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(Leathermeister) #17

Emma @AlfiePurl your sheep look lovely think I may have to befriend them too.
Totally agree Helen @HandbagsbyHelen it is addictive I miss the lambs, would have more and a couple of pigs and a handful of chickens maybe will in a couple of years.

(Sasha Garrett) #18

I’m looking forward to being able to buy hand made lamb chops and bacon on Folksy if you can sort out express shipping!
(slow cooked pork cheeks with parsnips, leeks and pearl barley ooooooooh yummy).

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