|Castlemilk Moorit Sheep |
(photo:RBST Caledonian Support Group)
This week was very exciting because Paul and I did a roadtrip all the way to Bendigo to pick up a truckload of Australian spun yarn, exclusively spun for me. It was really funny to see the tags on the huge 3 kilo cones saying “Charly Yarn” ! I cannot wait to offer you all this exclusive amazing sock yarn blend that the magicians of Bendigo Woollen Mills and myself have come up with: a special thanks to Colin and Kris for their amazing support and expertise to make this awesome yarn !!! I was very lucky to get a special woolen mills tour as well from Kris and Kai and was especially awestruck by the machines that tirelessly spin yarn and add just the right amount of twist and ofcourse their huge dye machinery that make my dye room look pale in comparison: I could only dream of pots that hold 60 kilos of tops or yarn……More on this amazing Australian collaboration later when the skeining and hand dyeing has started !
Apart from the yarn adventures: There are some serious rare breeds adventures underway and the first one is for tonight already : Castlemilk Moorit from Scotland. In the nearby future get ready for a fantastic new Seaweed eating sheep blend from North Ronaldsay AND something immensely cute from Switzerland: yes: the Valais Blacknose sheep.;
For tonight’s blog :Castlemilk Moorit sheep, message me on Facebook, Ravelry (where I am ixchelbunny) or email me : ixchel at rabbit dot com dot au. I will try and message or email you right back, but please know that after the blog goes live there is an avalanche of messages and emails hopping my way. Remember that I always look at the time stamp of the messages: so it is a first come first serve. Have a fun read and enjoy tonight’s fluffy offerings !
Castlemilk Moorit SheepCastlemilk Moorit sheep are the cutest most feisty little things. The Castlemilk Moorit sheep breed take their name from the Castlemilk estate in Dumfriesshire, where they originated in the early 1900s. They were originally bred to provide meat, wool to make clothing for the estate workers, and also to prance around the parklands of the estate. They are graceful, elegant sheep with fine, kemp-free wool, which is mid honey brown (moorit is a Scottish word for brown) at the base and bleached to a fawn colour at the tips.
Castlemilk Moorit sheep have some Manx Loghtan sheep and mouflon sheep breed ancestry and have retained the interesting mouflon markings of white underbelly, lower jaw, knee, eye markings (‘spectacles’) and a white rump patch. They are also feisty and pretty fast!
Once clipped they look totally different – almost like deer – as they revert to the dark brown colour for a few weeks, until the growing fleece bleaches back to fawn at the tips. At one point in the early 1970s Castlemilk Moorits were reduced to only around 12 individuals and could easily have simply ‘disappeared’. However, those few remaining were rescued in two groups, including six ewes and two rams which were taken to Cotswold Farm Park. All of today’s Castlemilks, which include around 700 registered females, are descended from these two small groups.
In the past couple of years the breed has been downlisted from the ‘Endangered’ to the ‘Vulnerable” category on the RBST watchlist – a big success.
|Cute Castlemilk Moorit lambs|
4th barrier island from the top right of the picture
|lambs with their mum|
As with everything the way that you scour and process the fibre is very important. The fleece of the castlemilk moorit ranges from 28 to 32 microns and the staple length is about 6 cms. The outer edges of the staple are often bleached by the sun and the locks often have a pointy tip. I find it very easy to spin. It reminds me of Manx Loughtan but definitely finer and softer. It is not that easy to get hold of this quality fibre so I only have a limited amount, but it is oh so worth it !
Have a fun snaffle !!!
Castlemilk Moorit Sheep Tops
IxCHeL Angora Rabbit Fibre
A very soft luscious natural white fibre, great for spinning, felting or embellishing or… To cuddle and call George
New IxCHeL Club sign ups are now open !
for the months : April, May and June 2017
(til quotas are reached or until march 31st)
IxCHeL Fibre Club April, May and June 2017
The IxCHeL Sock Yarn Clubs April, May and June 2017
IxCHeL Funky Bunny Batt Clubs April, May and June 2017
Dates to put in your Calendar !!
THE MAD HATTERS TEA PART SPIN IN 2017
Saturday May 6th 10am-3pm
Healesville Spinners and Weavers Guild Chat, Spin and Shop
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
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
date and venue info to follow soon.
Black n Coloured Sheep FIELD DAY in Pakenham!
250 g tubs AU$26
Just contact me with the name of the colour you are after and I will get right back to you.
How To Order:
2. Message me on facebook or
3. Message me on www.ravelry.com 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.