It was all strange, funny and exciting: both the movie and the experience. Especially the fact that Paul wanted to make it a total surprise and decked the back of the van with our camping airbed, which resembles a cross between a waterbed and lying on a pile of rocks at the same time. Trying to get comfortable trying to watch a three hour movie, I swished about, which resulted in my leg cramping up so bad TWICE, our drive-in neighbours in the cars next to us probably thought there was something else going on and no…. No, really !! we were only watching the movie and trying to eat popcorn ! LOL
We had a great time! I never giggled so much during a movie. Sorry Quentin! The movie by the way is awesome, don’t let my commentary hold you back ! The cinematography was amazing with wide panoramic shots of snow blizzard country side and riveting acting with an interlude here and there combining “the good the bad and the ugly” with “the Exorcist”: Brilliant Tarantino.
The rest of the week was filled with getting some very exciting rare sheep breed adventures organised for the very nearby future!! , carding up a storm and skeining of all the feb clubs and sending them off AND!!! ..preparing this update and the March club already, combined with doing some angora/wallaby and pure cashmere handspinning in my “down” time.
It is all happening! And rightfully so because it won’t be long til the shows start happening again. Unfortunately all the things I do are done by hand and I only have two….every now and again I complain to myself that everything takes such a long time to spin or dye and make but I guess that is also why it is so beautiful to do. Some things need time, like good cheese and wine. No matter how big companies try to imitate the work done by hand, there is no way that the same kind of magic can be translated into it: that’s the beauty of handmade.
So this week’s update is all about a rare sheep breed, some very nice and fluffy Angel bunny tops AND the sign ups for the new clubs starting in April. Don’t leave signing up for too long: There are only a limited amount of spots available because I can only do so much.
So what rare sheep breed is on offer tonight? : It is the Manx Loaghtan !
The Manx Loaghtan 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 Scotland (where I got these beauties from) , 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.
Not only these wicked Manx Loughtan tops are on offer on this week’s blog but also some very fluffy Angel Bunny tops and ofcourse the club sign ups!
Have a fun weekend with lots of giggles!!
New IxCHeL Club sign ups are now open!
for the months : April, May and June 2016
(til quotas are reached or until March 31st)
IxCHeL Fibre Club April, May and June 2016
The IxCHeL Sock Yarn Clubs April, May and June 2016
IxCHeL Funky Bunny Batt Clubs April, May and June 2016
ANGEL BUNNY Tops
100+gram tops AU$24
Fabulously lustrous and soft to spin, with a beautiful pearlescence.
Rare Sheep breed Tops
100grams (+/-3.5Oz); AU$22
Dates to put in your Calendar !!
Healesville spinners talk ..date to be confirmed later
Grandvalley Spinners and Weavers Spin in
Tapscott Hall, Corner Cambridge and Montrose rd, Montrose
They are extremely easy to use and come in great shades.
Just contact me with the name of the colour you are after and I will get right back to you.
2. message me on facebook or ravelry where I am Ixchelbunny.
I will email you right back with all your order details and payment methods.
Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.