SCOTTISH WHISKEY CAKE .....FREEDOM !
It conjures up images of the movie “Hell Boy” but these sheep are the epitome of gentle awesomeness ! here are photos illustrating the flow from little lamb to adult heroism:
They share many characteristics with other primitive sheep and are part of the Northern Short Tail group of sheep.
These related primitive sheep were spread round Scandinavia, Iceland, the Scottish Islands and the Isle of Man by the Vikings.
The Manx Loaghtan is still one of the rarest of breeds in the British Isles and since 1973 the Rare Breeds Survival Trust has helped promote these wonderful sheep.
Up to the 18th century these sheep covered the Manx hills in their thousands. Gradually they were replaced by modern sheep that mature quicker and are heavier. Obviously modern economics are far from romantic..lol
In the last 120 years the Manx Loaghtan came close to extinction 3 times and was only saved by the dedication and foresight of a few people.
In the 1950s numbers were down to less than a 100!!!
Happily today there are just over a thousand and their future seems much brighter as people have come again to appreciate the wool which is naturally a dark tan colour, soft, light yet very warm.
The first thing that you notice about Manx Loaghtan sheep is their impressive set of horns. Both sexes have 2, 4 or even 6 horns!
As the name suggests, the Manx Loaghtan originated on the Isle Of Man. It is a small, ancient hill breed. Originally white with some grey and black sheep but few of the reddish-brown colour we see today (the word 'Loaghtan' comes from the Manx for 'mouse brown').
Like many other heritage breeds, the Loaghtan was once popular but declined in the early 20th century. The breed was rescued by enthusiasts both on the Isle of Man and in England, and is now popular as a conservation grazer that will eat almost anything!
The breed is considered 'at risk' by the Rare Breed Survival Trust, with fewer than 1,500 registered breeding ewes.
Most Loaghtans have a medium staple length fleece, which in varying shades of brown getting paler with age, although they bleach to cream in the sun. The lambs are born black and generally achieve their particular shade of brown during the first year.
The fleece is very nice and soft witjh a staple length of between 70mm-100mm with around 22-28micron. It is great to spin for close to skin wear or for outerwear as well . I love this sheep. It has such an old world feel to it and so ancient in a way and ofcourse the fleece itself is just magic to spin up.
New IxCHeL Club sign ups Open now !
October, November and December 2014!!
IxCHeL Fibre Club October, November and December 2014
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Rare Sheep breed Tops
100grams (+/-3.5Oz); AU$20
IxCHeL Events to put in your Calendar!
Sunday September 28th, 9:30-3pm
Sheep and Woolcraft Day (with bunny fibres, blends and funky batts as well ofcourse !)
October 7th, 10am-2:30pm
PASCOE VALE SPIN IN
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