People often ask what kind of sheep I have. I always give the same answer. Soft ones. I want soft, fine, crimpy fleece and I’m not afraid to mix and match to get it.
My very first sheep were Icelandic’s. I still have the ewe. Betty Boop is a great mother and an easy keeper, and I hate her wool.
Is hate too strong of a word? Fine, I’m not a fan of her wool. It’s a dual coat with long guard hairs and a downey undercoat, both have their uses but you need to separate them to use them. Also can’t coat them to keep them clean because they will felt. So you need to card and comb them to get the hay out. I’m gonna be honest here – I’m too lazy for that so I bought some Cormo ewes.
Fine, white, and crimpy great for spinning and dying, or dying and spinning.
Before long I was shopping for a ram. I bought a Cormo Ram with amazing fleece.
Betty’s fleece is good for an Icelandic, long and soft, and she produces a lot of it.
When I cross her with the Cormo I get varied results. Sometimes I get a fleece like Gwennie’s and Galahad’s.
Gwennies is more Icelandic but her twin brother is a little tighter locked and a bit crimpier.
Their younger sister, same two parents one year later, has a fiber crimped fleece.
Yara, the newest lamb from this pairing looks to have slightly different fleece yet again. Her curls are big and tight to her body, she’s not fuzzy like previous lambs have been. I can’t wait to see how she grows.