Friday, February 3, 2017

Rare Sheep breed and a fighting spirit

I had a fabulous week..especially compared to the last two months that were almost totally spent in bed or "off planet".
On monday Paul and myself went to Melbourne for a day out  to watch Nigel Kennedy perform the 4 seasons from Vivaldi and do "his thing" with a fab dedication piece to Grapelli and Jimi Hendrickx. The latter on his electric violin with too many special effects peddles to count, including a wawa effect. I have never ever heard Vivaldi being played like he did: what an interpretation. If you go for the "authentic" version you will not like the Nigel version at all, but it made me listen to the pieces from a totally different perspective. At times it even had that film noir element from an Italian movie feel to it. Brilliant orchestration through out ! and of course you gotta love his bouncing around like a school kid (although he is 60! can you believe it?!) in his neon coloured runners and his Aston Villa t-shirt.   I did take enough cough suppressant to kill a small army to keep my still annoying bronchitis under control, but it was a fantastic day out. Day outs do not happen often here at the farm, so I am super happy I was able to go out into the real world..

This was not at Hamer hall where we saw him perform, but the night before at the Australian Open: just to give you a little taste :-)  At  the Hamer Hall performance  he played Vivaldi on his Stradivarius by the way (What a sound !!!!!)

I  am still working on the january clubs and all will be sent out on monday ! and then immediately after, I will start on the feb clubs!
 With the day away for Nigel and doing all the clubs I had no time to dye any tops or yarn fro this update , BUT I can offer you some very special rare sheep breed tops that are amazing to spin! Such a magical breed!

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:

The origins of these primitive sheep are not fully understood but their ancestors are thought to go back to the Iron Age.
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
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.

Please understand that I do not have a lot of stock of this exceptional rare breed fibre. Do not wait too long to pounce on this weeks update to avoid disappointment. I am offering you this all scoured and cleaned and pulled into luscious tops ready to spin in its natural colour. I will always be tempted to overdye grey fleeces (like you will see in later updates with the grey merino and silk blend I am working on as well) but there is no way I am tempted to overdye this luscious honey brown caramel coloured Manx Loughtan fibre. It is amazing just the way it is !

Manx Loughtan
Rare Sheep breed Tops 

A rare sheep breed that is a magical addition to your stash !

100grams (+/-3.5Oz); AU$21  

Manx Loughtan top

IxCHeL  Angora Rabbit Fibre

25-28grams/1 oz AU$10
A very soft lusciouis natural white fibre, great for spinning, felting or embellishing or… To cuddle and call George

Great to spin and wear !  Harvested by  a simple, loving  haircut on the grooming table after three months of growth y the bunny.

Miracle Max

Mme Butterfly

Dates to put in your Calendar !!


Wednesday March 15th, 10am - 3pm
McClelland Spinners and weavers Group

McClelland Gallery, McClelland Drive , Langwarrin, (Melways Ref 103E3), 


Saturday May 6th   10am-3pm

Healesville Spinners and Weavers Guild Chat, Spin and Shop

Please join me with the Healesville Spinners and Weavers on Saturday for their annual celebration.
I will be doing a talk about the IxCHeLbunny farm, fibres and yarns and lots more !!! There will be fibres to cuddle (and buy) and also spindles of all shapes and sizes.

The event is open to all but everybody is asked to bring a plate of food to share with the others to make it even more fun. The Hall opens at 11am with a group meeting and my talk will start around 12. After the talk there will be ample opportunity to browse, shop and mingle.

V.C. Mullett Hall (Badger Creek Hall), 358 Badger Creek Road, Badger Creek.
The hall is located next to the Badger Creek C.F.A. Station and opposite the Badger Creek Primary School. There is off road parking.

Sunday May 21st 10am-3pm

Victorian Hand Knitters Guild Show Coburg Town Hall

THE extra ordinary super fluffy yarny event in Melbourne !!!
I will be there with lots of hand dyed tops for spinning and felting and happy rainbow yarn and sock yarn, some extra special art yarns and much much more!!!!
As well as some amazing Lair of the Bearded Dragon spindles and bowls that are pure magic to spin with !


Friday July 14th- Sunday 16th, 9am-5pm

Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show
THE event of the year !!!! Not to be missed!! I will be there in the Flower (Power Bunny) Shed again with heaps of new goodies, hand dyed and hand spun, IxCHeL new blends and rare sheep breed adventures and much much more ! Including a world first of something AMAZING AND FUN!!!!! Shhh not telling ! but it is AWESOME !!!!


date and venue info to follow soon.

Black n Coloured Sheep FIELD DAY  in Pakenham!

Landscape dyes 

 100g tubs   AU$11 
250 g tubs AU$26

Want to dye your own with easy to use acid dyes? I have been selling these Landscape dyes at my workshops and shows for a long time :  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.

Have a creative week!
Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions okay? : Always happy to enable.

All my contact details are here:

How To Order:

1. You can email me on ixchel at rabbit dot com dot au or ixchelbunny at yahoo dot com dot au
2. Message me on facebook or 
3. Message me on  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.

Thank you so much for your help and support !


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