MEET THE SHEEP

 

 

 

ISSY and BLUEBELL

Breed: Herdwick

Isabell and Bluebell are Herdwick ewes given to me by my sister. They were bottle reared as lambs and have always been very friendly and comfortable with people around them. They are exceedingly inquisitive sheep and will investigate anything new that might come into their orchard, or find a way out if there is one!
Herdwicks were bred for the moors and are very hardy with a very thick coat.


Their fleece is tough and hairy which gives a lovely texture and durability to products. Issy and Bluebell's wool varies in colour from a dark grey to almost white and is getting lighter as they age. Herwick fleece is usually a browner colour which gets lighter with age so Hatty is very lucky to have this special grey fleece to work with.

 

 

 

 

 

STEVE and ALAN

Breed: Ryeland

Steve and Alan are Ryeland wethers (neutered males), younger than the Herdwicks but just as friendly, coming from a small flock close by. They are a heavy-set breed, not exactly noted for their liveliness, but as with the Herdwicks, they like to know what is going on. Steve likes to think of himself as the alpha male of the flock, and leads the way when it comes to inquisitiveness (and stubbornness!)


Ryelands were originally bred in Leominster for their wool. Leominster Ryelands are historically famed and the wool was called Leominster ore (gold). Elizabeth 1st was said to use only Ryeland wool stockings. Leominster gained its wealth from the Ryeland wool industry and Leominster was a much bigger and busier place than Hereford in Elizabethan times.


Ryeland fleece is soft and spongy, and sometimes difficult to felt. I add fibres from other breeds to help with the felting process if this happens. Coloured Ryelands, like Steve, can have different shades of brown in the fleece and this adds an attractive depth to woollen products. White Ryeland fleeces like Alan’s are beautifully soft to the touch.

Both the Ryeland and the Herdwick fleeces should not shrink much and any of the products can be washed gently in a wool wash, when needed.

Other Ryeland wool used in Hatty Baggins products comes from the lovely sheep at Tickmore Farm in Orleton.

 

 

OTHER FRIENDS

Hatty Baggins products sometimes feature fleeces from other local sheep, such as Alice the Welsh Badgerface pictured here with Daniel her lamb, who is owned by Choe.

The Badgerface fleece has a delightful variety of colours to it, ranging from grey to dark brown.

 

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